As children grow, their personalities come out. Some may be those that only speak when spoken to, while others may be chatterboxes that enjoy expounding about their thoughts and feelings.
If a child is the latter, he or she may be an extrovert. Extroverts are defined as outgoing or overtly expressive, thriving in situations with a lot of people. If your child is an extrovert, here are some tips for helping raise this socially confident and warm individual.
Traits of an Extroverted Child
- Has a lot of friends
- Talkative, tends to act before thinking
- Feels inhibited when left alone
- Likes group work and collaborative activities
- Gets inspired by others, external sources
Let Him or Her Speak and Share
Extroverts are chatterboxes and may talk a lot in order to think through problems. Let them do this, as they feel energized upon releasing their feelings and thoughts. But when it comes to conversations between two or more people, for example at the dinner table, make sure they don’t always dominate the conversation, allowing for many to share ideas instead of just one. This teaches the child patience and also may give introverts a chance to speak.
Encourage Them to Put Their Words Elsewhere
Raising an extroverted child can sometimes be frustrating for parents and guardians who just want some quiet time. When this happens, invite students to write or record their ideas down. A tape recorder can also be a fun gift, allowing them to play “radio show,” putting down their thoughts into a listenable format (it also serves as a great memento from their childhood). Also, if parents just need a break from all of the chatter, they can tell the children they need to pause for a little, but want to pick up with the story in just a bit.
Make Sure He or She Doesn’t Overdo It
Extroverts want to do a lot, since they often have interests in a variety of areas. But even they need a break from time to time. If they don’t have an activity scheduled, plan a quiet activity for them, like listening to music, reading, or coloring. This can help them learn that being alone from time to time is OK, too. On the other hand, don’t put restrictions on how they do alone time. If they prefer jumping up and down on a trampoline to get out energy or acting out scenes with their Barbies, let them do it. They don’t necessarily need to be quiet when they are alone.
Give Them Your Full Attention
While this piece of advice should be applied to any kind of child, extroverted or otherwise, you may have to give some extra attention to gregarious children since they flourish based on personal connections. Be a good listening ear to them, giving them affirmations as they speak (“I see,” “Keep going”). Often they need to verbally release their problems in order to come to a conclusion.
The Bottom Line
One piece of advice can be applied to both extroverted and introverted children: Let them be them. Accepting your children for who they are is the best way to support their development, no matter what kind of personality type they are.