Throughout our adult years and in several Psychology courses, we learn about various personality types, including two different classifications called introversion and extraversion. These personality types begin to show at an early age, and it is important to understand which of these your preschooler identifies with most. Although there are many types of personalities, these are the basic two to look into, and are a good stepping stone into beginning to understand a child’s psychology as a fundamental part of child care.
The biggest difference between introversion and extraversion is when and how they gain and lose energy. For example, extroverts thrive and gain energy from social interaction – they are social butterflies. They actively enjoy interacting with groups, and after a long day of socializing, they feel relatively fine. Many times they will be straightforward when conversing, and are generally not afraid of speaking their mind and confrontation. Various activities they may enjoy include community service, parties, and other social meet-ups since they find these types of gatherings rewarding.
Introverts lose energy from social interaction. They can and do participate in groups, but at the end of the day, they feel drained. In order to recharge, they need some quality time alone. This may include solo activities such as reading, drawing, or spending the afternoon with a pet. Introverts do have the capacity to lead, but they will use a more subtle method such as orchestrating “behind the scenes.” Due to their introspective natures, they may also have an aversion to confrontation and keep quiet in difficult situations.
Child care isn’t something solely found at home – you can glean a large amount of information about your preschooler by simply conversing with their teacher or caretaker. Consult with your child’s teacher if you’re not sure which trait your child exhibits. He or she has more insight since they observe their students interacting with others on a daily basis four several hours a day, often more so than the child’s parents. From there you can take steps on proper ways to encourage your child in participating in extracurricular activities and sports.
If your child displays characteristics of being an extrovert, then as he or she grows older you may want to suggest group activities such as team sports, debate clubs, etc. This will stimulate their qualities and give them a confidence boost, and will continually feel as though they are part of something bigger.
Since introverts will still participate in group activities if it interests them, it’s important to not downplay their curiosity in trying out more extrovert-friendly sports and clubs. If they find it not to their liking, perhaps they will find more success in activities such as karate, track and field, or other individual-based clubs. Finding ways for them to excel and thrive without them feeling excluded or different provides psychological child care, in a sense. Additionally, it’s equally important to afford an extroverted child the opportunity to try sports and clubs that might be more palatable to introverts.
It is important to note, though, that forcing a child to play a sport or participate in an activity they are uncomfortable in won’t benefit them at all. Be sensitive to their behavior and respond accordingly. Ask them questions about their likes and dislikes, and observe their behavior when they return home from practice. Complaints are commonplace with extracurricular activities, but if you see your child finding ways to get out of their sport or club, or if they appear deeply stressed and dissatisfied, then take a closer look and reevaluate your child’s placement in that club or sport. For example, if it is a household rule that all of your children must be involved in a sport of some sort, for example, give them plenty of options and opportunities to try out several to their liking, and obtain regular feedback. One child may excel in soccer – a team sport, and another in cross-country – a sport that values the individual. Proper child care involves understanding and respecting his or her needs.
A little research can go a long way in determining which activities suit your child’s personality and energy levels. A balance needs to be reached – as a parent, you don’t want to have them bored and not stimulated, but on the other hand, you don’t want to leave them tired and overwhelmed. Communication and understanding goes a long way in determining the success of your child’s career as a student, and understanding your child during their preschool years is a good start.
Photo in this post by Anissa Thompson