Ten Tips for Parenting an Introverted Child

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quiet children Ten Tips for Parenting an Introverted Child

1. Don’t just accept your child for who she is; treasure her for who she is. Introverted children are often kind, thoughtful, focused, and very interesting company, as long as they’re in settings that work for them.

2. Introverted kids usually have the capacity to develop great passions. Cultivate these enthusiasms. Intense engagement in an activity is a proven route to happiness and well-being, and a well-developed talent is a great source of confidence. Traditional childhood activities like soccer and piano may work well for some kids, but don’t forget to look off the beaten path. For example, Writopia Labs is a New York City-based creative writing program that has created a fantastic community for cerebral kids. I’ve written about Writopia here.

3. If you’re an introvert who feels ashamed of your own personality traits, this is a good time to seek therapy or another form of counseling. Do it for your child if not for yourself. He will pick up on your own poor self-image, and also its inevitable projections on to him. If you can’t afford the time or money for therapy, here’s a simple way to change how you feel about yourself: consider that the things you dislike in yourself are usually a package deal with the things you like best. For example, Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person and herself an introvert, says that her husband has always seen her as creative, intuitive, and a deep thinker. Aron had been aware of these traits, but says she used to see them merely as “acceptable surface manifestations of a terrible, hidden flaw I had been aware of all my life.” It took her years to understand that the sensitive introvert and the deep thinker were one and the same person.

4. If you’re an introvert, try not to project your own history onto your child. Your introversion may have caused you pain when you were younger. Don’t assume that this will will be the case for your child, or that she won’t be able to handle the occasional sling or arrow. She can handle it, and she can thrive. The best thing you can do for her is take joy in her wonderful qualities, have confidence that those qualities will carry her far, and teach her the skills she needs to handle the challenging aspects of her nature. Such as:

5. If your child is reluctant to try new things or meet new people, the key is gradual exposure. Don’t let him opt out, but do respect his limits, even when they seem extreme. Inch together toward the thing he’s wary of. If it’s the ocean waves, for, example, approach at his own pace. Let him know that his feelings are normal and natural, but also that there’s nothing to be afraid of. When he takes social risks, let him know that you admire his efforts: “I saw you go up to those new kids yesterday. I know that can be difficult, and I’m proud of you.” Point out to him when he ends up enjoying things he thought he wouldn’t like or that he was initially scared of. Eventually he will learn to self-regulate his feelings of wariness.

6. If your child is shy, don’t let her hear you call her by that label. She’ll start to experience her nervousness as a fixed trait rather than as an emotion she can learn to control. She also knows full well that “shy” is a stigmatized word in our society. When others call her shy in front of her (which they will), reframe it lightly. “Sophie is great at sussing out new situations.”

7. Get to social events, like birthday parties, early. Let your child feel as if others are joining him in a space that he “owns,” rather than having to break into a preexisting group. Similarly, if he’s nervous before school starts, bring him to see his classroom, meet his teacher, figure out where the bathroom is, and so on.

8. Teach her to stand up for herself. It’s best to start young, if you can. If she looks distressed when another child takes her toy, take her aside afterwards and teach her to say “stop” in her loudest voice. Practice saying – shouting – STOP. Make it a game. Be light about it, while letting her know that you understand her feelings.

9. If you have an “orchid child,” you are very lucky: If your child is “highly sensitive” – the term for kids who are sensitive to lights, sounds, emotional experiences, and/or new situations — then he probably fits into a category of children known as “orchid” children. This term derives from a groundbreaking new theory captivating the attention of research psychologists. It holds that many children are like dandelions, able to thrive in just about any environment. But others, including highly sensitive kids, are more like orchids. They wilt easily, but if they have good childhoods they can actually do better than dandelion children. They’re often healthier, have better grades, enjoy stronger relationships, and so on. If you want to know more about orchid kids, I’ve written about the subject here and science writer David Dobbs is publishing a book about it in a year. In the meantime, you should know that one leading orchid theory researcher, Jay Belsky of the University of London, explained to me that the parents of orchid kids are very lucky because “the time and effort they invest will actually make a difference. Instead of seeng these kids as vulnerable to adversity, parents should see them as malleable – for worse, but also for better.”

10. Respect your child’s desire for time and space to play alone.

I would love to hear your thoughts on these tips.

(This post is re-printed from a guest post I did for Adam McHugh’s blog, The Introverted Church.)


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48 Comments

  1. Tamara on 09.06.2011 at 23:12 (Reply)

    I just recently read an article about change and it really stuck with me. The author provided an example of his shy 3-year old child who hid her face when meeting new people. Her father gave her a scripted “out”. Basically, he worked with her to help find something to say that would make her feel more comfortable in these situations. It turned out it was as simple as allowing her to turn her face down, and then point to the floral (or whatever) print on her shirt and say “look at the pretty flower”. So simple yet so amazing!

  2. SG on 10.06.2011 at 12:50 (Reply)

    Oh how I wish that my extroverted parents could have read this. They always made me seem odd because I wouldn’t rush into new situations like my siblings. They often expressed relief that at least I was an A student and loved to study. I’m glad I was able to make friends with a small group of introverts in school. They, and my third grade teacher, were lifesavers.

  3. Erin on 16.07.2011 at 08:47 (Reply)

    Oh how this resonates with me! My boy has been an “orchid child” ever since he was a baby. Most people in our social circle treat him as a boy who needs to overcome his shyness quickly so he can be like a “normal” kid. My heart has broken over and over again when people are standoffish or give him (us?) funny looks and unsolicited advice because he is so cautious and sensitive. He has a very long “warm up period” but develops strong bonds with one or two kids while absorbing so much about his surroundings it’s unreal. Thank you for this site and helping parents of introverted children have a voice. Our kids are normal. Shyness is not a disorder. Our introverted children have so much to offer and are a true blessing to us and the rest of the world.

  4. [...] you can click through to my blog to read five more tips for parenting introverted kids. Do you have an introverted child or know someone who does? Please let me know if you find these [...]

  5. Claire on 02.12.2011 at 03:22 (Reply)

    Very interesting and helpful tips thank you.

    My child doesn’t speak in school, she has never spoken to a teacher. She participates using non-verbal communication, and one year ago just before her 9th birthday she spoke to her best friend for the first time. Since then she has started speaking to the other children in her class and the last rung on the ladder will be to speak to a teacher.

    She is a wonderful child with an amazing view of the world, an observer and very creative, someting I nourish, encourage and am amazed by, she can exress something visually that I struggle to express with words. She is very sensitive and this is often interpreted as being shy, but she isn’t shy as those she warms to know and discover. She is such a gift and I see her developing in a positive way even if it is not exactly as society or the school system expects.

  6. sonata on 26.03.2012 at 02:21 (Reply)

    I can’t agree about the use of the term “shy.” The only way to destigmatize it is to use it. My daughter was kind of shy, then very shy, and I didn’t think it was a negative trait, though surely inconvenient. As a young adult now, she freely describes herself as shy, and as a mostly introvert, and quite sensitive, and there is nothing wrong with her self regard, which I think is a prerequisite to standing up for oneself, not training.

    1. Betsy Davenport, PhD on 29.10.2012 at 14:32 (Reply)

      I completely agree with you! I never figured Shy to be a negative. When my daughter was very young, and did not wish to meet others’ gaze or was unable to speak immediately to people she did not know, I simply informed the person that she was Shy. More than a few times, someone gasped, or admonished me not to call her that. Good lord, her eyes are brown, her hair is curly and she is shy.

      If we do not use the word, the temperament trait of shyness will continue to go unrecognized, underground and something to be ashamed of. There is no shame in shyness! There should be shame in people trying to jolly a child out of shyness, for that is the worst kind of insult to a child’s nature.

      I am an adult and I am shy. So what? It has never bothered me, but it does seem to bother some others. The same with introversion, which is another trait I have. So what? It has never bothered ME to be introverted, and if it bothers others, well, that is more or less their problem, isn’t it?

    2. Betsy Davenport, PhD on 29.10.2012 at 14:34 (Reply)

      And I agree with you about training. A child with enough self respect, enough positive self regard, needs no training in standing up for her/himself. We only have to train skills into people who haven’t developed the internal capacities that lead naturally to taking care of oneself emotionally.

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  8. Liza on 11.06.2012 at 09:43 (Reply)

    I am an introverted mother of an introverted daughter. These tips are all very helpful, particularly the one about getting places early. This one is something that I wish I had realized much earlier for the sake of both of my children. We are working on my daughter recognizing when she needs time alone to recharge, but this can often be awkward with friends who likely do not understand. Any suggestions to ask for space and time alone without hurting feelings and/or coming off as just unfriendly? I loved your book, Susan. Thank you!

  9. [...] in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. And here is a post Susan wrote on Ten Tips for Parenting an Introverted Child  as well as her awesome (and daring–for an introvert) TED talk based on her [...]

  10. Rachael on 14.08.2012 at 02:57 (Reply)

    I have shed so many tears since finding your writing. I ordered your book and it should arrive soon. I am married to an introvert. Our daughter – who is four and a half is an introvert. And from the age of One – I have found myself worrying, loosing sleep, making excuses for her – but reading what you write about how to raise an introverted child – and how to celebrate them – I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted of my shoulder. I had no idea it was ok for her to be this way. I thought I had cuddled her too much as a baby – I thought maybe I shouldnt have breast fed her for so long – I thought maybe I should have made her play in the big groups at play groups – I worried all the time. I have spent far too long worrying that it was something I had done wrong. I feel as though I have such alot of catching up to do to just celebrate who she is. To stop worrying. Thank you.

  11. [...] 27. Ten Tips for Parenting an Introverted Child by Susan Cain at The Power of Introverts. Learn how introverted children are special and how to cultivate their passions. Twitter; Facebook Page [...]

  12. [...] are 2 interesting posts from Susan Cairn’s blog on introverted kids: Ten Tips for Parenting an Introverted Child What do Teachers really think of Quiet Children And here’s a Ted talk about her work. [...]

  13. Erry Lilley on 14.10.2012 at 04:25 (Reply)

    I loved reading this, and it helps me reflect on my feelings and personality traits as well as my wonderful daughter’s. I am not sure if she is quite an orchid child, edging towards it I think though. She has become more and more sensitive to noise and doesn’t respond well to hectic or over stimulating scenarios. She has often seemed ‘shy’, a term which I have been guilty of using, as if I need to make some kind of “excuse” for her not diving straight in to things or chatting. Of course I don’t need to make an excuse, but I guess i have felt that way for myself too. It takes a while for her to ‘warm up’ or settle in to something, she likes the support of me there with her. She makes good friends with a small number of children that she feels some connection with and she really remembers encounters, surroundings and tiny details that just astound me! When she likes someone, she really likes them. She is extremely firm in her own wants/ways. Thanks for the tips on helping to guide her and support her in her journey to becoming a fabulous person!!

  14. [...] Ten Tips for Parenting an Introverted Child, by the same author, is also useful, inspiring, and thought-provoking. [...]

  15. Hank on 26.10.2012 at 20:06 (Reply)

    I’m supposedly split between extro and intro (according to myers-briggs and other tests), but I often want to spend long periods alone. I’ve never had trouble making friends and chatting up new people, and I feel very comfortable socially in school in general. The only times I ever feel like a misunderstood introvert are at home. I feel like my mother expects unrealistic things from our “relationship”. Isn’t it enough that I have good friends, make good grades, and don’t do drugs?

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  17. j.w.w. on 01.11.2012 at 16:12 (Reply)

    My two-year-old seems to cope and thrive better with the use of the strategies suggested on this site, but since I’m not entirely sure I can definitively classify him as an introvert at such a young age. For me, the ideal strategies for a kid like mine are strategies that (1) facilitate at least _some_ level of connection with others in a prosocial way; (2) without overextending his own boundaries; and (3) without forcing him to make a permanent change to his personality.

    I really appreciate the notion above about how shifting the timing of his interaction with others is not the same as complete avoidance, but I like even more Tamara’s suggestion about shifting the focus away from people to a clothing pattern — but doing it in a way that involves others to interact (e.g., “look”). Are there other suggestions like this in the book (or elsewhere)?

  18. j.w.w. on 01.11.2012 at 16:13 (Reply)

    My two-year-old seems to cope and thrive better with the use of the strategies suggested on this site, but I’m not entirely sure I can definitively classify him as an introvert at such a young age. For me, the ideal strategies for a kid like mine are strategies that (1) facilitate at least _some_ level of connection with others in a prosocial way; (2) without overextending his own boundaries; and (3) without forcing him to make a permanent change to his personality.

    I really appreciate the notion above about how shifting the timing of his interaction with others is not the same as complete avoidance, but I like even more Tamara’s suggestion about shifting the focus away from people to a clothing pattern — but doing it in a way that involves others to interact (e.g., “look”). Are there other suggestions like this in the book (or elsewhere)?

  19. Erika on 01.11.2012 at 22:57 (Reply)

    I wish my parents had this information when I was little. Especially my father who insisted that I was not shy, as if by denial he could change it. I’ve never minded the label of shy. I still say that I am shy, I’m slow to warm up to people, large groups make me nervous and I’m horrible at initiating conversations. But most wouldn’t know it because I’ve learned techniques to get around those issues.

    What I would really love though is an article about raising an extroverted child when you are an introvert. Both my boys seem to be extroverts and my husband and I are intorverts – it’s mentally exhasting!

  20. [...] of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking wrote an article with Ten Tips for Parenting an Introvert. While both of my kids certainly seem to fall on the extroverted side (the idea of quiet alone time [...]

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  22. Carrie on 12.11.2012 at 18:36 (Reply)

    I was a very shy child, but now as a grown up I’m somewhere in the middle of the extra/introverted continuum (at least, whenever I take a Myers/Briggs personality test I flip back and forth!).

    One thing I remind my introverted child of is that there is nothing wrong with her, but that people’s *perceptions* of her behavior may be off, and that they will judge her based on those impressions. It’s important for her to be aware of those. As a child people often thought I was snobbish when I was just shy. I don’t want anyone judging my introverted kids, so I teach them to speak to people and make eye contact, etc even though it’s a bit uncomfortable for them.

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  25. Lundie on 09.04.2013 at 17:33 (Reply)

    Wow! Love this. Was trying to find a way to explain how my 7yo boy could be shy, when he’s definitely not afraid to hold a conversation. I’m in the middle of reading your book (while nodding vigorously – as applied to myself) and it didn’t occur to me to look at it in my son’s life. It does explain a lot!

  26. EF on 21.04.2013 at 19:16 (Reply)

    This turned out longer than I intended. My apologies.

    I am a sophomore in high school and at fourteen am the youngest in my grade. I know nobody thinks they’re “normal,” but I’m quite sure I can say that I’m a fairly atypical kid. My favorite things (baroque music, the novels of Dumas) are usually thought of as boring by other teenagers (and, let’s face it, adults) who don’t take the time to understand them or even look at them. I am also a very strong introvert.
    I am okay with this. My friends are okay with this. (They’re largely quiet, smart introverts as well.) However, my family doesn’t seem to understand.
    I do not hate my family, nor do I mean to imply that they aren’t wonderfully supportive lovely people. They just always take it the wrong way when I tell them I’d rather read in my room than play a family board game or watch a family movie. They often tell me that I’m just a moody teenager, and that I should spend more time hanging out with my friends.
    I am no more “moody” than anyone else. I just prefer being alone to, well, anything. And my introvert friends feel the same way. It’s nice being together, but it’s just as nice being apart. I can’t seem to get this across to my family, however. I mean, my ninety-ninth-percentile PSAT scores weren’t enough? You want me to have a social life? (I gather that this is not something most parents want.) They interpret my dislike of large groups of more typical teenagers to mean that I’m standoffish, or that I think I’m better than other people.

    Anyway, what I suppose my point is, is there a way to apply these great rules for parents of older kids? Most of the other stuff I found on the Internet seemed to be awful ways to force your teenager into horribly uncomfortable social situations.

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  28. Charlene on 18.08.2013 at 16:09 (Reply)

    Check out this GREAT Ted vid on Introversion!
    http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

  29. Samantha Ueno on 18.08.2013 at 22:34 (Reply)

    Great article, you forgot a few things though….Don’t beat your child for not “speaking up”, don’t tell them they have a “horrible personality” or “no social skills” and constantly compare them to an extroverted sibling, look and act on any signs of depression or anxiety….and don’t try to say they have Asperger’s or ASD as some kind of excuse for all the mistakes you made as a parent.

  30. Parenting blogs in India on 21.08.2013 at 23:44 (Reply)

    I read some of your post and I learned a lot of knowledge from it. Thanks for posting such interesting articles.

  31. rebecca on 30.08.2013 at 15:10 (Reply)

    I can personally relate to this article. As of 3 years ago I learned I was an introvert and I’m now thinking an Orchid Child as well. Last year I read Marti Laney’s book, “The Introvert Advantage” and I have listened to your TED talk 3 times on the radio and internet. Having the new awareness of introversion is so very validating! I was born in the mid 50′s, schooled in the 60′s and 70′s. Home life and school life was emotionally painful. I was labeled , shy, sensitive, and angry. The clear message I got from my world was DEFECTIVE and I did not know how to fix it. Being pushed into situations and being told verbally and through facial and body language my behavior was inferior and disappointing was emotionally fatal. Even Easter egg hunts were painful and camp was horrifying, my dad just shook his head when I told him I didn’t like camp and said to me, “I don’t know what is the the matter with you, I loved camp”. Being honest with my feelings was disaster. I do not like crowds. I do get sensory overload. I do not like sports. I do need to have alone time to recharge, I get drained from the sensory input of a normal day. Thank you so much for this article. Yes, I would like more information on this topic. I was a preschool teacher for 26 years, my classroom was an introvert classroom and I did not even realize this until now!

  32. Liz Large on 01.09.2013 at 02:33 (Reply)

    Thank you for passing on your ideas to other people. I’ve never thought of myself as shy, which to me suggests withdrawn in every situation, but I am ‘reserved’, holding back usually until I’m comfortable with a situation or person.

    But I am definitely introverted. I struggle not to be overwhelmed with lots of stimuli, and I need time to process what I’ve seen/heard/learnt/felt. The information you have produced, even the comments here, are helping me to find a way to make the most of who I am in any situation. I do however see that it’s not all about the world needing to change to suit my characteristics but for me to be able to identify maybe that one thing that allows me to be me but still participate in an otherwise madly outgoing world.

  33. monique lepeu on 02.09.2013 at 20:29 (Reply)

    I am very concerned about my introverted, but not shy, 11 year old son. He’s incredibly slight & sweet, has many friends, and enjoys making new ones, but when in new situations he clams up and doesn’t participate in any conversation. It seem to take so long for him to formulate words into thoughts. At school, he rarely participates in class discussion, although the teacher encourages him. He’s at a new school this year, similar to his last school, having graduated from his previous very small kinder, gentler private school that nurtures introverts, but I’m concerned he doesn’t have an interest in working at getting good grades (grades were not issued at his last school) I’m trying to figure out where I’ve failed and how I can encourage him to be more vocal when he has friends over to visit. I know there must be roll=playing games we can attempt. Common questions come so easily for me (ie: how was your summer? where did you go? was it great? where there lots of people? so on and so forth. my son would never be able to come up with the most basic of conversation starters. how do I teach him these things? plus, I feel like it takes so long for a thought process to come to fruition from inception to vocalizing, he often forgets what he is going to say. We’ve had him tested often and everyone says he’s fine and tests average in intelligence. He doesn’t seem very “deep” to me, and I’m married to a man who has never expressed a single emotional thought or opinion to me, which can be very trying, but i’m an independent woman who doesn’t need a lot of chit chat. My main concern is my son. Any suggestions on how to get him to open up a bit more about his thoughts?

  34. Bano on 06.09.2013 at 13:41 (Reply)

    Hi I would consider my child “shy”. The tips are ok but what about confidence!!! I don’t care that my daughter is the last one and yes she is a deep thinker which everyone refers to day dreaming but I feel it’s my fault she is the way she is as sometimes is die to learnt behaviour. When I had her I suffered from PND. She was double jointed so I didn’t want to pick her up too much as I was worried as I may hurt her. She didn’t walk untill she was 2. I separated with
    My partner at this age. She is a small child. I feel responsible as I feel it’s experience that has made her a shy child outside the home. I gave up work as I felt she needs extra attention as she would get anxious if I could pick her up and drop her off at school. I put her in swimming class and music group as she shows interested in these areas but making friends is an issue as she can if the kids approach her but going to a new school I don’t want it to take 6 months as it’s upsetting when she tell me no-one plays with her as she obviously wants it. I am going to try and make friends with other mums and arrange playdate at my home. I drone want her growing up with low self esteem !!!!!! How can I make her confident?

  35. Shivani on 09.09.2013 at 21:08 (Reply)

    Hi,
    I have a query. My 5 year old is an introvert but not shy. It takes me lot of effort to take him to any place. I have tried to take him to lots of extra curricular activities but he resists, ex., soccer, swimming(he loves it though), music etc. Yesterday one of his classmates mother invited us for lunch. There my son wanted to play along with his classmate and specially with one of his toy, but his classmate just didn’t let him. I asked his classmate if he is your friend, he said no and that he doesn’t even want to be my son’s friend. I felt terrible. My son is not an aggressive kid. He likes to build things with his lego or do paintings. He is a very soft spoken and well behaved kid. I felt terrible yesterday. What do I do?

    1. Betsy Davenport, PhD on 21.09.2013 at 17:10 (Reply)

      What do you do? Ask your son at home how he feels when he is with that boy. If he doesn’t yet know the words for his feelings, ask him if he felt, sad, or glad, or mad, or afraid. (Those are the four main feelings.) Whatever he feels is the right feeling to have about it.

      If another person said that to me, I would conclude there is little point in pursuing the friendship. Many extroverts do not know what to make of introverts. When my daughter was 2, a babysitter said she was “different,” and she didn’t mean it as a compliment. My daughter spent a lot of time looking at books, and the babysitter wanted more interaction. She probably didn’t know what to do with herself while the child looked at books.

      If you accept your son and his ways, that will be the foundation for him accepting himself. There is nothing wrong with him. And, just about every child gets shunned by someone, sometime, growing up. It isn’t the end of the world. But if you equip him with a positive self concept, it will matter less.

      1. shivani on 23.09.2013 at 06:03 (Reply)

        Thanks Betsy for your reply. Most of the time he doesn’t care, it doesn’t affect him. The thing is, daily he comes home saying that someone said something for his dad or said bad things to him. Not that it troubles him, my son says this guy seems to have some problem in his brain that they say bad stuff…:-) My son has no friend at all in the school. So far he is happy in his own world of books, legos and drawings, this idea hardly troubles him. But what worries me is that he should not feel lonely anytime because of this.

        1. Betsy Davenport, PhD on 26.09.2013 at 17:11 (Reply)

          It is hard sometimes not to worry that children will suffer in some way, even when we can see they are not suffering, now. I expect he will say when he wants more friends, and then he may have some ideas of how and where to get together with other kids with similar interests and styles. It sounds like he is okay, and you don’t quite trust it.

  36. Simone on 20.09.2013 at 17:54 (Reply)

    Recently saw Headmistress about shy underachieving 10 year old – she recommended I read “Quiet”. Found this website. We are a family of introverts, except for 4 year old, who runs the household. When I took quiz for introvert, found my answers depended on time – when I was a child or now that I have learnt some techniques, and on antidepressant! I now speak out in public and later regret and worry about what I said. I don’t want to teach my child to copy me and be something she is not, and uncomfortable with, just to be successful as she grows up.

    1. Betsy Davenport, PhD on 21.09.2013 at 17:02 (Reply)

      You seem to be implying that an introvert can’t be successful. If nearly half the population in the US is introverted, then it can’t be so. The trick when it comes to children is that they be honored for who they are, and they will find their way to activities, interests and even success.

  37. Stardust1 (@Xime_Stardust) on 21.09.2013 at 10:01 (Reply)

    This made me remember when I was little. The world around pushed me to interact more, so I was always invited to birthday parties and all kind of festivities but my mom always, always alowed me to do my thing asking me if I wanted to do that. If we went to the party because it was for one of her friend’s child, she nevrr made me join the children if I didn’t like it and it always worked, when I felt like it was time for me to join, I did. The labels were always there but I never felt like it was wrong to be like that, because I knew that I was going to do my thing when I was ready whatever the world says is what they think, the people that love me and understand the person I am, have no problem with my personality and have all my love.

  38. Maria on 07.10.2013 at 16:22 (Reply)

    Hello,

    After reading Quiet the power of introverts about a year ago. I realized that my husband and I fall into the “definition”, although I am more outspoken than he is. I am 44 years old and even now my mom comments about how “different” I am. However, I have a 5 yo daughter. She attended a private pre-school when she was 3, at four we enrolled her in public preschool. I drove her to and from school and she would start crying in the car for no reason. We enrolled her back in the private pre-school, behavior back to normal. A month ago she started Kindergarten at a public school and luckily it is only half day, I take her to school and pick her up everyday so she doesn’t have to take the school bus. She gets this crying tantrums on most days, she cries and keeps asking to be hugged because she is tired and school is “too much” for her. She has her own room and a regular bedtime after bath and books. Needless to say our home is very quiet because we respect silence. Any ideas? Thanks.

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    listen news on TV, therefore I just use web for that purpose, and take the latest information.

  40. Cassie on 30.01.2014 at 13:40 (Reply)

    Thank you for the work you are doing. My mom is an introvert, as am I, as is my 3 year-old daughter. We just had our first pre-school teacher conference and we were told that she doesn’t do what “normal” 3 year-olds do, namely run around and fall on the ground (). She does do this at home, but she’s quite reserved in a crowd–she is a true observer–and has been from the beginning. I used to take her when she was a baby to a busy parents’ center, among other places, that she just didn’t want any part of so we stopped going. She takes a long time to warm up to most people, although she’s doing it faster the older (or more experienced) she gets. The parent-teacher conference has invigorated something in me. I am frustrated with extrovert being considered the “norm” and introvert being the deviant from the norm, as though it’s a disease that needs to be corrected. So thank you, thank you, for this quiet revolution. I am now on a mission to educate myself as much as possible to become a better advocate for my quiet, wonderful, beautiful, smart, shy girl.

  41. Renae Burke on 14.04.2014 at 07:06 (Reply)

    As my children are quiet as well, I found your story inspiring.
    Keep up the good work.
    All the best

  42. Evangel on 21.04.2014 at 15:37 (Reply)

    I’m not sure if ‘shutting down’ counted as introvert?when my middle child son was 2 he loves wiggles on his wiggles theme party he was Dancing shaking on stage and having a blast. When he was 4 he took his bible and went to neighbors house to share the gospel to the neighbor’s kid in Chinese even though he can’t speak very well. Then suddenly he is aware to the word ‘shy’ and hid himself behind us, refuse to greet adults, sudden drop of confident. He is also very persistent and determine, he button his own shirt at 2.5 yrs old refusing help. He can do thing all by himself quietly and for long hours. So can his temper tantrum, he just shut down, refuse to talk and can’t really get anything out of him.. For hours… He is also flexible never once complain when we make changes to routine… He is 5…he seems mostly introvert but.. Is he?? How to help him to speak up? Let him be for how long? He can stay sulky for VERY long time… I can see he is very powerful I need to help me to understand him.

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Quiet: The Book

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1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.

3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.

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