Children acquire social skills in many ways but we must always start with the child themselves. Every child is born with their own temperament and development takes place differently for everyone. While there are general milestones to help parents gauge whether or not to consult their doctor, very few children are wearing diapers or using bottles in high school. The same is true for how they engage socially. It’s a very individual thing.

Some children are born outgoing, friendly, trusting and curious. If a child inherits these characteristics from one or both parents, chances are good that they are an extrovert.

Extroverts are people who seem to say, “Here I am world. Let me tell you about myself!” and proceed to do just that.

They may have trouble waiting patiently for their turn in games or going on shopping trips. 

Giving the extrovert some responsibility can help. Try things like having them collect items at the grocery store.  

Photo: bzo on Flickr
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon

The child who is a bit shy, introspective, hesitant and suspicious might be one of those 40 percent who are introverts.

Introverts are people who seem to say, “If you want to know me, you’ll have to take your time and prove that I can trust you.”

As children are exposed to a variety of social situations, they usually react according to their inborn temperament.

It is important that you allow your child to react in the way that is natural for them. Introverts who are pushed too quickly into social situations will stubbornly withdraw further into themselves.

They want to understand the situation before joining in.

Feeding the Ducks

Extroverts crave the company of other children and become bored and restless on their own. If your extrovert is an only child, play dates and activities with other children will help keep everyone happy. 

Your introvert will enjoy company, too, but will be happier when introduced to larger groups slowly. Try one-on-one play-dates first. 

No matter which type of personality your child has, expect things to shift. Like learning styles, the more exposure they have to other ways of thinking, the more they will grow.