I don't think I was born with a shy, retiring bone in my body. I was the quintessential class clown, always introducing myself to kids at the park, shaking the hands of their parents — that's why it came as an utter shock when I somehow managed to give birth to not one, but two bashful babies. How did this happen? Was there a way to tell before the days of playdates and preschool? It turns out, there are early signs your child will be an introvert that I overlooked.
A 2016 study published in the Social Work journal reported that as much as parents love to believe that they understand their children's preferences and temperaments, there is actually a great deal that is missed by the loving gaze of caregivers. That might be why so many of us fail to pick up the earliest signs that our children are a bit shy or even introverted. Some research suggests that there are signs very early on that point to introversion in children, most especially language and social development, according to Infant Behavior and Development.
Researchers wrote that previous literature felt gestational age was the primary determinant for language development, but they found that a child's temperament was a much better metric to use when evaluating a child's social and linguistic behavior. If you're wondering how your child will fair in the introvert/extrovert debate, here are some signs to help tune you in.