Posted tagged ‘Introverts’

The world loves an extrovert

February 22, 2010

Seriously, the world loves an extrovert.  An extroverted child participates in activities, makes conversation, listens with eye contact, answers questions in class, likes new adventures.

An introvert is . . .  well, totally different.

What does the world think of that?  What do I think of that?

An introvert . . .

doesn’t answer when someone asks a questions.  Or not right away anyway.

might not make eye contact.

isn’t a big fan of new things like field trips and different desk assignments and surprise outings.  (AT ALL!  My therapist says not to keep being surprised by this — Duh, it’s her temperament, get use to it already.)

wants to stay at home.

doesn’t sing along in preschool with the rest of the group maybe.

might not feel comfortable answering questions in class if it’s a whole group activity.

So, I ask, does the world think less of this introverted child?

Yes.

We are shallow, uneducated, extroverted-loving people who don’t understand introverts.  And, I don’t know how to change the world or even my own community to make people understand.  .

I can’t explain (although I try) why my daughter might not answer right away, or look at you, or smile and give you a hug.  Should I have to?  If I don’t, do you think I’m encouraging my child to be rude to you?

We all love an extrovert.  But, do we love the introvert, too?

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She doesn’t love to read

August 13, 2009

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I find it irritating, ironic and down-right unjust that my own daughter does not love reading. After all, I “know” literacy and since birth have done the following things which I’ll list for edification purposes. (Take notes but be warned–does not work for all children; in particular, my eldest daughter.) And, p.s. aren’t introverts suppose to love books?

* read to her daily A LOT of books and 3 books at bedtime

* take regular trips to the library and check out as many books as we can carry, read them all in no particular order

* model reading my own books and make time for reading during the day

* have excessive amounts of books at various reading levels and on various topics – seriously, it’s excessive

* reward with books

* got her a special reading headlamp for bed-time reading

* limit television — none during the school week and only limited on Saturdays

* listen to books on tape in the car, for quiet time, and just for fun

Okay, you get the point. A+B=C, right? If only.

(I will mention that since birth, she’s never loved, loved, loved books like my other child.  In fact, I use to read mostly at meal time because it was the only time I could get her to sit still for the length of a story.)

Here are my demands desires.

  • I want her to grab a book and read until she’s called to dinner.
  • I want her to talk about what she’s reading as if it were real.
  • I want her to look to books for information she wants to learn.
  • I want an epiphany.

She is only seven.  It will click one day, right?

Please say, “I love you”

April 9, 2009

So, I know it’s not about me.  Sort of.  I just would love some validation from my child.   Ha.  Who am I kidding?  First, she’s a kid.  Second, she’s an introvert.

Every night at bedtime, I hug and kiss my daughter.  Then, I say, “Good night.  I love you.”

She usually doesn’t hug me back.  Personal space issues for her are HUGE.   She’s not into touching so much.  Her hugs crack me up.  She gets a look of terror on her face, her eyebrows crunch together and she winces.  Nice.  Then, I go in for a hug and watch as her arms become floppy, followed by her body.  I hug.  She waits for it to be over.  It’s so fun!

Then the “I love you” part of bedtime.  I say it.  She doesn’t.  EVER.  Once, she grunted!!

“Would it be so hard to say it back to me?”  I asked her.

“I don’t know.”

“Will you say it one day?”

“Maybe.”

“Do you love me?”

“Yes,” she groans.

“Okay, good-night, then.”

Interesting.  She’s so inwardly focused.  I truly believe that it’s hard for her to verbalize her feelings.  She just knows them and that’s how it is.

It’s not about me.  It’s not about me.  It’s not about me.  . . .

The fun, the terror of a birthday party

March 29, 2009

Last week, my seven year old “innie” insisted I stay at the bowling party with her.   She felt nervous all day.   “Mom, I don’t want to bowl.  Do I have to?”

“No, honey.  You can watch.”

“Will they make me bowl?  I don’t want to, I just want to watch.”

“I said that’s fine.  I even emailed ahead to tell her you wanted to watch.”

Wanting to watch didn’t surprise me.  The ice skating party for another friend consisted of two hours of watching.  Not even close to the rink or a skate.  Just watching from a near by table.

Back to the bowling party.  She watched.  I watched.  I really didn’t want to stay.  Finally, after about 45 minutes, I asked if I could leave for a quick errand and come back.  “Yes, that’s okay,” she replied with decision.  Feeling confident she would be fine, I power walked out of there to the grocery store.

When I returned, the birthday girls mom ran up to me.  “Guess what!  She bowled!  She asked me if she could have a turn.  And she was dancing around.  And she’s really good!  I even got video!  I’ll send it to you next week.”

What?  I could be surprised, and I was a bit.  However, with my introvert, I know that she will do things when she’s ready.  The skating party, she needed more observation time.  The bowling party, she only needed one hour of observing and then she felt comfortable participating.

She smiled, her feet hopping up and down, crazy dancing.  She loved, loved, loved bowling!  On her own terms of course . . . “Can we go again tomorrow?”

Bowling

Bowling

Introverts Know Themselves

February 12, 2009

Even when my innie was little, she knew her body.

“Mom, I have to throw up,” she would say calmly and walk to the toilet.  At two!  Just last week, she did the same thing.  She is so in touch with her body sensations.

It happens with food, too.  She is the only child I have ever seen that will stop after half of a cookie.  “I’m full.  I think I’ll save the rest for another time.”  ???  Seriously!?  The rest of the world, me included, usually keep eating — if it tastes good, who cares if we’re full?

Unlike her sister, I just watched my other daughter, the three year old, eating her slice of cake at a birthday party.  When I looked again, she had eaten her neighbors slices, too!  (Good supervision, mom.)  Sorry, kids – watch out for the sugar fiend three year old!   –They were at a disadvantage being only one.  I got them more cake and escorted my daughter from the table.  Not really listening to her body, is she . . .

Back to my point. . . Books about introverts say that introverts are exceptionally aware of their bodies.  Also, introverts are healthier eaters than their extroverts.

Sometimes I need to remember that there many positive traits of an introvert – this is one of them.

She prefers to read . . . I’m so proud

February 6, 2009

This morning at the bus stop, my six year old sat down on the ground, and pulled out a book from her backpack.   She read until the bus arrived.  Her friend, wanting to play,  looked puzzled.  Her friends mom looked awe-struck.  “Look,” she pointed.  “Yes, I know,” I replied – as if I knew she’d be doing that all along.  “Can you believe it?”

I have dreamed of this moment.  To me, her choosing a book over playing, is huge.  SHE IS A READER!!!!  SHE LOVES HER BOOK!!!!!

I don’t want her to stop, so I say nothing.  Smile and nod.  Act cool.  Don’t freak out and try to hug her while crying hysterically about the wonders of losing oneself in a story and lifelong learning and . . . oh, I could go on.  No.  Smile and nod.  Act cool.

I am happy.  I am ecstatic.  SHE’S A READER!!!!

“Your child refused to participate . . . “

February 2, 2009

I recently received an angry email from my first grader’s teacher.  In the middle of the day.  “Your daughter refused to participate during reading.  I told her it is very important to follow my directions and I told her that I would be e-mailing you.”

So, first of all, I could tell she was really irritated.  To email me at 10:43 a.m. during her teaching day told me it was a pressing issue for her.  I emailed her back and told her I would have a chat with my daughter when she arrived home.

“What happened?”  I asked.

“She wanted me to read the boy part in a boy voice,” my daughter replied.  “I didn’t want to.”

Hmmm.  “Is there a way you could have been more respectful to the teacher?  What about asking for a different part or to read it to her privately?”  We discussed ideas.  Meanwhile, I was fuming mad.

What teacher does not understand that some kids are terrified to one, read out loud, and two, read in a different voice.  Refused to participate!  What a total misread of the situation.  How about terror induced muteness?

It is clear to me that I must educate my daughters teachers gently to the concept of introvertedness.  And frankly, to shyness, to lack of confidence, to the fact that a lot of kids don’t like reading out loud.  Duh!

I sent her a checklist of what an introvert looks like in the classroom.  She never replied.  Go figure.

I can’t wait until this year is over.