Tag: personality types

Introvert Mama, Extrovert Child

Introvert Mama, Extrovert Child

First off: extrAvert or extrOvert? According to the dictionary, both spellings are correct. But since spell check dislikes extravert, we’re going with extrovert throughout the post.

This post was originally published on lonestarsigners.com on November 13, 2013.

A little more than two years ago, when our second child was a few months old, I realized that I was tired all the time. I talked with my doctor about hormonal imbalances (my estrogen-progesterone balance leans toward estrogen dominance) and met with a lovely therapist for a few months to talk through my struggles with perfectionism. It was about that time that I read Susan Cain’s amazing book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. (In fact, I just requested it from the library again–I’m due for a re-read!)

Introvert Mama, Extrovert Child | parenting, personality style, child development, communication, family relationships and dynamics

I think introversion is misunderstood in today’s society as shyness, social anxiety, or just a reclusive personality. The truth is that whether or not a person is an introvert simply depends on how he/she recharges their energy. Some people seek out other people, activities, experiences, and action to gain energy (extroverts), some are energized with solitude and reflection (introverts), and the rest are a lovely blend of both.


Well, it turns out that I am an EXTREME introvert. I think my tendency has definitely become more pronounced as I’ve gotten older, mainly because my “alone time” has been extremely limited by this thing called parenting.

When I was single and living by myself, I had lots of balance–interacting at work and plenty of social activities–followed by a night alone with a good book! When my husband and I were first married, our non-traditional work schedules left us some time apart, which I filled with a good book and my husband filled with singing in a chorus and a quartet. (Guess which personality type he has!)

Even after our first daughter was born, I still had “alone time” in the car going back and forth to work (listening to audiobooks, naturally) and while she was sleeping. But once I had two young children with different schedules and no outside job to go to, I was exhausted because I was never alone.

Introvert Mama, Extrovert Child | parenting, personality style, child development, communication, family relationships and dynamics

Please understand me, I love my girls and I wouldn’t want to do anything other than stay home with them and homeschool–but those two hours of naptime are precious to me and my sanity. I need time to read and reflect every day or I get run down. Thankfully, my husband appreciates my sanity and arranges his evening schedule with the girls so that I get to rest. (And he gets a night out every week to go out and sing.)

* * *

Our oldest daughter is clearly an extrovert. I love to watch her light up around other people! I appreciate it when the moms that she is drawn to take the time to listen to her and affirm what she so badly wants to tell them. She processes information by talking about it, and that means she talks A LOT. She is constantly asking me when we’re going out or which activity is coming up next, when I would much prefer to curl up on the couch with (you guessed it!) a book.

Introvert Mama, Extrovert Child | parenting, personality style, child development, communication, family relationships and dynamics

If introverts get their energy from the inside and extroverts get their energy from the outside, there are some days that it feels like Addie is simply taking my “health units” for herself. 🙂

As an introvert mom raising an extrovert child, I’ve discovered a few tricks:

  • Plan social activities for the extroverted child. If at all possible, plan to host them them so you can control the number of guests and how long the activity lasts.
  • Go to the park a couple of times a week. My extroverted daughter is more than happy to play alongside children she has never met before and I can find a quiet bench to sit on and watch.
  • Make allowances for an “at home” day at least once a week. It’s beneficial for extroverts to learn how to play independently. Listen to audiobooks if your child needs extra stimulation.
  • Channel your child’s extra energy with a hobby! 🙂
  • Make it a point to connect with other moms in real life at least once a week. Facebook and other forms of social media are awesome, but it’s important to have some in-depth face-to-face conversations, too.
  • Don’t forget your spouse! My husband is very understanding of my need for quiet time, but I need to remember to “come back up for air” in the evening and ask him about his day. Even if we’re not talking, he appreciates it when I sit next to him while he watches a movie. (And then after I’ve had my fill of “quiet time” in the evening, I tend to want to talk his ear off right about the time he’s ready to go to sleep. It’s all about balance!)
  • Teach your child about the differences between introversion and extroversion. Addie knows me well enough that when I say I need a break, she respects my ten minutes of downtime. When we leave an intense social situation, she is usually quiet in the car so I can recharge. It’s not just about me, either! When an introverted friend comes over and needs some time to ease into the situation, it’s important for her to learn how to respect their space.

While you’re here, grab your FREE School Holiday Survival Guide, and get lots of activity ideas for your little extrovert!

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud

Welcome to our Read-Aloud series!

Our oldest daughter is a snuggle bug. Her two love languages are physical touch and quality time, so needless to say, she’s always loved curling up on the couch for a good read-aloud session.

On the other hand, our younger daughter is a tactile/kinesthetic learner. Her body is constantly in motion, and she resists sitting still for a story. She slides down off the couch and plays with anything she can find within reach.

I used to let it bother me. I used to correct her: force her to sit next to me and look at the pictures as I read aloud.

But that’s not who she is–she’s an auditory learner, and she hears every word I say–whether I think she’s paying attention or not. I often find her later, sitting on the couch alone, rereading the book and looking at the pictures at the pace that suits her.

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud | quiet activities, read aloud, tactile learners, auditory learners, activities for kids

I’ve learned to be okay with our differences. Now we dance for 10-15 minutes every morning before read-aloud time, and I don’t mind at all if she chooses to play quietly during the story.

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you.)

Most of the time she brings out her favorite bristle blocks, school bus, and wooden people. When I’m done reading, I hear her acting out the story I just read with her little characters.

As parents, it’s important for us to determine if our children are deliberately disobeying us or if they simply cannot do what we are asking of them.

We also should ask, “Does this really matter to me?” After thinking about it, I realized that I would rather have a quiet, happy child listening to the story than have her grow up despising our read-aloud times because I made her sit on the couch with me.

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud | quiet activities, read aloud, tactile learners, auditory learners, activities for kids

If you decide to provide your child with quiet activities during read-aloud times, keep in mind that there is no “magic” product or activity. I’ll share some of our favorite ideas, but honestly — the BEST activity is the one that works for you and your child.

10 Quiet Activities to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud:

  1. Bristle blocks (we have these)
  2. Puzzle
  3. Wooden people (we have these, in addition to the set with the school bus found here)
  4. Foam blocks (look at the dollar store)
  5. Pipe cleaners
  6. Water beads (we have these)
  7. Modeling clay
  8. Geoboard (we have these)
  9. Paper and crayons
  10. Quiet sensory items, like pom poms, cut straw pieces, etc. Children love to sort, count, fill, and dump little items —celebrate their contentment and read a chapter or two!  

If you have any additional suggestions for quiet activities, I would love for you to leave them in the comments!

Grab our FREE Guide for Parents of Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

Grab our FREE Guide for Parents of Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

Raising children who love reading doesn’t just happen. So let’s be more intentional together, okay?

Rainbow Noodles, Water Beads, and Gradient Blocks for Tactile Play

Rainbow Noodles, Water Beads, and Gradient Blocks for Tactile Play

Play is the work of the child.

–Maria Montessori

After teaching in a classroom for several years, teaching our girls at home is a real gift for our family. I love being able to personalize our days to how each of our children learn best.

Nurture by Nature quote

Our older daughter loves to write and illustrate her own stories. Her free time is either spent with her nose in a book, drafting in her favorite notebook, or creating a craft at her desk.

Our younger daughter much prefers hands-on play. She’s the touchy-feely kid who loves pom poms, playdough, building with blocks, and using water beads. Her Kindergarten experience has been quite different from her sister’s, in part because I’ve lightened up a lot and also because both girls have a learning style all their own.

(Just a reminder that our blog includes affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission on items I share here, at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that everything I recommend has been tried and loved by us.)

I’m a big believer in knowing our personality styles and using them to parent according to our strengths. Personalizing our parenting in relation to our children’s profile improves communication and strengthens our family dynamics.

Our younger daughter is an ISFP, and this quote from Nurture By Nature describes her (and our Kindergarten philosophy) to a T:

“And for learning to have any real impact or attraction for ISFPs, it must also be fun. Given that many ISFPs have trouble sitting still for long periods of time and have to work hard to develop a real work ethic, they need to be completely engaged or they may find it impossible to resist their playful impulses.” (page 260)

 Rainbow Noodles, Water Beads, and Gradient Blocks for Tactile Play | tactile sensory activities, hands-on learning, fine motor skills, learning through play, water beads

Here are some of our favorite activities for tactile play:

  • Water Beads

We ordered these water beads earlier this week, and I was ecstatic to see how many came in the package. This picture shows what two TEASPOONS of dry water beads looks like after following the directions!

Try these tactile activities for your hands-on learners!

  • Gradient Blocks

I saw a tutorial on Pinterest last week that uses a set of Jenga blocks and paint. Our set had 54 blocks, so I painted each group of nine blocks in the six colors of the rainbow. I am so excited about how they came out!

Try these tactile activities for your hands-on learners!
Click here to see the original tutorial.
  • Rainbow Noodles

These rainbow noodles were a happy accident last week, and after a lot of interest on Instagram, I ended up making a quick tutorial for our dyeing process:

If you try any of these activities, I would love to hear how your family enjoys the experience!

Want even more? Click here:
Get our FREE rainbow-themed invitations to play!

Our Spring + Rainbow Activity Guide is for families with children ages 2-6 and includes more than 40 activities, featuring: math, science, literacy, art, and more!