Introverted children may enjoy playing on their own more and might not be that willing to participate in groups or open to other children. However, this does not mean that they would not be the best of friends when given the opportunity to overcome their shyness. Parents can be the ones who can create these important opportunities in their child’s life as long as they realize that introversion is not something strange and distant but instead, nothing more than a personality trait that does not have to limit the child in any way.
Things parents can do to help their introverted children become more open for friendships:
Surround your child with other kids
As long as you approach this subject calmly and without any implied pressure on your kids, they will not find it that troublesome that you want to take them out in the community or enrol them in extracurricular activities. Even if they start out shy and immersed in their own world, being around other children will slowly but surely result in new acquaintances and after some time friendships can blossom. The key factor here is not to forcefully try to make the child talk and hang out with other children but leaving him/her to get used to the situation of spending time in a group until they are ready to socialize and talk. They need to break this barrier themselves and with constant opportunity to be around others they are bound to eventually find someone who will share similar interests or seem approachable and easy to talk to.
Spend time with your kid and talk
Introverted children find more comfort in the company of their parents than kids who are extroverted and that is why you need to take this fact as a perfect opportunity to instill some great moral values in your child. While you play games and watch TV together, casually talk about importance of being kind to others and the rewarding feeling of helping someone in need. Introverted children pay even more attention to their parents’ words and will definitely find a lot of pleasure in trying to meet their parents’ expectations. Moreover, use your time together to ask for information on their daily activities in school with special but discrete attention on their communication with other kids. This will encourage children to talk more with others of the same age so that they can share their experience with you more.
Encourage your child’s hobbies
Pay attention to your child’s interests and hobbies and try to encourage them in whatever they like doing. Introverted kids sometimes need some extra support in order to feel completely secure with their choices. Getting better and better at a certain activity or hobby will only increase the child’s self-value, thus creating the opportunity to share their knowledge with others and even receiving compliments at school. Furthermore, taking your child to competitions and classes where they can spend their time doing what they love with other kids who feel the same towards the particular activity will definitely be a great start for forming some new friendships.
Organize themed parties
When organizing a birthday party take the role of inviting other kids and organizing everything upon yourself. Talk to the parents of other children so that they know what the theme of the party is. You will be able to dictate the tone of the party better and create the opportunity for your child to be the star of the day if you stick to a certain theme. For example, if your child is good at a certain sport organize a fun and engaging sports party where your child will be able to stand out. Children enjoy physical activity, and sport requires participation of many kids which will prove to be a great way for your kid to socialize as well as feel special with his/her abilities to shine in a particular sport.
Your child’s introversion is nothing to be afraid of. It is simply important to treat your kid normally like a young person with specific wishes, interests and problems. When kids themselves realize that their difficulty to open to others is something that actually many people experience but also manage to overcome with meaningful and deep relationships they are bound to find a friend who will understand them and be there for them because they will not seek anything superficial but always opt for a strong connection of heart and mind.
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About Tracey Clayton
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in her parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”