As a parent, I'm bound to be defensive of my child. But there's one instance that always gets my mama bear claws out. I can not express how much I hate someone calling my daughter "crabby," or asking what's wrong with her when she's simply telling them no or refusing to cooperate with their wishes. For kids who are loud, the center of attention, and social, I've heard people say they are "out of control" or wild. But there are signs that your kid is extroverted — not out of control — and they're worth noticing so you can set people straight.
According to Parents, an extroverted child is one who is energized by interacting with others and the world around them. But those qualities can also be misconstrued as the makings of a "wild" child who can't settle down. The same article from Parents also noted that extroverted children often get into more trouble because they learn by talking and interacting. But how can you distinguish between the two? My daughter absolutely loves going to the grocery store — she speaks to everybody, runs up and down the aisles with glee, and yells loudly to proclaim her excitement. But does that make her out of control or simply thriving in the world around her?
There are nine signs that your child is extroverted and not out of control so that you can put a line between the two personalities and parent your child based on their needs and natural behavior.
1. They Like Leaving The House, But It Doesn't Matter Where
Out of control children are often demanding and insistent on getting their way. While that may be true for an extroverted child (have you met a toddler?), Real Simple noted that extroverted children simply draw energy from interacting with others and being stimulated. So if they are just as excited by a trip to the grocery store as they are for a playdate at the playground, you probably have a little extrovert on your hands.
2. They Aren't Aggressive
Aggression from children can be scary and confusing, but it's not a characteristic of being an extrovert. According to Parents, out-of-control children often turn their energy into violent behavior when they aren't sure how to handle themselves. An extroverted child may be loud and all over the place, but their energy isn't put into hitting, biting, kicking, or any other form of violence.
3. They Don't Lie Maliciously
Extroverted children are known for stretching the truth, but they aren't trying to manipulate you or mislead you. According to Parents, an extroverted child may tell you some very imaginative stories, but it's coming from a place where they want to connect with you, not trick you into something.
4. They Can Accomplish Things With You By Their Side
According to Psychology Today, out of control children often refuse to help out and don't know much about responsibility. An extroverted child may not be eager to do things, but it's often because they don't want to do it alone. Parents suggested that because extroverts gain energy from being around others, being on their own to complete a task may leave them feeling drained and unable to finish. Instead, hang out near them or help them along by talking to them while they work.
5. They Understand Patience & Will Work On It
Your tiny extrovert may interrupt you, tap on your shoulder to tell you a story, or speak out of turn at school, but that doesn't make them out of control. Real Simple suggested teaching them patience and taking turns so that they know their voice will be heard, they just have to wait a bit for it.
6. They Are Motivated When They've Been Around Others
Being around others is more than just fun for an extrovert, it's refueling. Like introverts who feel more refreshed after alone time, an extrovert is more motivated and ready to tackle things after they've had a good weekend of social interaction according to MSN. If you can use this as a bargaining tool with your child — "If you help me clean the living room, we can go visit your friend" — then you have an extrovert, not an out of control child.
7. They Are Energized By Others, But Not Destructive
If your kiddo is having the time of their life in a grocery store (like my own little extrovert), that's one thing, but if they are tearing the store down item by item, that's another. According to Real Simple, extroverts are just excited about any new possibility and they focus on the reward — if they go to the grocery store, they might get a cookie. They aren't hoping to unleash their energy on the shelves, they're just happy to be out and about. Knocking over a display because they were wildly using their hands to tell you a story is one thing, but being destructive for the sake of being destructive is another.
8. They Thrive When Stimulated, No Matter What The Situation Entails
Completing puzzles with you, going on a walk, heading to Disney World, or even seeing their teacher first thing in the morning — all of these excite an extrovert. An out of control child may insist on more stimulating scenarios or lash out when they aren't getting exactly what they want, but Parents noted that an extrovert just wants to know the world around them, regardless of what's happening.
9. Your Child Is Well-Liked & Others Want To Be Around Them
This is the big kicker. Psychology Today noted that no one wants to be around an out of control child. (Literally, no one.) Although an extroverted child may be loud, exhausting, or even overwhelming, they are generally well-liked and make friends easily according to MSN. So if you notice that your child seems to have a lot of people flocking to their personality or that others enjoy having them around, you've most likely got a tiny extrovert on your hands.