Latimer: Introverted children face challenges in school system

Every person arrives in this world with a basic temperament that is unlikely to change much throughout life.

Paul Latimer

Interests, activities, habits and behaviours can change and be taught, but generally, a social extroverted child will remain a social and extroverted adult and a shy, introverted child will remain that way as an adult too.

In many ways, we have our society set up for extroverts.

We value external accomplishments, assertiveness and confidence over quiet reflection or careful decision-making.

We tend to reward people who stand out because of their volume and we emphasize group activities from a very young age.

Yet a large portion of the population are introverts who thrive in a different environment.

It can be very difficult for introverted children to navigate our school system where they spend the majority of every day in a group of 20 or 30 peers.

Though their temperament is perfectly normal and gives them numerous strengths, these can get lost in the noise of an extroverted world.

As children, introverts tend to have a rich inner life.

They enjoy imaginative play and solitary activities like reading or drawing.

If they’re not playing alone, they prefer to play with one or two friends rather than a crowd.

Introverts tend to observe new situations or activities before jumping in.

They can appear cautious or hesitant but will often enjoy the activity once they’ve had a chance to warm up.

Allowing children the space to observe first can avoid a lot of anxiety.

Parents of introverts are in luck—peer pressure is not as big an issue for these children as it can be for extroverts.

Introverts tend to make decisions based on their own values and don’t feel the pull to follow the crowd.

Once they are comfortable with a person, introverts tend to be excellent conversationalists who are genuinely interested in truly connecting with the other.

They are generally good listeners however may speak softly or stop if interrupted.

Introverted children are also interested in engaging with the deeper aspects of life.

They enjoy questioning the world and are also likely to reflect on their own behaviour.

At any age, introverts need time alone to recharge.

They will feel drained after spending all day in a group.

Children see quickly that extroverted qualities seem to be emphasized in our society. This can lead them to feel lonely or isolated or that they are abnormal.

Parents of introverts need to teach them their temperament is perfectly normal and has many positive traits associated with it.

If given the space and time they need, introverted children grown into successful adults contributing much to the world.

Just Posted

Community Leader Awards: Anja Dumas

The Kelowna Capital News puts the spotlight on community leaders with annual awards

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Blowing snow, slippery sections on Okanagan Connector

Compact snow, poor visibility on Highway 97 from Pennask Summitt to Brenda Mines.

IH adds immunization clinic Sunday in Kelowna

Drop-in meningococcal vaccination clinic on today at Community Health & Services Centre

Fire crews investigating oil sheen on Penticton Creek

Fire crews are working to contain the oil from spreading

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Fire crews investigating oil sheen on Penticton Creek

Fire crews are working to contain the oil from spreading

UBCO prof tests software to help cancer patients

Program may help those reluctant to engage ‘tough conversations’ in advance care planning

Broken de-icer delays flights at Kelowna airport

Passengers were on board for three hours Sunday waiting for departure to Vancouver

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Well-known Canadian bird making a comeback

Once on the brink of extinction, the peregrine falcon no longer considered at risk in Canada.

Suzuki: Shine a light during dark times

People need to remain positive despite difficult and unpredictable political climate

Most Read