It is said that those who are extroverts get their energy from interacting and spending time with others. As an introvert myself, this seems like a foreign concept. I love my friends and family, but overall, I feel most at peace and comfortable alone. My mother is a social butterfly and my father seems to be fine either way, so I have often wondered where I get this from.
Now it has come to my attention that my son isn’t fond of groups at daycare, especially when they involve older children. My first thought is not some behavioral issue on his part but maybe he just doesn’t like one or more of those kids. Maybe he just wants the book to himself because at home, he can do that. Or maybe it is just a phase because he is 16-months old and his feelings and behaviors are changing everyday. My point is, I don’t necessarily think that the past week or two that this has been occurring is cause for some worry about his socialization skills. He can’t even talk yet, should he have some booming social life?
Some of the things that have been mentioned is him mirroring behavior at home and that he is too attached to my husband and I overall. I’m sorry, I take offense to those statements. Again, he is 16-months. Are there other people he should be attached to right now? Is it not common knowledge that 12-18 months is the height of separation anxiety for toddlers? I don’t think the solution to this is just to take him to Chuck E. Cheese and force him to play with kids that are older, bigger, and more advanced than he is. How does that help? Maybe two months from now he will be fine. Or maybe he is just naturally a shy kid that prefers to hang back. He may not be able to convey that at his current age because his only way to express emotion is by crying. Additionally, I’m not sure how my being an introvert and not having people over every weekend is somehow causing this.
I am finding myself troubled by this whole situation because I think it is all stemming from two things, 1) how someone else thinks he should be acting in a group setting and 2) the fact that he gets upset means that he needs special attention, thus taking away from the group and causing stress for our daycare provider. I can’t think that he is the only child that needs comforting a few times per day because of some kind of emotional breakdown. I will re-iterate, he is a toddler. They don’t know how to regulate their emotions yet. So if this is not something that you are equipped to handle, why work in childcare?
I love my boy and he is sweet, funny, and relaxed. I don’t see anything about his personality that needs to be changed. Other people are always going to judge because we are looking at it from our own lens. I know there are probably lots of people that want me to be an extrovert so that I can be their source of energy, but I just don’t have it in me. While I may drive myself crazy with my own thoughts and worries, I find the time to reflect peaceful and refreshing. Maybe my son, like his mom, whether it be learned or physiological, would prefer to read a book one-on-one instead in a group. God forbid I guess…