For as long as you can remember, people have described you as reserved, quiet, and maybe even a loner. You鈥檙e all about solitude and want absolutely nothing to do with being the center of attention. But now that you鈥檙e a mom, you鈥檙e discovering your kiddo is an extrovert. They鈥檙e loud, super-social, and have that completely confident 鈥渓ook at me鈥 attitude. Parenting is breaking you out of your introvert shell 鈥 but not completely. Even though the two of you have totally opposite social styles, there are still plenty of strategies to parent effectively.

Two girls sit on the floor to color

1. Schedule plenty of playdates. You love spending time with your child, but they probably don鈥檛 want you as their sole friend. Extroverts tend to be social butterflies, and just because you鈥檙e okay with going it alone doesn鈥檛 mean your child wants to follow. Set up plenty of playdates with your preschooler鈥檚 pals. Not only will this keep your kiddo busy, but they鈥檒l get the chance to thrive socially too.

2. Institute quiet time. The talkative side of your child isn鈥檛 really something you understand 鈥 you鈥檝e never been one to chat, and chat, and chat some more. You adore spending time with your tot, but your little chatterbox is kind of wearing you down. You need a mental break, but you don鈥檛 need to force your kiddo into being a mini-me who permanently prefers to stay quiet. Get the restful time alone that you need by putting a 10 to 15-minute 鈥渜uiet time鈥 into effect.

3. Avoid being an influencer. It鈥檚 clear that the two of you have very different personalities. While you might not know anything about extroverting, that doesn鈥檛 mean you have to hand down introvert lessons instead. Even though encouraging your child鈥檚 outgoing ways may mean that you鈥檙e forced to learn a new social and emotional vocabulary, you鈥檝e totally got this. Step back, let your child take the lead, and try not to push your own introvert agenda.

A woman reads a book in bed

4. Find an 鈥渁lone space.鈥 Your S.O. is home, the sitter is over, or your sister is visiting. Whoever is there, you have an extra pair of hands to help, which means you can take a break and have some 鈥渕e鈥 time. The solitude you once savored has come and gone as you鈥檝e moved from single life into motherhood. As long as you have someone responsible to watch your kiddo, close (and lock) your bedroom door to catch up on your reading, or hide out in the bathroom for a soothing bath as a mini-escape.

5. Sit back and let your child shine. Extroverts are all about the spotlight. So why take that away from your child, especially when you so don鈥檛 want it for yourself? Your little one is giving you the perfect out. Instead of having to entertain the in-laws or perk up a family party, let the kiddo do it.

6. Remember who is in charge. It鈥檚 easy to get lost in an extrovert鈥檚 put-everything-out-there personality. Sometimes an overly outgoing personality can come off as bossy, and when it鈥檚 your child who鈥檚 doing the bossing, the shy, quiet, introverted parent can feel like they鈥檙e out of control 鈥 literally. You may seem silent next to your child, but as a mom, you shouldn鈥檛 keep mum and let the kiddo take over. You are the parent, and you are the one who is in charge.

7. Give yourself a break. Your child isn鈥檛 the only one who needs encouragement: You need some slack 鈥 and some self-applause. Parenting an extrovert as an introvert isn鈥檛 easy. Yes, you might stumble. And yes, you might fall and fail from time to time. But that鈥檚 part of parenting. No one expects perfection, especially when you鈥檙e navigating a completely foreign personality territory.

Are you an introvert raising an extrovert, or vice versa? Tweet us your parenting tips @BritandCo!

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