Not only is it fascinating to observe a child’s personality developing and unfolding as they grow, it is normal to want to the best for your kids, to strive to create the conditions in which every child can flourish. An appreciation of different personality, or psychological types can help guide your parenting so that you respond to children in a way that positively reinforces their strengths, and values their contribution to the world.
Let’s begin by looking at the two basic personality types – extrovert and introvert.
Characteristics of introvert children
Cautious, like to assess a situation before taking action.
Mull things over, think before they speak.
Can concentrate on one thing for an extended period.
Listen, gather and process information before forming opinion.
Calm demeanor, prefer less stimulating environments.
Like to play and learn independently, autonomous.
May prefer writing and drawing to speaking.
Able to put themselves in the place of others, possess empathy.
Characteristics of extrovert children
Risk takers, like to try new things.
Easily adapt to new people and new situations.
Think and act quickly.
Like to interact with others, affectionate.
Spontaneous, change their minds often.
Can work with others to find solutions to problems and conflict.
Recognizing your child's type will not only help you understand his or her behavior but also make you less likely to worry.
Here are some things you can do for your child in these situations:
Extroverts will want to interact with other people and so they will be happiest with chores such as:
Assisting you in completing a task
Working with a sibling
Making phone calls
Introverts will want to work alone and so they will be most comfortable doing such tasks as:
Caring for plants
Extraverts may love the excitement of the outing. You may need to let them know beforehand how long the trip will last as they will become more energized as the excursion continues.
Introverts may become exhausted very quickly. You can plan for success by breaking a larger outing into several smaller outings. If this plan is not feasible, you can also build in little breaks where you could rest and relax, sit by a fountain and listen to the water or find a quiet seat to have a snack and “refuel” both physically and emotionally.
Extraverts may come home from a full day of school too drained to do work. They may need to talk to friends or play or retell their day to you before they are ready and able to complete their homework.
Introverts may find the same day absolutely draining for the opposite reasons. A day of having students in their personal space and a potentially noisy bus ride home can leave them needing quiet time, rather than activities, before they can begin their homework.
Holidays/ Parties/ Other Outings
Extraverts are in their element in social gatherings. Interacting with others can leave them so excited that sometimes the greater difficulty is settling them back down after the outing. This energized reaction is true of any situation that involves others, be it a full social day, a birthday party or special outings to the zoo or circus. The sights, sounds, noises and people invigorate these extraverts.
Though they may still enjoy parties, introverts need time to regroup. After a while, they may request to go home. If possible you can limit the number and length of social engagements you attend in a day. If that is not feasible, you can plan for down time, finding places to “escape” to at a party, perhaps going into a back room to read.
Helping kids understand who they are and encouraging them to connect with what excites and inspires them, while modelling language that enables them to articulate their feelings and needs, gives children freedom to learn without fear. When kids know who they are, they naturally gravitate toward experiences in which learning and fun happen together. Curiosity, creativity and confidence are a natural mindset for kids that feel relaxed in themselves, and who can express themselves clearly.
Each child has a unique approach to learning, which is why we believe in adapting our methods to the needs of every one of our students.
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