10 Things Only Parents of Extroverted Kids Can Understand


Do you know what the difference is between an introvert and an extrovert? You might think that you do but like me, you might be mistaken. See, I always thought that extroverts were outgoing and introverts were not. There, done, end of discussion, thanks and have a nice day. Yeah, I was wrong. It turns out that this is not the way to define either; so we’re all just wrong. And there is no such thing as a true introvert or extrovert, since the vast majority of people fall somewhere on the spectrum between both. Additionally, it turns out that being one or the other is not a direct relation to who we are, but rather how we find our energy. Extroverts are people that tend to find their energy being around other people, whereas introverts are people that find their own energy being alone. Neither dislikes being around people or being alone, but one requires a bit more than the other.

So what happens if you have an extroverted child? I do; I have at least one so far. My oldest daughter is 7, and she’s certainly about half and half. She likes being around other people, but she also likes being alone. She’s probably more of an introvert, but she does love to be with others. Our 4-year-old, however, is a complete extrovert. She does not like to be alone (unless by alone you mean in her sister’s room while her sister is at cheer practice playing with all the toys her sister denies her of when she’s home) and would much rather be around people all the time. She’s very social, and she’s always the center of attention. Sometimes, that makes life with her a bit of a challenge. And that’s why we know that there are a few things that only people with a child like this understands – even if you don’t get it.

Being sick is the worst

When you have a sick extrovert, the world might as well stop spinning on its axis. It is the worst. Your child cannot be around others, and that makes him or her completely miserable. So now you have illness and misery all compounded into one tiny prisoner. And trust me; your kid does feel like a prisoner.

Saying goodbye at gatherings is a scene

Ever been to a birthday party or holiday function and have to leave before absolutely every single person in attendance leaves? Yeah, it’s not fun. Your kid does not want to go home, ever. Your kid wants to stay, and a scene is about to go down. Hide your embarrassment, folks; this is your life.

Getting kids to school is not a problem

The good news about my extrovert is that she loves school. So she’s only in VPK, and she’s allowed to do more playing and socializing than anything else. I have a feeling that a more structured setting in school is going to be an issue for her. She’s going down as the talker; the social butterfly.

Cancelled plans are worse than death

We have dinner every single week with our best friends and their kids. It’s called Wednesday night dinner, and we’ve been doing it for 8 years. We switch houses. This week we cancelled because I am too sick to go anywhere and give anyone my junk, and our extrovert lost her mind. Cancelling plans she knows about is a no-no, which is why we tell her as little as possible most of the time.

Your kids don’t like kids that aren’t fun

When friends of ours from out of town brought their little boy over to visit, our daughter was so excited. When she realized that he is not interested in socialization and just wanted to hide behind his parents’ legs all night long and ignore her, she decided she did not like him. She then made the decision to ask his parents why he’s ‘boring’ and ‘no fun’ all night long. It was fun.

Inappropriate comments happen regularly

Our daughter loves to be the center of attention, and she knows how to make it happen. Even if that means getting everyone’s attention at her twin siblings’ first birthday party by telling all the guests one at a time that mommy and daddy like to get naked in bed together. Yeah; she’s a party favor and a half. She kept doing it because she kept getting the reaction she wanted. Now she makes sure she always has an inappropriate story to tell.

It’s impossible to carry on a conversation with anyone

Impossible; absolutely impossible. She wants to do the talking, and she will come up to you about a half dozen times every three minutes to say what she needs to say. Again, she loves to be the center of attention and she thrives on that. You cannot carry on a conversation with someone at the door without her coming up and wanting to know what’s up or wanting to talk about what is going on with her in her life these days.

The center of the universe is your own child

It is not easy being the parent of the center of the universe. It takes a lot of energy. Most days, I’m exhausted just from her. I have three other children. My husband and I firmly believe that our 4-year-old is more work than our 7-year-old and our 1.5-year-old twins combined. And we are not even kidding about that one.

Your kid will never go to school empty-handed

One thing that drives us nuts about our daughter is that she cannot go to school without a show and tell item every single day, whether it’s show or tell day or not. She loves to walk into her classroom with something new and exciting to show her classmates, because she knows that they will all come running to her. She lives for this moment.

Your kid will never go anywhere empty-handed

It does not matter where we go, even if it’s the store or the doctor’s office. She has to have something with her to show off and explain to those who even glance her direction. And if you don’t glance her direction, she will stand in front of you and talk to you. When we explain to her that she needs to leave people alone, she tells us that they want her to talk to them.

Photo by Mathis Wienand/Getty Images


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