Brittany is a self-published poet, special needs mother, and law enforcement wife who enjoys reading and writing on her poetry blog.
Chances are, you're reading this article because you're trying to figure out if there's a less exhausting way to parent your overly energized kid. The days seem draining because your child's need for interaction outweighs your own. Introverts crave solitude, which is the exact opposite of what your child requires. I function better when I have the chance to re-center myself by having isolation. The constant chatter is overwhelming. I try to remind myself my teenage daughter is not being demanding. Unlike myself, she will feel drained if she is unable to share her thoughts verbally.
Here is a list of traits extroverted children may have:
-Loves to socialize and be around people
-Prefers playing in groups
-May become stressed when alone
-Does not enjoy solitary activities
-May not understand why others prefer being alone
As parents, it falls on us to meet our kids needs. As introverts, what is required naturally is challenging without replenishing our batteries.
Coping strategies for parents:
-Schedule alone time. Maybe this means getting up earlier than your child rises or staying up a tad later at night. Perhaps skip a house chore and read a few chapters of a good book for a short time period. The most important rule to be at your best is to schedule time for yourself.
-Have quiet time. This is especially important if you are a parent who stays home. Just one hour of silence can make a huge difference. You don't need to be super mom by getting ahead on housework. Introverts become super parents by making sure quiet time is a part of their daily routine.
-Get childcare. Consider having someone watch the kids at least once a week. If finances are an issue, see if another mom pal will do a swap with you. Maybe their is something your friend is dreading taking care (like an errand). Sometimes a trip to the grocery store without the kids can feel like freedom!
-Schedule "Mommy and me" Time. Choose an activity that you and your child enjoy doing. My daughter isn't an avid reader like myself, but she is creative and enjoys drawing and writing. We are actually both engaging in writing at this very moment sitting side by side! This gives us something to connect on and I'm also getting quiet moments while we are focused on our thoughts (which is a double win!). They need the one-on-one time with you, and this ensures the attention they are asking for and are less likely to act out.
-Give yourself grace. Being an introverted parent is draining. Don't be too hard on yourself if you honestly can't spend every moment with your kids. You are a great parent and are doing your absolute best.
I've learned as an introverted parent (and special needs as well) how important it is to abide by these coping strategies are. I recognize I need alone time and have learned not to feel guilty for craving time away from kids. Alone time makes me mentally stronger, happier, and and more involved with my kids wants and needs.
More Parenting Tips
Benefits of an Introverted Parent
I will freely admit introverts are not "cool" parents. We're not up to having other kids come hang out for a cool snack recipe I found on Pinterest. There are, however, great benefits to being an introverted parent:
-Staying in tune emotionally. I over analyze everything. Whether that means a text message, social media comment, or a facial expression, I put a lot of thought into what other people are saying. I think this crazy way of overthinking helps me stay in tune with their needs. I'm great at reading their emotions and faces. If my teenage daughter doesn't want to tell me why she had a bad day, I can typically figure out why.
-I help my kids process their own feelings. If my kids are dealing with a tricky situation I'm a pro at handling the challenge.
-Maintaining one-on-one connections. I may not be wonderful at throwing myself into a group of kids playing at the same time, but I thrive at spending time with one kid at a time. This really helps my relationship with each kid I spend time with. I can learn what each of their needs are and give that to them in an intimate way.
-Having empathy. I'd say this works best with introverted children. However, this is a powerful trait to have (especially with teenagers) if your child does not like to talk about his/her emotions.
-Being an example of why alone time is a good thing. I talk about why it is so important to schedule in alone time. It's the best way to get to know oneself. I love reading books, writing, listening to music, or going for a walk a walk in nature and take in all the sights and sounds. It's a great time for me to think about subjects that I am drawn to. I think it's important for children to do this to some degree so they can think for themselves instead of following the latest trend.
Having an introverted personality does not make you a bad parent. How you operate is simply different. You don't need to change yourself because you have kids. You just need to learn how to compromise to meet both your needs and your children's needs. I don't need to be the leading mother on the PTO board at school, but I intend to attend every extra curricular activity my daughter has joined and cheer her on along the way. People have different wants and needs, and i think we should embrace those differences. Understanding this is imperative to the journey of life.