Introvert Raising an Extrovert

Okay, so recently I made a discovery that has brought me no end of peace. I was so concerned about Eden. Why did she need me…all the time…ALL. THE. TIME.??? Where was I going wrong? Where was her independence? Her ability to sit and entertain herself? Where was her self control?? Why oh why did she have to interact with me all the time?

Girl was wearing me out with all of her needing. All of her wanting. All of her touching and talking and talking and talking.

I had some suspicions so I did a search and found this.

…a child whose personality leans toward extroverted — super social, talkative, craves high-engagement play — might exhibit more of these qualities:

  • Craves interaction
  • Loves to talk — often
  • Thrives on stimulation
  • Seeks out social situations
  • Outgoing, even assertive

First, ahhh. Relief. There was nothing wrong with Eden! I was not failing her in some deep, soul-destruction way! Yea.

Second, dear merciful heavens, God gave me an extrovert. An. Extrovert.

Now, to my extroverted friends, I love you. I do. But this is what we introverts really think about you delightful, bubbly, outgoing folk. You guys are exhausting. And needy. And grabby. And pully. And touchy. And, and, and…you are good in small…maybe even miniscule…doses.

I live with Eden. 24/7/365.

So I began to 1. rejoice in God’s design of my delightful girl, 2. research ways to honor God’s design,  and 3. strategize. How in the world could we BOTH flourish in the same household?

This is our current survival/flourish plan:

  1. I have to set boundaries with her. It sounds like this, “Eden, Mommy needs an energy break. You get energy by playing with me. Mommy gets energy by being alone and quiet. I am going to set the timer and you may not come get me until it goes off.” I set it anywhere from 5-20 minutes. Warning, if I wait too long for an energy break, I tend to snap. It’s a bit like dealing with pain. If you wait too long to take pain meds, you are simply chasing the pain and it’s hard to catch. Thus, I try to take breaks as soon as I get brittle…before the heavy, oh-dear-lord-child-shut-up sighs begin.
  2. I seek out other extroverted children and make play dates. I try to get us out among others once a day.
  3. I breathe her in…this amazing creature birthed from two introverted parents…I sit in awe of her Eden-ness.
  4. I play with her. I interact with her. I listen to her. I let her process out loud. I honor who she is while still keeping my sanity…or, honoring who I am.

I would just like to say…Denver is an introvert. Thank you, Jesus.



One thought on “Introvert Raising an Extrovert

  1. One of Kate’s first sentences was directed to her sister: “I want to play alone!” 🙂 Glad to have another introvert mama/extravert child pair to commiserate (I mean, celebrate) with.

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