April 21, 2019

How to Raise an Extroverted Child

“Last month, my wife told our 5-year-old daughter, Anna, that because we’d be out of town on an upcoming weekend, Anna would have to decline an invitation she’d gotten. It was a birthday party for a boy I’ll call Ben.

“Oh, can’t we please stay home?” Anna implored. “I really want to go to Ben’s party.”

“But Anna,” my wife said, “you don’t like Ben.”

Anna looked at her, perplexed. “That’s true,” she said. “But I like parties!”

Such are the travails of raising an extrovert. For Anna, there is no such thing as a bad party. No night can drag on too long; no guest can overstay her welcome. People, she believes, are born to be together. For her, if solitude is not quite a vice, it is at best an inexplicable lapse in taste.

How extreme is Anna’s extroversion? One day, she wouldn’t leave kindergarten until she had said goodbye to, and hugged, every child in the room. Because most kids her age don’t take telephone calls, she likes to call my best friend since childhood, now a man of 45, on the phone. She can never connect enough.

In the 15 years since Jonathan Rauch wrote his influential essay “Caring for Your Introvert,” pro-introvert dogma has been preached in scores of articles, television news segments and books, including “The Introverted Leader,” “The Introvert Advantage ” and Susan Cain’s 2012 mega-seller, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” We have all been instructed that introverts are special, underappreciated and, to quote Rauch, “wildly” misunderstood.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"After five years of war with the Islamic State, the biggest problem for the winners is coping with the losers. The aftermath has produced one of the world’s most perplexing postwar challenges..."

"What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change."

"...the pendulum of history never stops moving. Indeed, one of the few constants of history is unceasing change. While we seem to be heading in one direction, we must remember that there will surely be pauses, turns, and reversals."

""Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé," premiered early Wednesday and it was the fulfillment of all the ancestors' hopes and dreams. Beyoncé also dropped "Homecoming: The Live Album.""

"Seven in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 received financial support from their parents in the last year, including more than half of those in their early 30s. Almost three in five millennials said they couldn’t afford their lifestyles without the support."

"Social media influencers have helped turn public lands into tourist-infested swamps. And one cantankerous man is fighting back."

"One particular myth that attached itself to Ledger was that his death was somehow a result of immersing himself in the character of the Joker."

"In 2018, for the second year in a row, American publishers released fewer translated titles: 609 books were published, down from 650 in 2017 and the industry high in 2016 of 666."

"Egg freezing had become so routine among my single peers that when I hit 35, I never thought twice. Here’s what I wish I had known."

"When it comes to Passover cuisine, most home cooks know to avoid wheat, oats, rye, and other forbidden ingredients. But what consumers might not realize is just how much cotton they eat during the holiday."

"A masked figure looms over your recumbent body, wielding power tools and sharp metal instruments, doing things to your mouth you cannot see."

"Passover is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt. It is often referred to as the “festival of freedom.” My Passover in prison was at a place called the Wallkill Correctional Facility..."