Childhood Introversion: Disorder Or Behavioral Trait?

While parents often dream and fantasize about the personality, talent and characteristics of their children, they often build wonderful expectations for their children which is completely at odds with their natural traits.

This is most prevalent in children who have an introverted nature.

Because society tends to cater to the majority, who are extroverts, parents often get concerned when their child leans towards introversion. The truth is there’s nothing wrong with a child who is an introvert.

Because only 10-30 percent of the population starts out as introverted children, their self-image is often damaged because the other 70 percent of extroverts do not understand them.

Introversion is an ordinary behavioral feature characterized by an aversion to mingling with others, going to parties, new places, or getting involved in new things. In essence, it is a preoccupation with one’s self-thoughts and beliefs.

In general, introverted children stay away from lights, noise, motion and people. As a parent, it is your duty to learn more about the nature of introverted children and help them develop a good understanding of themselves and a positive sense of self.

The following characteristics will help you identify whether your child is introverted:

1. Introverted children are often considered aloof and treated as hesitant or shy. They always engage in their own interior world and love to read and learn. They mix with only a few friends and are content with one or two close, true friends.

They are good listeners and creative problem solvers, but simply get overwhelmed with over-stimulation. They dislike group activities and small talk. They prefer not to reveal things, unless it is important.

2. They tend to display the following behavior:

Lack of communication Introverts love spending their time alone. They spend only limited time in playing or communicating with other children.

Avoidance – Introverts tend to diverge from people, noise, lights, etc. Intense staring – Introvert children have a tendency to gaze strongly at strange personalities.

Territoriality – Introvert children generally dislike people interfering with their interior world or their belongings.

The main thing to remember is that introversion is not a disorder to be treated. It is simply a behavioral trait and requires patience, love and understanding if you battle to deal with it. Here are a few parenting guidelines to help you understand introversion:

  • As introverts are territorial, provide them with peace, silence and privacy in order to recharge their batteries.
  • Identify the likes, dislikes of introverted children and encourage them in their activities.
  • Introverted children often find their energy sapped by others while interacting with them in groups or social activities. As a result, introverts can feel weakened by too much of social interaction without the reward of recharging space. As a parent, you should understand this need and provide him/her with down time and a private room where s/he can refresh her mind and spirit.
  • Introverts are shy and don’t mingle easily with new people. They need time to prepare and avoid the possibility of public embarrassment. By encouraging your children to get involved in public engagements, like family parties, informal get-togethers and weddings, they will learn necessary formalities like shaking hands and interacting with others. Teach your child a few appropriate phrases and rehearse them.

The bottom line: as a parent, never expect your children to be something that they are not! Remember that introverted children can manage everything with a little support and encouragement.

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