Having an introverted child can be frustrating at times. You fear stressing them out, but you don’t want them to miss out on the fun activities more outgoing kids might be engaged in. Don’t worry…it’s not impossible to see your quiet kid get involved.
Gauge Their Interests
What does your child enjoy doing? Is it singing? Look for a music class or children’s choir. Do they like reading? Maybe your library has a book club for kids the same age. Choosing something outside the home for your introvert to be involved in will go much smoother if it falls along their line of interests.
Choose an activity that involves a small group of people. A smaller group usually means less chaos, making it less likely for your introvert to become overwhelmed. Scouting might be a good option as the dens or troops are usually limited to a smaller number of children. The participants usually stay together as they move-up over the years allowing for some comforting regularity, which can help introverts thrive in new environments.
Don’t feel the need to sign up for an activity blindly. Dropping your introvert off for dance lessons in an unfamiliar location with a bunch of strangers is almost never going to be met with good results. Ask activity leaders if you can simply observe first. Sit off to the side and allow your child to take in the scenery and people-watch a bit. Don’t be scared to observe a couple dance classes or soccer practices before making the decision to sign up. Maybe after a bit of observation your child will be ready to join in the fun.
Sign Up With a Friend
When starting a new activity see what your children’s friends are involved in. If your child seems interested in the same activities, arrange to sign them up together. Playing on the same sports team with someone they already know can lessen anxieties about being in new situations.
Let Your Child Lead
Pay attention to your child’s cues. You will know when they are ready to stop observing and start interacting. Every child is different. Allowing kids the time they need to really feel confident enough to go outside of their comfort zone can help make the experience a positive and rewarding one.
Once they make the leap into something new, be sure to reinforce their self-esteem. It’s wonderful to tell them how proud you are of them, but don’t forget to ask them how they feel about themselves. Use language like “How did it make you feel when you got involved today?" Reminding them about their positive experiences now can help keep anxiety about future activities at bay.
Getting your introvert involved might not be an easy task, but we assure you patience and confidence in your child will pay off. Do you have any experiences getting your introvert involved in new activities? Share about it in our comments section.
Photo Credit: Little Miss Eclectic Photography