Introverted parents deeply love their children. But introverted parents can develop some bad habits that may hurt them and their children.
If you’re an introverted parent, you and your child are both better off to be aware of your bad habits–you need to break them.
I speak from experience. I’m an introverted parent. And I’m the child of two introverted parents.
I enjoy time alone. I need time alone to recharge.
I prefer quiet over the noise of conversation.
I can spend a lot of time thinking about what I’m going to do before I do it, or about what I’m going to say before I say it.
I prefer the conversation taking place in my head over small talk. Sometimes I’m distracted by it when I should be listening. But if you want to talk about something I’m interested in, I have lots to say.
These and other traits common to introverts can become bad habits that interfere with my parenting responsibilities.
I want to be a good parent, and usually I am. But parents should be aware of their potential faults and work to turn things around when we discover we’ve taken a wrong turn.
As an introverted parent, I’ve discovered a few bad habits that can get the best of me.
If you’re an introverted parent, or the child of one, see if any of these sound familiar.
1. You don’t let your child see and hear how much you love your spouse. It’s important to a child’s well-being to see their parents expressing affection for each other. Introverts tend to underplay their love for their spouse. We need to make a conscious effort to say and do things that show our spouse, and our children, that we care deeply about our partner.
2. You forget to tell your child you love them. Your child may know they’re loved by your actions, but they like to hear the words, too. It’s not enough to just think loving thoughts. The loving words must be heard. For your child to hear them, you must say them–and say them often.
3. You miss opportunities to teach your child what you know. Sometimes introverts get so preoccupied with what’s going on in their head, they miss opportunities to be a part of what’s going on around them. Share your wisdom and knowledge. If you don’t, while you’re thinking about it, others will do it.
4. You spend too much time in your quiet place. After a busy day of work with lots of human interaction I often need to retreat to my inner world for a while before I can face my children. It’s easy to stay there. You can stay there too long and too often. If this becomes a pattern, it’s at the expense of building and sustaining a bond with your child. Your child may look for attention and love in the wrong places. Balance the time in your quiet place with time with your family.
5. You pretend to listen while you’re thinking about something else. If you’re an introvert, you know you can look your child in the eye and appear to be listening, but in your mind you can be somewhere else. When you catch yourself doing that, stop it. Come back and give your child the attention you expect them to give you when you have something to say.
6. You feel guilty about wanting and taking time for yourself. While taking too much time for yourself is a bad habit, it’s just as much a bad habit to neglect time for yourself. The conscientious parent may give all they have to their child. But if giving all you have leaves you tired, irritable and frustrated, your child will eventually wish you’d keep what you’re giving. Take time for yourself to recharge. It’s good for you and your child.
7. You fail to ask for help. Many introverts have the bad habit of trying to do everything on their own. It seems easier than having to ask someone for help. We believe, with enough time, thinking and planning, we can do anything we set our minds to. But it’s really inefficient. It can hurt your child to take on more than you’re capable of, or know how to handle. Save time–and avoid frustrating yourself and your child–by asking for help from people who have a little more knowledge and experience than you do.
Perhaps you saw something here that reminded you of yourself. Don’t beat yourself up over it. If you have a bad habit, you can break it. Start by apologizing to your child for doing whatever it is you want to stop. If they’re old enough, ask them to help you break that habit. If they’re too young to help, ask your spouse to help. And if you believe in the power of God to change you, tap into His Divine Power.
What would you add to this list of bad habits of introverted parents? What bad habit do you need to break? Leave a comment.
I’m a life coach helping you thrive in your faith, family and work so you can become the person God designed you to be.