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As Introverted Parents, Appreciating Our Extroverted Kid

My husband and I always wonder how we came to have such an extroverted son. We consider ourselves introverts through and through. Big parties? No way. Small talk? No thanks. Being the center of attention? Would rather go to the dentist. Twice. We joke that our son being extroverted is the result of mathematics – multiplying two negatives makes a positive. We are not saying that being an introvert is a “negative” by any means. I am illustrating the difference in personalities and how our outgoing little guy came to be.

Having a big personality in our household has made the dynamic more different than we anticipated. We are learning to embrace it and all of the awesome that comes with our five year old. A few of the reasons why we love his personality…

1. Helping me meet some awesome moms! As an introvert, I am capable of starting conversations with strangers. Sometimes it takes me a while, and I talk myself out of it. Our son pretty much hurls me into conversations with other moms. Be it because of his daredevil antics on the playground, or him randomly starting a laser transformer battle with a child he has never met. His behavior definitely brings out some laughs and helps break the ice with other parents. Many conversations have been prompted because of my kid and his crazy antics. Some of these conversations have grown into friendships I am incredibly thankful for.

2. Jumping at the chance to lead. Being a leader can be tough stuff. I am always happy to lend a hand in a supportive role in a situation. Rounding up the troops and going head first into any situation? My son does this fearlessly. Rather than be shy in voicing his ideas and suggestions for fear of rejection, he throws around his ideas like confetti. It’s incredible to witness even in a five year old. Whether it be in the classroom or on the playground with friends… Our son isn’t comfortable on the sidelines like I was, and we are proud of him for that. We hope he keeps this trait well into adulthood.

3. Being around people energizes my kid. Our son will play house or he will play army men, he doesn’t care! He is just happy to be playing with his friends. His desire to be around other people reminds me how it is important to recharge with my friends too. Sometimes when feeling worn out, I’m inclined to reschedule plans.  When I don’t cancel, and I just go? I’m always thankful! Our son reminds me not to cancel my plans.

4. Shaking it off. There are studies that state extroversion directly relates to happiness. While I don’t 100% agree, I do see some truth to it. My husband and I tend to be very analytical and systematic. We always weigh the good and bad of any situation very carefully. Both of us admit to having those traits as children. In the words of Taylor Swift, our son is able to just “shake it off” and move on. Kid doesn’t hold a grudge. His mother? She has a little work to do in that area.

5. What a talker! Our son will talk to just about anyone. He always has a question to ask or some insight to share. I’ve watched him gravitate towards introverted kids and help them out of their shell. It makes me smile because, I used to be the kid in the shell who needed a hand to pull me out of it sometimes.

6. Having BIG emotions. There is no guessing how our son might be feeling on a particular day. He will let you know. Happy? He is bursting at the seams. Angry? Grunts and mumbles abound (But not for long. See #4). Our son wears his heart on his sleeve, and it is nice not having to guess or ask 500 questions about how he feels. Kiddo communicates well.

I remember pregnancy with my son and always wondering the type of person he would be. While we absolutely have our challenges, I love seeing traits that will follow him into adulthood and shape the grown-up he will become. Is your child an introvert or extrovert? What are some traits in your child you are starting to see that you love?

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