MBTI : PARENTING Your ‘I’ Child – DOs & Don’ts

PREVIOUS: Growth #3

SITEs : How to Raise an Introverted Child” 

• “So Your Child is an Introvert”

15 ways to better parent your Introvert

Mistakes parents make with an introvert child


to DO: Some time each day should be set aside for the child to not have to deal with anyone else or have to interact at all.
They don’t like small talk (especially with strangers). This isn’t shyness.
It means they:
1) want to skip meaningless chit-chat & stick to the important stuff
2) like to form a safe connection first – to trust that they’ll be listen to, understood, & be taken seriously. This cautiousness is too often mis-interpreted – but is only appropriate shyness if the adults aren’t safe

DON’T: Insist that the child has talk as soon as you notice a problem or stressful situation. They won’t be able to clarify their thoughts until they’ve had time to sort thru what’s bothering them, maybe during a quiet car ride, or an hour climbing trees. Only then is it OK to ask something like – “How was your day at school?”

to DO: If you want your child to form a valuable connection with anyone new, start by being their ‘bridge’ instead of pushing them together & expecting things to take off ‘naturally’. That only works with Es, & even then not always. Then if the child feels safe, they’ll be more willing to connect, if allowed time & space
DON’T: Announce your I child as being shy (a form of shaming), or make them ‘perform’ chit-chat, which would be fake & create stress

• Because they process thoughts & emotions internally, it can be hard for parents to know what their I is feeling. Is take in stimuli, hold them & toss them around for a while to decide what they think, how they feel & want to respond. When too much emotional turmoil builds up, & the child feels flooded, it can erupt as a ‘random’ or mis-directed outburst

• Comparing: the E child takes in stimuli, turning the energy right back out at the world. A disagreement with a friend? Loud angry words go ‘right back at’cha’. An exciting ride at the fair? Boisterous chatter, laughter, shouting. Enjoying a great movie? Exited reactions & commentary throughout. NOT like an I.

to DO: Make the effort to learn what your child is thinking & feeling. To help them communicate – when they’re ready – give them outlets like journaling, art projects or lots of time for free play with stories, imaginary characters or toys (pounding nails into a block of wood…). It’s also important to give them several possible words to choose from.

DON’T: Assume that because they’re is not having an outburst that they’re “fine.”! Tantrums are simply the last straw for an I. If that does happen, be totally accepting & available to listen thoughtfully. If they’re having trouble finding words, see if they’ll draw what’s going on, show it with dolls, toy soldiers, or make up a song, a rhyme…..

• They prefer single play dates to play groups, which is a balance against their need to be alone. One-on-one encounters allow kids to get to know each other more easily, & more deeply, which Is crave. This is generally true for most children, but imperative for inner-oriented ones.

to DO: Help your I child develop a few close friendships rather than a variety of ‘light’ ones. Keep birthday parties small & intimate.
DON’T: Equate happiness with being a social butterfly. The more people they have to deal with, the thinner they have to spread themselves. That makes it harder to enjoy time with others, or to process it all.

• They enjoy activities that let their minds wander. Any opportunity to think, pretend, get creative, solve problems, day-dream or otherwise stay in their head is welcome & beneficial. Great introvert activities:
— biking, climbing trees, fishing, gardening, hiking, jumping rope, learning an instrument, on a swing, painting, play dough, puzzles, construction, playing catch, reading, skating, sketching, swimming, writing….

to DO: Support & encourage your child’s natural interests. Notice anything they want to do or know about – if it’s safe & healthy!
DON’T: Force them to participate in group activities you think will ‘improve’ social skills or teamwork. While sports do have a lot of value, not participating isn’t a negative. There are many other ways for children to assert talents, learn new skills, & develop strengths.

3 MBTI MOMS – & their gemstones)

NEXT: Introvert child

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