…Or An Introvert?
by: Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
One of the most asked question of homeschool parents is; “How will your child make friends if they’re homeschooled?”
Students who are homeschooled can actually live a very active social life and can make a lot of friends. However, there’s a certain caliber of students, homeschooled or not, who might struggle making friends their entire life.
I am an introvert, and I always struggled making friends. It’s not that I struggled making friends, it’s just most introverts define “friend” differently. Growing up however, I didn’t know I was introvert. I became labeled as stuck up. Introverts by nature get stimulation being alone. It doesn’t mean we always want to be alone, we simply get drained by the constant pressure to socialize.
Extroverts and introverts are great people! My husband is an extrovert, and I adore him! But if your child is an introvert, celebrate it with him or her. Help him or her learn more about it. Because I did not know I was an introvert as a child, I had many negative circumstances. I did not like myself. People were always trying to “pull me out of my shell.” But I could not come out of my “shell” and I did not know why. Therefore, I became angry for not being outgoing like everyone else.
Introverts are awesome and here are a few of our traits:
Introverts tend to be very curious about the world around them. They ask a lot of questions. This was me as a child. My grandmother did not like to babysit me as child because she’d say I, “Ask too many questions.” We like to know how and why. We tend not to take things at face value. We have a need to make sense of what we are thinking and doing, thus we ask a lot of questions. Does your child ask a lot of questions? Answer those questions! This is also a great way for them to learn.
- Solo Time
Introverts love to be alone to enjoy their imagination. They like to be alone playing, drawing, reading, painting, or writing. This again was me! I loved sitting in my room writing stories. When I was a child I kept notebooks because I was always writing a story. In my family I was known as the “producer” because of my new stories each week. I could write for hours. Today, I still love to write stories. I now operate two blogs and I never get tired of thinking and writing something new.
Some introverts like to figure things out on their own. Is your child off by him or herself trying to solve a problem? Again, this was me. I had a motto growing up, “If someone else can do it, I can do it too!” To this day, I find answers to my questions with very little help. Now, the downside to this is we usually fail to ask for help when we might need it.
Introverts do not consider everyone a friend. Only certain people are considered friends. We generally consider the people we know to be friendly acquaintances, but friend is a valued word for special people. The downside to this is sometimes we don’t make the best of friends. Speaking for myself, because I thrive in my alone time, I am not always in tune to the needs of a friend. I have a husband and children to care for, so taking the time to care for a friendship can be a lot of work for introverts. I am not saying every introvert is this way, and I am not saying this okay. Some introverts cannot invest emotionally into friendships, especially when they have other people to care for.
When we do have a special friend we love time alone with that one friend. We don’t do well in outings with a group of friends.
I recall a lady I knew asked me if I wanted to go out-of-town on a girl’s weekend. I almost started laughing. I thought, “Trust me; you will bring me back home an hour into our drive.”
There is no way I can muster up enough social energy to hang out all weekend.
- Encourage Talking
Just like asking a lot of questions, some introverts like to talk, we just need a little encouragement. I recall sitting in grade school as a child wanting to share but hoped someone would ask my thoughts.
Sometimes we simply ignore the “quiet ones” and assume they have nothing important to say. As a leader today, if I am in a group setting I usually always ask the quietest person in the group to share something. While in grade school, when I did have a teacher who’d ask my thoughts – I’d come alive. Just like we sit back an observe the world around us, your child might be observing his or her settings but would love to share if they have some encouragement.
These are just a few tidbits on introverts. We are great people! God made no mistakes with us. We are just wired differently.
If your child is an introvert, celebrate it. Don’t try to change him or her. Embrace their wonderful qualities because …
…introverts can change the world:
Mark Zuckerberg (Did you like this post? Share it on Facebook!)
-Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
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