When You're an Introverted Parent and Your Child Isn't

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree...or does it?

In the case of me and my daughter, we couldn't be more different. She is loud, goofy, hates reading, and can't stand to be alone. I am quiet, reserved, a total bookworm, and love my alone time.

While our differences may seem typical on the surface, it's completely affected how I parent. I regularly tell her how loud she is. I have to bribe her with iPad time to get her reading homework done. I have to constantly remind her to keep eating during meals because she will make a game out of anything that's sitting on the table.

Parenting is challenging. And it's even more exhausting when you're an introverted parent and your child isn't. It's a battle that results in feeling stressed and out of control for the parent, and feeling unseen for the child.

Right now, you may not even be aware that you're trying to get your child to be quieter because that's what YOU desire. Sometimes you have to hear something many times until it lands the right way at the right time. It took one of those "smack in the face" type moments for me to realize I was trying to make my daughter someone she's not.

While I was lamenting my struggles to a friend, she suggested I read the book, The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle. And man, it really gut-punched me! The book explains that there are 4 different energy types that children embody. My girl is the "fun-loving" energy type which is the complete opposite of my type.

With this new perspective, I realize I've been trying to get her to be more like me. (Big mistake.)

It took this book to tell me that for her to be her happiest, I need to honor who she is. And honestly, within a week of accepting who she is and dropping my expectations for her, I've seen improvements in her behavior. She's still loud, but calmer and more cooperative. I'm accepting who she is and that's leading to more harmony in our house. Ahhhh.

The energy you bring as a parent contributes to the dynamics of your home. If you're always correcting your child for having fun, like I was, it adds tension. Children can shrink themselves to fit your standards or they can become defiant.

So the next time you're about to correct your child (yet again,) pause and ask yourself if they're really doing something wrong or just having fun. Seeing your child's behavior in a different light often reduces the need for punishment.

I definitely recommend the book, The Child Whisperer, even if you have teenagers. Or get the adult version, It's Just My Nature, to figure out what energy type you are and how that plays out in your life.

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