I felt I had to post this because I have had alot of people in my life give me flack for just about every parenting decision I have ever made and yesterday it reached a point where I either keep it all in and let it eat at my privately or I type this up on my facebook in hopes that some of the people who are contributing to the problem would read it and then stop voicing their opinion about my life when they know nothing about us other then seeing us every now and then. (beware this is a lengthy post)
Before I explain how being an Introvert effects her, I will define what an introvert is…
“An introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people.
Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. They often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy. This is true even if they have good social skills. After being with people for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to “recharge.”
When introverts want to be alone, it is not, by itself, a sign of depression. It means that they either need to regain their energy from being around people or that they simply want the time to be with their own thoughts. Being with people, even people they like and are comfortable with, can prevent them from their desire to be quietly introspective.
Being introspective, though, does not mean that an introvert never has conversations. However, those conversations are generally about ideas and concepts, not about what they consider the trivial matters of social small talk.” (source: http://giftedkids.about.com/od/glossary/g/introvert.htm)
Now how does this effect our life?
She LOVES staying home and doing things with me, but only for so long.. then she HAS to do her own thing (which is nice but not when we are in the middle of doing something else -.- lol).
She asks to play with other kids, but when I take her to play at the library or park, she plays by herself or any stuffies she may take with her and not with the other kids but that works for her and quenches the need to play with other kids for her.
I have signed her up for group classes at the local Y in the past, and she drops out a few weeks later because she refuses to go for one reason or another (that’s a sign that its too much for her to handle and recharge properly – the program ran for an hour and a half).
After going anywhere besides a quick walk around the block, asking her to do anything around the house goes in one ear and out the other as she has do what she wants first. (Which at first usually resulted in me repeating myself with a raised voice to get her attention and her running to her room crying because I raised my voice and disturbed her concentration. I was not aware of her introvert-ness then, now I know to leave her be and let her relax her way because when she is ready she will do what she is suppose to and she usually does without me asking.)
She is not shy by any means, which most people first think about introverts. She is very cautious about who she talks to and she has no social skill issues at all, she socializes with people of all ages. But as a homeschooling mom, I feel the pressures to take her places to socialize, even if she wishes not to go and would rather stay home. So I am constantly asking myself how important is it REALLY that she be involved in a lot of programs where she could socialize with kids her age but chooses not to when we go. (I have wasted a fair amount of money on programs we stop going to because they were not benefiting her.)
There have been times where we are scheduled to go somewhere (like storytime at the library or bowling) and when I tell her we’re going the day before, she tells me she doesn’t want to go. So I end up asking her repeatedly throughout the day if she wants to go and why(hoping she will change her answer) but she keeps saying no and she makes up different reasons that make no sense. So I then come up with activities we can take with us to do so that she is comfortable doing in between turns at bowling or at the library so she can still listen to storytime and do something she wants at the table with me (last year we did preschool activities, this year she is starting to participate in storytime because she finally feels comfortable with the fact we go to the library ALOT and she knows how to relax herself there like she does at home).
Today, I told her we were going bowling tomorrow.. her first reply.. I don’t want to go.. why? because its not fun,(I suggested we can take a few toys for her to play with or her colouring like last week) her response.. I can do the colouring and play with toys here and have more fun then I do there. But then I gave her a choice.. go bowling or go to the library or stay home.
So tomorrow, we will be going to the library and not bowling so she can get more books to read and I know when we get home, I can expect to have about an hour or 2 to myself (with the exception of her asking for a snack). Will she actually socialize with the kids in the toy yard? Or will she keep to herself and play with the dinos’ and animals by herself? I don’t know but I am not too worried if she doesn’t play with the other kids. She will when she is ready and comfortable to do so.
I told myself when she was younger that I would never force her to do something she didn’t want to do while she was growing up, I want her to enjoy doing everything she does. I kinda lost sight of that in August/September and gave her a bunch of options for programs to sign up for.. we only signed up to one of them and I think doing so was a mistake. I should have taken notice on the first day when she melted down within 15 minutes of being there and I was not the only one that had to try and force her to do it, a few people even made me feel like I was the problem for her meltdown. (If I wasn’t there, she would not act up for attention like she was is what I was told and that was followed up with being told that I might be asked to just drop her off and leave the next week and to leave that first week.) She was not having fun.. and every week we have gone she does not have fun. I doubt I can get my money back, but I am ok with that… its gone to helping a local business as well as a great group of people giving kids a chance to have fun. This experience has shown me she likes to bowl, but not in that setting.. so instead of bowling in a kid’s league every weekend, we’ll go up on random days and just me and her will play and have fun.
Now I am aware that some people are judgmental of our choices and her lack of being in programs to socialize and that the problem is because she is always around me and not her peers. Honestly, I would love to be a mom that has their child in a ton of programs and watch her having loads of fun playing with other kids and doing new things with them and having her come home and tell me all the stories and how excited she is to go next time.. but sadly..I am not. Instead, I am a mother of an introvert child.. and I wouldn’t change her and her quirkiness for anything!
I love you my Sailor Moon!!