Austin is three years old and every single day he lights up the world around him. He’s adventurous and loving, kind and patient. He is funny and silly. He is everything I ever imagined he would be. I’m obviously biased, but I can tell you that this kid is going places.
Then the inevitable happens. He gets invited to a Birthday party. Sure we will go, he will have fun won’t he? We hop in the car to drive over and the whole way he talks about singing happy birthday, eating cake, playing with his friends. His excitement grows and grows till we swing open the door and then … crickets. He can’t get the words out. He won’t say happy birthday, he won’t play, and most importantly he won’t talk to his friends.
My child has become the one that is overwhelmed by the distraction around him, overwhelmed by the other kids, too nervous to talk and most importantly he has trouble making friends.
How can Austin be two incredibly different people and why is it so hard fo him to open up and be the adventurous person he is? This year it became more evident than ever that I have an introvert as a child and I am realizing that we need to teach him ways to foster relationships and to grow his personality. The problem is… I am also an introvert, I cringe at social situations, my palms sweat when speaking in front of large groups, I shake at the thought of having to go somewhere alone without my support. So how can I, a fellow introvert teach another to let go of fear?
I’m learning to let go of the anxiety that comes with being social and to let go of the need for every social setting to be comfortable. I am also 30 years old and I can’t wait another 27 years for my son to be comfortable. So this is my list of how to raise an introvert and how to foster their relationships without overstepping. That’s a big one, I will never beg other kids to play with mine or beg Austin to go be a part of a group, but what I can do is encourage him and give him the tools he needs to be successful. So if you are in the same boat as Austin or I and need some help with social situations check out our 8 tips on parenting an introverted child.