Courtesy of Candace Ganger

7 Ways You Don't Realize You're Shaming Your Extroverted Kid

Ad failed to load

My 10-year-old daughter is a human version of an Espresso shot. I love her to pieces but occasionally she's a little too much for my introverted, quiet self. When I think of the many differences between us, I can't help but acknowledge all the ways I don't realize I'm shaming my extroverted kid. I'd never intentionally hurt my daughter's feelings for being who she is, and it's never my intent to shame her. However, parenting has a steep learning curve with surprises I'm never quite prepared for no matter, how much I think I am. So even when I'm careful with my words and actions, there are still times I'm stripping her of her very foundation.

From toddlerhood, my girl has been the kid who waves at strangers at other restaurant tables, laughs wildly during conversations (where she's typically the center of attention), and even though she's adjusted to sharing her life with a younger brother for five years now, demands everyone stop to watch her at the busiest moments. I've realized this isn't a good or a bad thing, this is just who my daughter is. We don't need to be identical in order to co-exist happily. Still, for a long time I fought our extreme differences, wondering if, or when, she might quiet down just a little bit (she hasn't, and honestly I'm thankful for that).

Now that she's getting older, I see her personality more clearly. I don't want to steal her joy, but after a lot of self-reflection, I realized that's what I was doing. If you have an extrovert for a kid, you'll probably understand how some of the below might contribute to unintentional shame. We can do better than this. Hell, I can do better than this, and my daughter deserves that much (and more) from me.

Ad failed to load

When You Ask Them To Quiet Down


Being an introvert means I thrive in quiet settings. It's the only real way I can recharge. My daughter is the complete opposite and usually chooses bedtime — the part of the day my brain is most ready for silence — to talk about everything. She's not just a talker, (who often has issues in school because of it), she's also a loud, excitable conversationalist.

More than once I've asked her to either be quiet, settle down, or elaborate in the morning. I don't mean to make her feel as if I don't care about what she's saying. If anything, I want to be able to devote all my listening power to her when it's possible. However, I've realized that when I ask her to keep quiet in any way, I'm essentially telling her I don't care. That's not my intension, so my language needs to change.

When You Diminish Their Feelings


Being an extrovert is probably one of the sources of my daughter's dramatic flair. She's loud and constantly expressing herself with big movements and even bigger emotions. I suppose, over time, I've become somewhat immune to her overreactions to the slightest mishaps.

For example, a couple days ago, she complained of ankle pain and hobbled around until I iced and wrapped it. There was nothing visibly wrong, but I found myself wanting to tell her, "It's nothing," when all that would've done is make things worse. Sure, she's dramatic, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have feelings (or ankle pain). The closer she gets to puberty, the more I see how I'm contributing to the thought that her feels don't matter, regardless of how she chooses to project them.

Side note: she was back to jumping on the trampoline the next day, so she's obviously fine. Still, I have to let her express her feelings.

When You Deny Them Time With Friends


While this isn't direct shaming, I'm learning that, just as I need quiet to re-energize, my extrovert daughter (and my partner) need to be social to re-energize. Some days, when there's a knock on the door, I don't always want my daughter outside with kids. Maybe she has chores, homework, or I don't want to deal with people that day (another part of being an introvert). The shaming aspect comes through denying her need to re-charge through social interaction, especially when I tell her no in front of friends.

It still takes practice on my part to step back and let her be the 10 year old she needs to be, but on the days she's denied I'm essentially telling her she's not allowed to fill herself up. I know how I'd feel if told I wasn't allowed to be alone, so I'm trying to be better. For her.

Ad failed to load

When You Compare Them To A Sibling


Ugh. This is a big one I'm guilty of and need to work on more consistently. My son is more like me. He's quiet, can self-soothe, and prefers alone time instead being around tons of people. Any sort of comparison, whether directly to her or to others about her, isn't cool.

Things like, "Can't you be content inside for awhile, like your brother?" are well-meaning to get my point across, but all I'm really doing is criticizing in a different way.

When You Ask "Why Can't You Pay Attention?"


You know when you tell your kid something and they obviously didn't hear a word you said? Yeah, that's my daughter all the time.

As an extrovert, she's stimulated by all the thing around her. My partner is the same way. While she's a great listening sometimes, usually her desire to be in the action supersedes anything I have to say. I try not to ask why she can't pay attention like I used to because, as days pass, I'm starting to understand how to properly parent her and her outgoing personality.

When You Assume Learning Comes Easily


I've only recently learned my daughter is having some issues in school. Because her need to be social is such a priority, it's beginning to impact how she learns in class. She's always received good grades, but when those grades started slipping a tad this year, she confessed that she was getting caught "talking" too much.

It's a fine line to teach responsibility and how to behave in class, and letting my daughter be herself. I'm trying really hard to allow her to spread her wings without shaming her for doing so, but when the grades drop, or she gets in trouble for chattiness, it's challenging to find the right ways to deal with it.

Ad failed to load

When You Comment About Your Child In Front Of Your Child


Lately I've realized there are times I've commented on my daughter's shrieking voice or energetic mood, to someone like my mom or partner, while she's standing there. I don't intend to make her feel bad about any part of her, but I'm sure there are times she walks away wondering why I have an issue with her simply being herself.

Now, if I feel the need to say something to someone about my kid's endless string of stories when my brain is tired, I literally bite my tongue. Sometimes it's the only way. But really, isn't that parenting? Just letting ourselves writhe in discomfort for the sake of our children's happiness? The answer, sometimes, is yes. And, honestly, my daughter is more than worth it.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

13 Unique (& Totally Not Mainstream) Mother's Day Gifts For The Hipster Mom

Hipsters thrive on being outside the norm and not really digging anything considered "mainstream." Whether it's in their fashion, what music they listen to, the books they read, or how they enjoy beverages, there's just something that makes them dist…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills