9 Ways Being An Extrovert Makes You Better Equipped To Deal With A Toddler
I’m sorry, what was that? Could you repeat yourself? It’s hard to hear you over this loud, stimulating extroverted life that I’m leading, what with all this confetti and these streamers flying in different directions. OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration (I usually only get the streamers out on the weekends). I’ve written before about being an extroverted mom, but for those who aren’t familiar with the terms, the basics are pretty much this: As an extrovert, I can be energized by activity and people (as opposed to introverts, who can be reserved and reflective). If we want to get really personal, I’m technically a slight extrovert, meaning I often display tendencies of both. So, much love to all the introverts out there. (By the way, are we still on for the silent reading club meeting later? I promise to avoid eye contact.)
So, one area where I think extroverts may have the slightest of advantages over their lovely introverted counterparts is when it comes to parenting toddlers. Just think about it: Toddlers are curious, active, and full of energy. It’s hard enough to parent someone with those qualities; I can hardly imagine the challenges of doing so when engaging with them zaps your energy even more quickly. That said, here are some of the traits I’m often leaning on when it comes to wrangling my own little monkey:
We Get Our Energy From People
OK, it may not always feel this way after you’ve spent a 14-hour day chasing after someone who appears to only be soothed by chicken nuggets. But I swear, it’s one of the main tenets of extroversion.
We’re Down To Explore And Go On Adventures
Thank goodness, because my toddler’s thirst for excitement and new experiences is pretty much impossible to quench.
We’re Usually Cool With Being In Charge
What’s parenthood if not a decades-long crash course in leadership and motivation? I mean, on a daily basis, I’m constantly trying to guess what’s going to get my little man to stop offering the dog pieces of half-chewed cheese.
Long Conversations And Just Talking In General Are Fine
Actually, I’m not sure 40 verses of “Old MacDonald” counts as "talking," but after the 18th verse of so, I can’t exactly claim I’m singing either. Either way, there are a lot of words being exchanged and, as an extrovert, I'm down for it.
People In Our Space Don't Necessarily Phase Us
Not even when that energy comes in the form of a person trying to summit us like we’re Kilimanjaro rising like Olympus above the Serengeti.
We Understand The Need For Stimulation
In other words, we're super sympathetic to a toddler’s boredom. Actually, now that I think about it, perhaps we’re just afraid of it, since I wouldn’t wish a bored toddler on the worst mean girls of my past. (Except you, Felicity. You know what you did.)
A Bit Of Noise Is Usually Fine By Us
The one caveat to our coolness with noisy environments is that we’re allowed to draw the line from like, 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. (I’d say 7 a.m., but come on, I’m not delusional).
We Get How Important It Is To Have Make And Have Friends
Though, at his age, a "friend" just means the person you stare at on the playground, but still. I get it.
Outward Focus is Helpful When Your Kid Is Testing Your Baby-Proofing Skills
One article I saw on Psychology Today referred to extroverts as having an “outward focus” and I think that’s my favorite part. Especially since my kid really, really loves trying to sneak behind the baby gate we’ve set up FOR HIS OWN SAFETY OMG PLEASE GET AWAY FROM THERE, CHILD. GOTTA GO, BYE, GUYS.