August 19, 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 Picks

"On Christmas Eve of 1966, Paddy Roy Bates, a retired British army major, drove a small boat with an outboard motor seven miles off the coast of England into the North Sea. He had sneaked out of his house in the middle of the night, inspired..."

"The book that changed lecturer, activist, and current presidential candidate Marianne Williamson’s life, A Course in Miracles, is not available for free online, but its workbook is. You can find it on the website for the Foundation for..."

"Here are two sets of statements from far-distant opposites in the climate change debate. The first is from Naomi Klein, who in her book This Changes Everything paints a bleak picture of a global socioeconomic system gone wrong: “There is a..."

"Voters who trust their government — and each other — are more supportive of ambitious welfare states than those who do not. Across nations, high levels of social trust correlate with high levels of social spending. The relationship between these..."

"With the presidential campaign under way, expect to hear a lot more about a shiny new toy of progressive economic thinking, “modern monetary theory.” It seems to be the only intellectual contortion that might allow candidates to promise..."

"“We don’t want to fight y’all. We’re not trying to go to jail.” That’s what A$AP Rocky, the 30-year-old New York City rapper, can be heard saying in a video of an encounter with strangers in Sweden that has ballooned into an international crisis."

"Israel’s top officials are considering denying Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib entry to their country due to their outspoken, controversial criticism of Israel’s policy toward Palestinians, not to mention their slurs against American Jews as..."

"For most of our lives, we have been conditioned to share a piece of personal information without a moment’s hesitation: our phone number. We punch in our digits at the grocery store to get a member discount or at the pharmacy to pick up..."