If you have an introverted child and are reading this, it is not broken. No need to send it back to the manufacturer. Your child also probably isn’t autistic, and stop diagnosing it with things, you are not qualified. You know what you are qualified to do? Love it like any other child, and to stop judging it and worrying so much.
The right attitude to have is love, acceptance, your child actually is special, not like other kids- for once. Stop telling its’ teachers it has autism. Trust me, it will run with that. It is not stupid, it knows what “autistic” kids get away with.
Things which include, but are not limited to:
-Rightfully Claiming Toys that are Their Toys
-Punching &/or Kicking the School Bully in the Crotch
-Exclaiming They are Surrounded by Idiots
-The Sarcasm of a Crochety Old Demon
-Dark &/or Dirty Jokes
-“Right Triangles!” During Laps Around the Baseball Diamond
-Laying Flat on the Ground During Dodgeball (Winning)
-Telling the Truth
-Calling Hos Hos
-Dismantling and Tearing Apart Modern Feminism
-Calling Lena Dunhma Lena Dunham
-Having No Female Friends
-Offering to Give their Parents Mercy Air Enemas in the Nursing Home
-Knowing How to Give an Air Enema
Physicians, and behavioral therapists, who went to school, and can professionally diagnose autism, know that these are not symptoms of autism. Especially realizing that Lena Dunham is just Lena Dunham, and could really use an air enema.
They are symptoms of an unhealthy, subversive attitude incurred by the “Oh, you poor thing treatment”. It’s a form of rebelling, the world’s longest-running gag, in essence, a “F*** You”, or a test, if that makes you feel less fooled.
But you can avoid this, really you can. Put that “How to be More Outgoing” book back on the shelf right now.
What to Do
As mentioned earlier, every child is different. They have different personalities, ways of processing. They don’t all reach the same milestones at the same time, or when they should, or you think they should.
When you stop demanding that your introverted child be something that it’s not, they are allowed to be themselves. Hopefully, you can live with that and maybe like them. Either way, a lot less resentment is built up.
Lower Your Expectations
Just because Timmy is so popular and had the entire class at his birthday party doesn’t mean your kid will. In fact, most of that class doesn’t give a F’ about Timmy. They’re there for cake, and ice cream, and maybe the bounce house.
And to smell Timmy’s cards for the money smell, every time they’re right they are given a small payment for their services- which can add up to several bounce houses over 18 birthdays. Also, gift cards are the taint of the devil, how are you supposed to, so you ask for an item, but then you- economics is hard.
Your child is Timmy-Timmy is too stupid to smell his own money, appreciate this. Take it in, be happy with the child you have. Your child has also probably googled “Roth IRA” at least once, and if you’re Jewish…be ironically proud.
No one likes being crowded or babied. Usually, it’s better to let people be, do their own thing. Let sleeping dogs lie, especially if they know why werewolves are misunderstood. Introverts have a stronger independent streak, they don’t need to be surrounded by people all the time.
Let them go if you love them. They will come back to you, trust them. They’ve got this, they’ll probably figure it out- better and faster than the other kids. And they will not show this off or share as much, but that’s not a bad thing. Nikola Tesla learned to be wary of Thomas Edison for a reason.
This doesn’t mean that you should leave them with that pack of wolves forever though. You can only learn so much from wolves. Den mother is wise and knowledgeable. But she doesn’t have a whole lot of salad recipes.
Check in on them every once in a while, ask how it’s going. Say you’re there, will attempt a meaningful, engaging conversation- the only conversation worth having. Remind them they matter too.
Let Them Talk
Another great way to do this is to let them talk. They typically need more encouragement to do this or leeway, or for Timmy to shut up and remind him that the cut they demand is fair to all and 2% less than Janet’s. They are also more reliable and have produced concrete results. Abraham Lincoln did say not to change into a horse mid ice-cream- horses don’t have thumbs, brochure?
Invite them to voice their opinion, say something. Give them a chance to speak. No one can keep their emotions and opinions bottled up forever. It’s impossible to distill them and sell them for bounce houses. Most of which they will rent out-but keep one for themselves. Bounce houses are great to ponder franchising in.
What Not to Do
Treat Them Differently
Handicapped people can find their parking spots and legally required ramps on their own. Very few people are completely helpless- but when it comes to “Oh that poor little child”, this is quickly and easily forgotten.
Unwarranted special treatment quickly corrupts and spoils anyone. It should never, and typically doesn’t last forever. No woman wants to marry a Momma’s boy, no man wants to marry a Daddy’s girl. Reminding people that they are perfectly capable of doing things themselves is the best policy. Also, that attention seriously backfires-, particularly among children.
Even the smallest baby, nay embryo, can wonder what Zumba is, and eventually decided if they should try it. Let this happen. Let people make their own choices- let them mess up, reach conclusions on their own.
Don’t guilt them or make them do things they don’t want to do- it is their choice, they have free will. Tell your introverted child about an activity, or new tiny drunk adult they might like. Let them decide to venture out.
No one is too young to exercise their free will, to be convinced, have points. Gentle and respectful encouragement is better than “If you don’t do this you are a failure and will die.”
Not just watching them keeping an eye on them, WATCHING them. Someone from the NSA seeing a Muslim WATCHING them. This is offensive and scary- even if it could be warranted. Get your evidence first. A qualified, outside third party, fourth party, fifth party threeveth party opinion that isn’t yours.
You don’t know everything, no one ever knows 100% of all available information on everything like ever- especially when it comes to parenting. Calm down, you’re not a failure, literally, hopefully, or metaphorically, or, well you, I still have one of the brochures. It’s adorable.
An independent streak can be a good thing- but don’t take this as a sign to disconnect, ignore that person forever. Especially a child. No child is ever 100% innocent or helpless, but at least 1% of the time they are, math rhymes with both kinds of –paths for a reason.
Children aren’t supposed to raise themselves, some have- but it didn’t turn out that well. Remind your introverted child that you notice them, don’t let them be overpowered, don’t sell them for a can of beer.
Tell Them What’s Wrong with Them
Yes, you did the nasty, went to pound town, someone fell down and then it got up, the beast with two backs- or adopted, IVF, surrogacy, you’re a parent. Do you really know everything about your child though? Hint, you don’t.
My mom didn’t know that the Chili Parlor/Whorehouse was called the Squirts, in the dark, sleeping in her bed and that I could slip back into the shadows unnoticed so easily. Miscommunications and misunderstandings happen- wrong conclusions made, listening not done, confusion ensues.
Deal with that instead of diagnosing your child as being wrong. Your child knows themselves very well-yes, they can be in denial. But so can you. Everyone can be wrong and something can be wrong with everyone.
Just don’t decree it, loudly, bombastically, with great authority, all the time. It’s probably why some people have to adopt, why Jesus duct taped those legs together.
Your introverted child isn’t some strange, bizarre creature- but they can be, or are, which. By not judging them, and loving, accepting them for who they are, they become a lot less strange and bizarre.
They can even become perfectly ordinary children, who came out of the right person. God doesn’t make…the stork doesn’t, children aren’t….lizard people, so stop treating your introverted child like one. Seriously, they hate mouse sashimi, again, for dinner.