As a child, I always hated the festive season. The constant parade of friends and relatives and the need to make small talk scared me. All I wanted to do was hide under the bed and wait for the season to be done. I didn’t want to meet yet another aunty or make a new friend. All I wanted to do was to enjoy the quiet of my own world.
I didn’t know I was an introvert then. I learned more about myself as the years went along. These days, I have learned to handle the festival season with minimal panic attacks. But, I will never forget the discomfort I had endured during my childhood.
Here are some tips to help your child (introvert or otherwise) navigate the festival season at home or at a party.
Arrive Early, Leave Early
Be the first ones at any party before majority of the people arrive. Lesser the crowds, easier it is for your child. This will also mean, you can leave early. Much before, everyone wants to know what your child’s ambitions are.
I do this with my extrovert 8-year old regularly. Introvert kids are not great conversationalists. Having a role-play helps them prepare. Practice and plan conversations with different people they will encounter. Kids find it easier if they know what kind of questions they will be asked and what is an acceptable answer. Older kids should also practice asking some open-ended questions.
Also, teaching them saying a polite and grateful goodbye is the fastest way to get out of a party. Many times, goodbyes are dragged because a child doesn’t want to hug/kiss the host. Working on it before the party will help them navigate the situation easily.
Do not Accept All Invitations
While it is tempting to accept every invitation that comes your way, think about your child’s needs. Learn to say no if you think the number of events will overwhelm your little introvert.
Also, remember your child doesn’t need to attend all events you do. A trusted babysitter may be your best friend this festival season.
Find a Hideout
Identify a hideout for your child and tell them to seek refuge if the crowds become unbearable. It can be a cozy corner in the library or a off-limits room where they have access to. I find myself rejunavated after a few minutes away from the crowd.
Of course, it is difficult for young kids to realize when they need a break and how long it is have one. Help them figure out how long they need to be away from the crowd to recharge.
Remember, the season is festive only if everyone in the family has fun. Wishing you and yours a wonderful festive season!