So, turns out you have a Tigger… a bright, bouncy, loud, lively child who just can’t have enough friends or fun! What do you do with this ball of energy? Whatever personality type you have, how can you create an environment for your extrovert to thrive? Here are some ideas:
Listen… For as Long as You Can
One of the most challenging elements of an extroverted child who is amazed by the novelty of new friends AND new words is the sheer volume of talking they can do. Especially if you fall on the introverted side of the spectrum, you may feel you reach your “listening limit” long before your child is done with their story! Find ways to persevere in listening… and give your child outlets with other adults, pets, a journal, taking turns talking… they’ll run out of things to say eventually and will feel affirmed by your attention!
Don’t Drive All the Time
Where do they get the energy? Just as you’re winding down for the day, your little extrovert seems to be winding up for a 2-hour bedtime routine that includes all manner of cajoling, singing, rocking, playing, and getting back up again. Remind yourself first: they just want attention. Squeezing all of the toothpaste on the counter may be in direct response to your glazed expression… they need your engagement!
Think of adding another block to the tower that is your relationship every time you push past your need for quiet and alone, look your child in the eye, and connect.
Let go of your expectations for the final, sweet moment when they drift off to sleep and let your child take the time they need to reconnect with you in a meaningful way at the end of the day.
Extroverted children may be very challenging to correct, especially because many “outbursts” or “tantrums” are due to an excess of energy and excitement. Instead of plopping your child in time out, role playing may be a great way to help them focus on the moment of correction: “how can you do that again, but using the right voice?” Have them replay the scenario and let them have fun with making a better choice!
(Re-)Learn How to Play
One of the greatest things about your little ball of sunshine is that they can be your best instructor on how to play. Peek-a-boo, hide-and-seek, dance parties, puppet shows… turn the clock back, put on your boogie shoes, stop adulting so hard, and indulge in the bright lemony world your extrovert invites you into!
Does where you live effect your personality? Check out the most extroverted cities in the US!