Parenting my two boys can be like a juggling act. My oldest is an extrovert, while my younger guy is an introvert. Over the years I have come to understand that they require different things to feel succcesful and happy in daily life. 

Before I realized I needed to parent them to their personality types, I was going with what felt natural to me. Unforunately for my younger son, I am an extrovert and had a hard time understanding some of his behaviors. Why he was he begging to leave events while his brother wanted to party down for hours? Learning what my sweet little introvert needs has helped both of us tremendously.

Here are five tips for parenting an introvert.

1. Give Them Space

Introverts like their own space. After five years of sharing a room with his brother, my son began to sleep in the guest room – just to have his own quiet space! Finally, we were able to give him his own room and he loves it! This is his retreat when he is overwhlemed and needs to straighten out his thoughts. If giving your introverted child their own room is not an option for your living situation, consider allowing them special time to hang in their shared bedroom, alone. 

2. Schedule Downtime

The busy go, go, go lifestyle wears on an intorvert. When our lives become overscheduled, I start to see a lot of tough behaviors emerge in my son. This is not because he wants to be mean or disrespectful, it is because he needs his downtime to recharge. When I see we have a busy week ahead, I make sure to schedule in enough downtime for my buddy to fill his tank back up. 

3. Give Them An Out

My son wants to try to new things but tends to be hesitant. Classically, intorverts lean to the cautious side in new environments. It is reassuring to your child to know they have an out. For example, you can say, "Give this a try and if you don't like it, I will take you home." Sometimes my son needs to try an activity multiple times before he feels comfortable enough to fully engage. Supporting him along the way is very empowering.

4. Consider Group Size 

Introverts are not fans of big groups, especially when they don't know everyone. Many times my little fella has cried and begged to go home because there were too many people in attendance. Over time I have learned, for him to have a good time and feel comfortable, I need to pass on events with large groups and stick to the ones with a manageable amount of people. 

5. Reassure Them

Knowing details and having a plan makes introverts feel safe and in control. When my son is prepared with the who, what, when, and where of daily events, he is much happier than when we have to shoot from the hip. He likes to know how long we will be somewhere, who else will be involved, and if he has an out. I don't always succeed at reassuring him as much as he needs, but we are getting there! 

Parenting to personality types can be a lot to take in at first, but once you learn what is making your child tick, the better you will understand their behaviors. Intoverts are not the shy, antisocial children many people label them to be – they simply need to have some things in place before they open up.