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For Parents: Tips for Parents from YS Seminars
, Social/Emotional Development: Peer Relations
, Social/Emotional Development: Social Values/Behavior
Davidson Institute for Talent Development
This Tips for Parents article is from a seminar hosted by Christine Fonseca, who provides information for parents of introverts to help even the most introverted among us find their voice and share their talents with the world.
Gifted Introverts are often very misunderstood, viewed as shy and aloof. Their special insight, innovative thinking and deep interests are not always viewed by the world as they struggle to advocate for themselves or connect with a largely introverted world. These tips for parents of introverts are designed to help even the most introverted among us find their voice and share their talents with the world:
- Start off on the right foot by making sure the child is practicing healthy habits that work to ensure a more balanced emotional state of mind. Such habits include the following:
- Get plenty of rest. For most introverts, this means 8-10 hours nightly
- Eating well balanced meals. Introverts function best with many small, protein-rich meals throughout the day.
- Find time to exercise and relax every day. Don’t push group activities on the introvert, but do encourage physical movement throughout the day. Most introverts live in their head most of the time. Getting movement will ensure better balance.
- Remember to play. Laughter is good for the soul. This is especially true for the introvert who will often take life too seriously.
- Teach the child to discern between the things within his control versus those things outside of his control. The Hula Hoop technique can help:
- Imagine there is a hula hoop on the ground and step into it
- Everything outside of the hula hoop you have NO control over
- Everything inside of the hula hoop you have 100% control over
- The next time you are angry or upset think about the hula hoop. Is this something you have control over, something you can change? If so, make the needed changes. If not, let it go. There is little you can do anyway.
- Help your child deal with their intensities. Here are a few specific strategies to help:
- Teach the child that his feelings are a normal part of his/her personality.
- Build activity into the day.
- Teach relaxation techniques.
- Allow for creative thinking and creative outlets.
- Teach your child the art of conversation and practice it everywhere. Here are a few things to keep in mind when learning how to converse with almost everyone:
- Use short sentences
- Ask one question. Say one thing. Repeat
- Practice really does make perfect.
- Challenge your child to strike up one new conversation a day. This can be anywhere – at the grocery store, on the ball field. Anywhere.
- Watch and coach your child as he/she masters these skills.
- Teach your child to control his/her inner chatter. Most introverts spend too much time self-analyzing their day. Teaching them the art of letting things go will not only help them function in an extroverted world, it will also give them a greater sense of peace.
- Teach your children about their introversion. Make them aware of their unique needs and how to prepare for things. For example, if you are planning a day at Disneyland, work through the day with your introvert. Help him/her prepare in advance for the day – how will he/she renew during the day? Does he/she need headphones, extra healthy snacks, water? Will there be opportunities for down-time? How will this be achieved. With good planning, introverts will be more than able to handle the exhausting world of the extrovert.
- Finally, teach your introverted child the following tips. Review them as often as possible:
- Accept yourself and others as you are.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- It’s OK to speak up for yourself .
- Learn to quiet the mental chatter.
- Balance social time and quiet time.
- Social Media can help provide a social outlet with less energy drain.
These strategies will help you as you prepare your introverted child for the larger world.
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
The appearance of any information in the Davidson Institute's Database does not imply an endorsement by, or any affiliation with, the Davidson Institute. All information presented is for informational purposes only and is solely the opinion of and the responsibility of the author. Although reasonable effort is made to present accurate information, the Davidson Institute makes no guarantees of any kind, including as to accuracy or completeness. Use of such information is at the sole risk of the reader.