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Parenting as an Introvert: 7 Tips to Help You Recharge

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“I’m very big on teaching my daughter independence,” Williams says. “I sometimes set a timer and say, ‘It’s your turn to play by yourself.’ Technologies like baby cams help me to make sure she is safe—and I can be a little more hands-off.”

Be strategic about which events you attend.

“As an introvert, I know that I will do better if my family isn’t completely overscheduled,” Vick says, “but I also realize that it’s good for my kids to have playdates and do activities, so finding the balance between doing some things and not being overscheduled and completely drained can be tough.”

Not to mention, overscheduling isn’t great for your kids, either. Health experts say kids have lost an average of an hour of sleep over previous generations, often because of extracurricular activities and excessive screen time. That sleep loss can lead to worse cognitive skills, behavior, attention, and mood, among other problems.

Lots of introverted parents find ways to support their child’s activities and social development without overtaxing themselves. That parent flipping burgers in the back of the band concession stand may be one of us—just her, the sweat, and the sizzle. The parent reading in the car during soccer practice instead of chatting on the sidelines may be another. If your child is invited to a birthday party, you may not need to stay and visit with the other parents, if your kid is old enough. You might use the opportunity to do some solo shopping, if that feels appropriate to you. And remember, if you want to decline an invitation entirely to give you and your kids some quiet time on a stroller walk through the park, or solo reading time at the library, that’s also perfectly acceptable.

It isn’t easy to find the balance Vick says, but then, “easy” and “parenting” don’t always align. It’s all about making a conscious effort to set boundaries for yourself and your kids.

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Seek connection during activities that interest you.

Myth: Introverted people avoid all social contact. Fact: Introverted people thrive when they’re selective about the type of social interactions they have. Some people feel less drained by social situations when they’re engaged in an activity they enjoy. That may be because sharing conversation in an area of personal passion can be easier than small talk.

Take Williams’ podcast, for example. Many episodes feature interviews with special guests. “It’s surprisingly energizing,” she says. “Sometimes it feels like sharing a personal diary or having a conversation with my closest friends.”

The scale of the interaction also matters. Smaller group interactions may feel more manageable. In Williams’ house, the kitchen is the setting for many of the most fulfilling encounters.“Our thing is cooking,” she says. “We get that one-to-one time that introverts are amazing at. We master quality over quantity.”

If you’re co-parenting, balance your schedules and your strengths.

Family structures are increasingly diverse. Parents may receive emotional and practical support from an intergenerational group of family members, friends, neighbors, professional caregivers, or partners and spouses. And some folks parent almost entirely on their own. Whatever your parenting resources are, the research is clear: The more support you have, the more wellbeing you’re likely to feel.

Source: Self

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