The Joys & Struggles Of Raising Children More Social Than You
I have always been considered myself as an introvert and have always been fairly comfortable with it, but when I chose to marry and extrovert that’s when things got interesting.
As one would expect, children take after their parents. In my case, both of my children take after their dad with their social skills. While this is something I always hoped for, it has lead to a raft of issues and daily struggles for me as an introvert.
I like my own company, I am a homebody and I generally keep to myself and was extremely shy growing up. My husband is the total opposite to me. He is outgoing, extroverted, loves being the centre of attention, has enormous groups of friends, loves people and in fact needs to be around people, is a great public speaker and is the clown of the group. My total opposite but we compliment each other well.
In my wedding
Our union has blessed us with two gorgeous children, one boy and one girl. I hoped beyond hope they would not be shy like me. I wanted them to not suffer this debilitating condition like I had.
What I never could have anticipated is how exhausting being an introverted parent with extroverted children is. My son in particular is is extremely outgoing, needs people, is considered a class clown and he is friends with literally everybody.
Due to his insatiable need for human contact, he exhausts me. He always wants friends over or wants to go out or have play-dates or meet up with friends to play footy or basketball at the park. He always wanted to socialise after kinder,
Where I would rather spend weekends relaxing at home, he wants to be out doing something, anything with friends. He lives for human contact.
When we go to the park or the play centre, I would rather sit by myself, reading on my phone or scrolling through social media. But true to himself, he makes friends everywhere. Almost instantly he has strange kids following him everywhere. From this, I know eventually the parents will spy me and want to talk – something I would rather not do!
When my daughter was younger, I thought she was more like me. She kept to herself and played by herself well. She really didn’t seem too fussed about making friends. While my son always exhausts me with his outgoing nature, I was worried when I saw how my daughter was.
Funnily enough, I actually wanted her to be more like my son. Anyone who suffers chronic shyness would know that it can be hugely debilitating. It isn’t something I wanted my children to suffer from.
However, my daughter – now 4 and a half years old, has become the same as my son. She makes friends wherever she goes and is outgoing, confident and personable.
While it is a struggle for me raising children opposite to me, I am eternally grateful for their personalities. I know that it will hold them in good stead. I know that they won’t struggle in school like I did and I encourage them to be more and more outgoing every day.
Here Are Some Simple Tips To Help Keep You Sane!
Break out of your comfort zone. I literally have to force myself to be social and sometimes find it so exhausting I don’t bother. However, having extroverted children means I have to force myself more often than I’m comfortable to.
Allow your children the social time they crave, but also look after yourself. Sometimes saying no and having a quiet day at home is exactly what YOU need, so do it and don’t feel guilty.
Know that you can share the love – while you might be muttering under your breath having the neighbours children over to play, know that next time they can go to the neighbours’ house, giving you a break! This is truly how I survive those extraordinarily loud, scream-filled play dates!
Organise outings with people you like, this way your children get the play date with friends they want and you can hang out with an adult (or adults) that you can relate to. There is nothing worse than having play dates with people who you just cannot relate to. I’ve been there and done that and it discourages me from wanting to organise any further outings!
Most of all, be thankful you have extroverted children. Socially they are well adapt to handling life and won’t have to struggle as you may have. As exhausting as it is for me, I am eternally grateful that my children won’t have to suffer debilitating shyness as I did growing up.
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