Tips For Parents: Introverts

By Sharon Lind.

Reprinted with permission from the Davidson Institute of Talent Development

Sharon Lind, a private consultant for affective, gifted, and parent education, led an informational seminar for parents of profoundly intelligent children on the topic of introverts. The following list of tips were compiled from that discussion.

Characteristics of Introverts

· Have two personas — private and public

· Are private people who enjoy doing things by themselves and who reveal inner most thoughts to only a few

· May talk a lot to people whom they feel comfortable with, but are quieter with others

· Refuse to discuss the day’s events until later, even days or weeks

· Are thorough thinkers

· Rarely interrupt and hate to be interrupted

· Learn by watching and mentally rehearsing

· Become grouchy if around people too long, especially after contact with many people

· Have a strong sense of personal space

· Seem to enjoy being sent to their rooms to sit alone

· May find it difficult to share what they are feeling

· Are humiliated easily — they do not want to appear foolish

Tips for Living with Introverts

· Celebrate diversity in your home — diversity of intellect, emotional make up, physical attributes, ethnicity, psychological makeup, whatever.

· Honor and acknowledge introverts’ need for privacy. Be sure they have a place they can go that is all their own and where they will not be intruded upon. This need for privacy is exercerbated by long term exposure to others ( i.e. school or work).

· Honor their need to process the days events before sharing their feelings and understand that sharing may happen with only one person.

· Honor their need for personal space (around their body). It will be larger than for most other people.

· Respect their need for time to think, observe, or mentally rehearse before they try something new.