Do you believe that the personality of babies are made and not born with or born and not made? I think at the start, they were born with their own set of personalities but it is up to us, as parents, to try NOT to shape but to HONE these personalities. My husband and I both have more or less the same personality type. Suffice it to say that the apple does not fall far from the tree. Baby Bear has our personalities. This is a double-edged sword for us. This can be good because at least we know how we like and don’t like things so it is easier to adapt to her. This is also bad because, hey it’s hard enough to change ourselves as it is, let alone get someone else to change too.
Baby Bear is a bit of an introvert like us. I scoured around the internet looking for the best description of what an introvert is. It’s hard to do so because there is a lot of misconception surrounding this specific stereotype. Here’s the best definition I was able to get that was a bit close to home of what an introvert for me is.
So what makes Baby Bear an introvert?
1.) She tends to think things through before doing – If I ask her to look for things in the room, she really looks first before pointing. Just recently, I asked her where the wall clock is in the office of her pedia. She looked around first then pointed to where it was hung. When I ask her to grab me toys from her room, she doesn’t just go and randomly throw around things looking for the object that I asked for. She will survey the room first, and when she finds it with her eyes, then she goes for the object.
2.) She observes first before diving head on – She is enrolled in Gymboree Play & Learn 3 and Music 1 class. She doesn’t participate at once because she studies the teacher intently.. and by intently, I mean if looks-can-kill type of stare. After she gets the hang of it, she practices at home, preferably when she is alone. We see her doing the stuff she learned in school via our baby monitor.
3.) She is very shy and reserved. – She shies away from people who shower her with lots of attention. She doesn’t like to “do tricks” in front of other people and literally, burrows herself when people applaud her.
No, I don’t think she is anti-social. Neither is she “gifted” in the negative way. That’s just how she is. Different strokes for different folks. This is how she moves, this is how she learns and plays. I can enroll her in all the classes I can think of or even schedule her all the playdates that she wants but I think this is how she really is. She is super happy to see her room when she comes home from the mall, classes or a trip. She plays with all her toys as if she hasn’t seen them for a week. This is her way of recharging and being herself.
Do I wish that she was more of an extrovert? Yes, I do sometimes wish that but only because I know my Baby Bear has so much talent to share. She knows so many things already and I am just a bursting proud Momma Bear who just wants to show her off. I think though, we just need to take a step back and remember that though our babies are ours, they are still their own person. They are living their own lives and we should let them live it by supporting them and not changing them. We should foster an environment wherein they will feel safe and secure enough to grow and blossom.
Here’s a list of rules for caring for an introvert that a friend of mine emailed me.
An introvert or an extrovert will have their own ways of learning and living. At the end of the day, trust that they will arrive at the same answer… just a different road. To the moms out there, who also have introvert babies, let your tiger mom instinct take a step back. You may not be able to show them off the way you would an extrovert child who loves the crowd and knows how to work them, but your baby will know if you are proud of them… and at the end of the day, that is all that will matter! Your child is uniquely yours and only a mother can love and understand their own kids the best way they know how – quirks and all! :)
How about you? Is your child an introvert or extrovert? Do share us your stories about your own kids :) Happy weekend!