15 thoughts on “15 Mistakes Parents Make with an Introverted Child

  • May 21, 2016 at 9:53 am

    What has parenting introverted kids to do with parenting anxious kids? Nothing . That’s another thing to avoid : confusing introversion with anxiety.

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    • May 21, 2016 at 11:26 am

      Even though the blog is called Parenting Anxious Kids – it will cover various parenting topics – with special love and attention to anxious kiddos most of the time.

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    • May 21, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      I found the article very appropriate as parents are not sensitive to the needs of their children it causes great anxiety

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  • May 5, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    My sons teacher called me today to tell me my child, who refuses to talk to anybody outside of the family (where he is quite talkative and even funny), was passively defiant. She says that because my son will stare at her when asked questions, and per her word will not put in enough effort in his school work. My child is actually ahead of his peers in Math (he is in the advanced math class), and even reading, although they just lowered him to another group, because he won’t participate enough and not show his actual potential. I feel they are labeling my child, which I think is just introverted and shy. Lately he doesnt even want to go to school anymore. I am trying to find a way to help him succeed. Can you recommend a different schooling situation?

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    • May 5, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      That’s very unfortunate and sad. I would ask to have a meeting with the administrators and the teacher. If there is a school counselor, that would be even better. I would let them know about your son’s introverted nature and ask them how they can help him be the best version of himself, without incorrectly labeling his behavior. Hopefully with some advocating you can make some progress. Sometimes it isn’t the school, but the teacher who is the issue.

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    • May 11, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      We have similar problem with our daughter. School sends out a fortnightly report on student input and involvement, which is consistently low as she doesn’t talk much or get involved in the many group activities that run in class. I no longer show her the report but teachers often don’t seem to understand that anxiety is ongoing. They seem to think you can “get over it”.

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      • June 12, 2017 at 4:24 pm

        I totally get what you are saying. My introverted daughter’s teachers rarely understood her. Teachers and parents tend to want all kids to be social but some are just wired differently, I am – people drain me and they drain my daughter and this has nothing to do with her scholastic abilities. After 7 years of public school, we started homeschooling and joined a local cooperative that supports kids’ differences instead of trying to mold them into something they aren’t.

        what was really bad in late elementary and middle school, the kids all took a test to determine their best jobs. My daughter was so upset to see things like crane operator and garbage man. Recently, I learned these are jobs recommended for introverts! The extroverts got all of the cool careers. I thought that was really sad – to lower kids expectations of their abilities.

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    • April 25, 2018 at 5:54 am

      I could have written this about my son. I’ve also had phone calls as my son want responding to anyone. He often has “shut down” moments. He has his moments, but he’s usually fine with family and his friends, but anyone new, or teachers etc. He’ll clam up. He’s very bright but doesn’t show it with his work. It used to really worry me, but I’ve realised, that’s just him. Unfortunately, others don’t tend to understand and get very frustrated.

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    • June 17, 2018 at 4:09 am

      Teachers think introverts need to be fixed. They force engagement the child does not want or need. A favorite tactic with gifted introverts is to assign them to “help” slower children. Introverts hate this because they aren’t interested in teaching others, the slower kids resent it, and the teacher gets put out when nobody wants to cooperate.

      The kindest thing you can do is tell the teacher to get off your kid’s back. Assure her that your child has plenty of friends and you are not concerned about their social life, so please let this go. Teachers need to be told to accept introverts, not try to repair them. Tell the teacher you appreciate her intentions, but it is stressing your child, not helping.

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  • July 27, 2017 at 11:13 am

    We recently realized that our 7 year old son is an introvert. We have been having trouble understanding his behavior and struggling on how to give him the tools to cope with his emotions. He would come home from school and have multiple breakdowns and we had no idea what was triggering them. I would often “say the wrong thing” and he would get so upset. We have made several of the mistakes listed above. I started seeing a therapist due to my feelings of failure as a parent because it often felt like I could not make him happy no matter what I did. Once the therapist described what introversion was I knew right away that it described my son. Through her recommendations, and my husband and I doing our own research, we understand him so much better and have seen a wonderful change in him. My husband and I still have work to do to improve our parenting skills for an introverted child but he seems so much more relaxed, and so are we. I will also be speaking with his teacher at the start of the school year. Thank you Natasha! Your recommendations were hugely helpful!

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  • September 4, 2017 at 9:20 am

    I’m so very grateful to have found and read the comments from other parents in the comments section. I recently had my daughter’s kindergarten teacher e-mail me and state that when questioned, “…she refuses to answer. She will stand there and look down and not speak at all. I even gave her multiple choice answers and still nothing.” I believe that the teacher thinks she was being defiant not understanding that she is introverted and even more so in situations that she perceives as stressful, scary or if she thinks that she is in trouble. Then to add insult to injury, she stutters in these same types of situations…so if she answers it may take awhile for her to get her words out. So I’ve already planned to meet with her teacher in an attempt to get her to understand that my daughter is introverted before she is labeled as defiant, aloof, or having any type of learning disability.

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  • September 13, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    I have a 8 year old boy and a 6 yer old girl who are both introverted. They are very much like my husband and most of his family members. I myself am an outgoing talker who can befriend anyone easily. We took my son to a therapist before Kindergarten started and he taught my son some coping techniques for talking to people and making friends. He would get very nervous and not say anything. After about 5 sessions we were done and it must’ve worked because my son has made a great group of guy friends and seems to now speak to some adults that he feels comfortable with. A few years ago he even started saying good morning to teachers and his grandparents.
    Now I am worried about my daughter. She is sad and seems upset most days when she comes home from school. She was never as bad as my son. She would talk when people asked her questions and never seemed nervous around strangers or friends. Until recently!!!! She says that she doesn’t know what to say to friends and she doesn’t know how to make them like her. We live in a small rural community and I subbed in elementary the other day. I witnessed my daughter walking around at recess by herself and not playing with anyone. She has a few girl friends, but says she doesn’t think they like her anymore and couldn’t find them to play with them. It broke my heart. I don’t know how to help her. She is the smartest one in her class. Extremely athletic and pretty. She has so many talents, but I don’t know how to make her comfortable to talk to her friends.
    Please help! what can I do?

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    • October 6, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      Hi, Bri,
      I am an extrovert who raised an extroverted daughter and an introverted son. (My daughter actually caused me a lot more problems!). I was also a teacher. You said you took your son to a therapist before he started kindergarten- that seems like a great idea, and it obviously made a difference. I wonder if that would help your daughter now? Even a school counselor might have some helpful suggestions. Also, I wonder if your daughter chose a friend or two that you could have over for play dates after school. Perhaps that would help those children get to know your daughter better on her own turf or comfort zone. Also, because of the way introverts internalize and process their thoughts, perhaps she could write a story about how she feels after school (I know she would need assistance) or write some practice conversations that she could try out with friends (you could role play with her). Just a few ideas- I feel your pain. Best of luck.

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  • December 31, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    This is so spot on! I’m an adult child but I often still feel this way. After living away from home it pains me to return every time. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone.

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  • April 15, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Hi, My son is 6.5years old and he an introvert kid, never wants to go out of home, never talks to other kids in playarea. he would be playing alone within himself in a class of 20 kids. but I see him sometimes acting as an hyperactive kid too.He can’t sit back on his seat to listen to anyone.
    He will never listen to his trainers like extra games teachers(although he is attentive in school class), he want to learn in his own ways, he doest want to follow teachers, he take things in funny way till now (6.5years old ) not serious, and one side he is introvert.. any ideas how to deal with him in better way where I want him to start learning new other things, sports,music intruments but he is never focus to listen to teachers.

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