Parenting an Introverted Tween

If your child is an introvert, here's what to do

Accept your introverted child for who she is. Kevin Dodge/Blend Images/Getty Images

The tween years are a period of transition for you and your child and getting through the next few years will test your parenting skills. If your child is introverted you'll want to make sure you parent your child the way he or she should be parented. When considering how to parent an introverted tween, be sure to consider the tips below. They will help you know when to leave an introverted child alone, and when to intervene, if necessary.

How to Parent an Introverted Tween

Give Him Space: Introverts need time alone to recharge and regroup. Allow your child some time alone everyday so that he gets what he needs to be successful at school and socially. Your child may enjoy time alone in his room to read or play video games, or he may prefer time alone outside running or skateboarding. If your give your introverted tween a little alone time, he will be better prepared to deal with the challenges posed by puberty, middle school, and growing up.

Accept Her as She Is: Introverts are born, not made. Refrain from trying to turn your introverted tween into somebody she's not. If your child doesn't want a huge birthday party, but would prefer a small gathering with friends, be understanding. Extroverted parents may feel disappointed that their child isn't as social as they are, but be sure your tween knows how proud you are of her.

Don't Compare Your Tween to Friends or Siblings: Your child's introversion can often be mistaken for aloofness or anti-social behavior.

That's not the case. Don't make your child feel bad about who she is by comparing her to outgoing or extroverted friends or siblings. Instead, praise the qualities your tween possesses. You could point out that she's a good friend to others, that she keeps her friend's secrets, and that people like her.

She may not be the life of the party, but that's OK. 

Encourage Interests: Introverts can be very creative and passionate people. Allow your child to explore his interests sot hat he can find an outlet to express himself. Your tween may appreciate art lessons, or your child might want to join a sports team or even try out for a school play or the school band. Encourage your child's interests and be sure to take a part in them, when possible. 

Don't Make Social Situations Worse: Social situations aren't always fun for introverted children. Your child may shy away from large crowds or groups where he doesn't know everyone. Help your tween by seeking social situations within his comfort zone. Your child may prefer gatherings at your home, or he may not choose to leave a party after only a few hours. You can also help by making sure your child shows up to an event early, so that he has time to adjust before everyone else gets there. 

Help Foster Self Confidence: Introverts can be taken advantage of and even teacher may overlook them in the classroom.

Be sure your tween knows how to speak up, and defend himself should he need to. An introverted child doesn't have to be the center of attention, but with proper parenting you can help your tween advocate for himself and make the most of the middle school years

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