TOMMY FAIRWEATHER: Helping your quiet child find their voice

Published: Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 15:57 PM.

Introverts are the quiet children in the home and classroom. Most adults, including teachers, think that because these children are quiet, they are shy. However many introverts are not shy.

Marti Olsen Laney, author of the book “The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World,” has a brief series of questions for the reader to answer to identify if he/she is an introvert or an extrovert. She says introverts and extroverts differ in important ways.

The first way they differ has to do with energy use and recharging. She describes the extrovert as solar panels.

Extroverts need people and a variety of activities to recharge their energy level. So the more they do the more they are energized.

Introverts are like rechargeable batteries. They need rest away from stimulation to restore energy. Being with a lot of people and activities drains them tremendously and they need down time to recoup.

At school, the teacher should be sure to pace the day so that the introvert can be alone and read or even put his/her head down for a rest.

Adults might want to pair the child with another quiet child when it is time to play, or allow for what is called parallel play. When parallel playing, children are playing nearby but not with each other. It is okay at recess for a child to play alone or with one friend. Most introverts need time and a quiet reflective place so they can think things over in their minds.



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