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

All Safe Surrey Coalition council members must ‘step up’ over ‘bad taste’ tweets, rivals say

Slate’s posts on social media in ‘bad taste,’ councillor says

Surrey sports groups grapple with refunds, registration, restrictions and more

‘Our biggest problem is going to be retraining the public because they can’t be there’

Low-cost bicycle repair shop opens in Cloverdale

Cloverdale Community Cycles starts up in church parking lot

First degree murder charge laid in South Surrey shooting death

Wayne Duncan, 46, was killed on Sept. 6, 2019

Surrey mayor denies Councillor’s motion seeking national PPE site for the city

Personal protection equipment manufacturers already spread out through Surrey, McCallum says

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley long term care facility

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Suspect sought in alleged assault, hate crime on Metro Vancouver bus: transit police

The woman then allegedly punched the teenager in the head multiple times

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Abbotsford International Airshow opening 50-year-old time capsule

Bronze time capsule was put together to commemorate AIA as Canada’s National Airshow

Most Read