As B has gotten older and really developed individuality, it’s become harder for me to understand entirely how he works. He’s a really outgoing kid, and that I am not. I’m very introverted, I’m happiest if I never have to be around other people, and I have social anxiety over being around other people in many situations. I’ve always been this way; when I was a kid I preferred to play off alone by myself.
B, on the other hand, is very extroverted. I do not understand! It’s been a struggle with him and how he follows me everywhere, won’t ever play in a room or outside by himself, talks constantly, and needs constant interaction. I’ve forced him to play by himself and have kept up with his conversations as much as I’m able (sometimes there comes a point though where I just have to tell him no more questions, I need a break!) It’s rough though because when we go out and about, he’s happy. Then we come home and I’m exhausted from being out and about and want it to be quiet and full of nothing, but then he gets all wanting to do stuff and cranky. It has never crossed my mind that he’s the opposite–being home doing nothing exhausts and bores him.
There’s all kinds of junk I see on Pinterest about how to understand and parent your introverted kid, which obviously assumes the parent is extroverted. But I never see anything about how to parent an extroverted kid when you’re an introvert! Then finally I read this little article about just that, and that’s where I realized that B needs to be out doing things to recharge. I don’t get it at all, but apparently that’s how extroverts work and so I’m going to keep that in mind so that he can be happier. Which will make us all happier!
I just hope that M turns out to be introverted and will go off and play happily on her own. And maybe even play quietly?! Can’t fathom a world with a kid like that, but I can hope for now!