Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Daughter the Introvert

My daughter Leigh is an introvert. I can tell because I'm one myself and I've spotted the signs. She's uncomfortable in crowds or busy places, she enjoys doing nothing and spending time alone for hours sometimes, she finds talking to new people difficult. She's been this way all her life. The first time she went on a slide she waited until all the other kids had gone before she'd slide down it.

I worry how she feels about being an introvert because people who aren't this way don't understand.

I've had teachers tell me she needs to have more confidence like she can just magically change and isn't trying hard enough to. Family members offer to help Leigh with her confidence which also infers she needs to change. I know concerned people are only trying to help because they care but I worry how it makes Leigh feel. Kids at her school often think Leigh is depressed or unhappy because she's quiet a lot of the time. There have been times in the past when I've worried myself about Leigh being quiet, times I've felt embarrassed because she wouldn't speak to a new doctor so I had to answer for her and times when I've had to be patient and wait for Leigh to do things her own way.

But I wouldn't change Leigh. She's an amazingly thoughtful girl who thinks about things before she says them and wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. She clever and creative, she taught herself to play the keyboard and even if she won't play it in front of us it's great to hear her playing in her room. She's got a great sense of humour, she makes us laugh and often sees the alternative funny thing in whatever is happening. She often prefers to be on the sidelines watching instead of joining in but sometimes she surprises us all by doing something we'd never expect (whitewater rafting for example) and she's always supportive of things we do whether she joins in or not. She's compassionate and has shown this by doing small acts of kindness (which I won't embarrass Leigh by going into details). She's a lovely girl and I'm proud she's my daughter.

Leigh being quiet is not a problem that needs to be fixed. It's who she is. If you want to help then just be patient with her when she doesn't want to do something, leave her alone and don't make a big deal about it. She'll thank you for that...probably not out loud though. :)

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