Nyah and her mother, Misty Waters. (Submitted photo)

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

Eleven-year-old Aislinn usually dances for four hours a day between hanging out with her friends and going to school.

Now, as an only child, she’s isolating at home with her parents in their home on central Vancouver Island. Her mom, AJ Welburn, said she’s managing to take it in stride.

“It’s tough to be away from friends, but [she’s] utilizing social media and video chat to speak with them. However, she has been very understanding as to the situation that we are all in and doesn’t complain about being home,” said Welburn. “Her days right now include live video dance classes/lessons, reading, movies, playing in the yard, some school work, iPad time, walks — anything to keep busy.”

Only children are in a unique situation during COVID-19 and the social isolation that comes along with it — parents can’t plop them down with a sibling to keep them occupied.

And, of course, all kids are different in their needs and how they approach spending an increased amount of time at home. And not all children, especially extroverted ones, are able to easily adapt, said Dr. Jillian Roberts.

Roberts is a clinical child psychologist, who has been dealing with the same questions while parenting her 7-year-old. They’ve enrolled in an online Harry Potter course to stay busy and get outside every day to let off some steam.

Roberts said it’s not black and white in terms of what introverted and extroverted children need, and how they will approach social isolation with their guardian(s).

READ MORE: COVID-19: Keeping their distance will help keep your kids healthy

“For introverts, who kind of liked being home on a Friday night with the fire, this isn’t that different for them,” she said.

Misty Waters’ daughter fits into that category. Eight-year-old Nyah’s favorite place was already their B.C. home.

“Our days are only slightly different from before. Aside from no school during the day, no gymnastics or play dates and no meals out,” said Waters.

Waters’ describes Nyah as “kind and quiet, yet self-assured.”

Roberts said children like Nyah might not have to adjust as much to social isolation.

“They’re not having to adapt to something that different, but for extroverts and extroverted children, this is a huge adaptation,” she said.

Roberts said some extroverted children might need more playtime with parent(s), but all kids are going to miss interacting with children closer to their age — parents can just do their best right now.

“Get your child to participate in making dinner and chatting, put music on and dance around the kitchen,” she said. “Just try to be in the moment, be day-to-day and try and make it as fun as you can for your child.”

Roberts also stressed that getting outside with your introverted or extroverted child will make a big difference.

However, she reminds parents that all members of a family are going to feel the weight of a global pandemic and the grief and stress that comes with it.

“One of the things I’m hearing from families I’m working with is that it feels very unnatural in a time of crisis to have to be alone,” she said. “During times of crisis we often just want to be with our families, but we’re not able to do that right now.”

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CoronavirusParenting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Ashcroft food bank benefits from donation as demand increases

Community Futures Thompson Country provides much-needed cash donation

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Public will have input on changes to interior of Ashcroft Library

Local libraries also offering new takeout service as they work toward reopening

BC SPCA team helps discover new feline virus after outbreak at Quesnel shelter

Fechavirus is a kind of parvovirus, which makes cats and kittens very sick

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Most Read