Does your child talk too much or too little? The degree of success if your relationship with your child is not determined by how talkative your child is.
Your child's personality type plays an important role in this.
We all have a different personality type. One of the elements of our personality is how each of us approaches life.
Some are introverts and feel more comfortable in less “out there” situations. Introverted personalities tend to keep their thoughts and feelings in more, a bit closer to the vest. They are more apt to enjoy smaller groups and alone time.
This should not be interpreted to mean that they don’t want to talk or share or even that they can’t…it can simply mean that they have a more subdued approach.
If your child leans toward an introverted approach, this should be respected and only viewed as a problem if he/she shows signs of complete isolation from family and friends or absolute refusal to share thoughts or feelings of any kind at all.
Others are extroverts and have an easier time sharing and voicing their thoughts and feelings…they are more comfortable with others knowing what is going on inside them. They do well in large groups and prefer company rather than being along.
There is no right or wrong in differences of personality. It is a destructive situation when parents who are extroverted expect their children who are introverted to be as forthcoming in conversations as they are.
Without an awareness and understanding of the differences in personalities, parents can inadvertently sabotage the very thing they are trying to create by expecting their children to react or respond as they would in any given situation.
This is something that is commonly overlooked in all relationships. People tend to make judgments and decisions about one another based on the way they approach life.
I remember many years ago when I was attending college and my psychology professor gave an example of a couple who had come to him for marriage counseling. This particular couple had reached the point of wanting a divorce. Counseling was their last effort before filing legal papers.
Their problem revolved around the wife’s feelings that her husband didn’t share his feelings with her. She was an extremely articulate person. Because her husband did not respond in kind when she would express her feelings she interpreted that to mean that he didn’t feel the same way she did.
The professor explained to her their difference was in their approach and not the feelings themselves.
She was a full blown extrovert and her husband was a card-carrying introvert!
In order to explain what this meant in terms of their marriage and ability to communicate, he said, “To ask your husband to express himself as you do would be the same as asking you to NOT express your feelings as he does!”
She got it.
He suggested that she to learn to respect her husband’s natural tendency to be introverted and asked the husband to respect his wife’s tendency to be extroverted.
And that it would be hugely beneficial to their relationship if he would work to share a bit more and if she would work to accept that the differences did not equate being wrong or unfeeling on her husband’s part.
In all relationships, the key is to recognize and respect each other’s differences, discover a way to communicate that is comfortable for both parties whether it is husband and wife or parent and child…and above all always honor your differences.