Are You an Extrovert Raising an Introvert Child? 3 Tips That Work

What to do when your kids are slow—and you want to get things DONE.


Get these tips right, and your introverted child won’t shut you out.

When you’re a high-energy parent, raising a low-energy child isn’t always intuitive. You can feel the tension between their pace and yours.

In this episode, Carol and Anne help you understand your child’s speed, their whininess, and their tendency to go inward. Try these tips, and you’ll build a balanced relationship where there’s room for you both.

This episode’s Parenting Practice

Listen to the 3 tips in this week’s episode. What stood out to you? You’re good at making things happen right away. So make those changes so you can create more balance and harmony in your home with your children.

Transcript of podcast episode

Carol: …my Type 4 son. He’d stomp off to his room by age 9 or 10 say, “I hate you all,” and he’d leave and go to his room. And so I wasn’t in a place to be aware of going, “That’s a message for me. What am I doing that’s setting him up to say that as a Type 3 mother, as an extrovert parent?”

Welcome to The Child Whisperer Podcast. I’m your host, Carol Tuttle, author of the bestselling parenting book, The Child Whisperer. I’m with my co-host, Anne Tuttle Brown.

Anne: Last week we covered tips for the introvert mom raising the extrovert child. And today we’re talking to the extrovert mom who is raising the introvert child. So remember introvert and extrovert is a little bit different. In the world of Energy Profiling, introvert means you go inward first. That’s the Type 2 and Type 4 energy. An extrovert is an outward movement first, Type 1 and Type 3 energy.

Carol: So I am an extrovert parent, and I raised, three of my four children were what we’d consider the introvert. Two Type 2s and one Type 4. I did not have a Type 3 child, and only in the early days of parenting because we did adopt a Type 1 son, but the extrovert was, but she’s a secondary 2. So she’s a modified Type 1. She’s a softened Type 1.

Anne: Well, yeah, yeah. And within each Type, we should also explain that. Within each Type, there are variables based on their secondary too, how pronounced the extrovert or introvert will be.

Carol: Very much.

Anne: But there’s always an initial inward movement for 2 and 4 and an initial outward movement for Type 3 and Type 1.

Carol: Yeah. And I’m going to give it a little quick pitch for Lifestyle. You would learn so much about yourself and your family with our Lifestyle content. I highly recommend you invest in that because we go into great detail in teaching this introvert/extrovert quality in the movements when looking at the dominant secondary. And it’s fascinating; there’s this fascination in it all because you understand kind of the whole movement of your family better based on this.

Anne: One video I believe you’re referring to is where we line up every Type by dominant and secondary. So there are 12 Types represented from highest movement, most extrovert, to the lowest movement or most introvert movement. To be able to look at that lineup and then place your family members in there, it’s so interesting to say, oh, that’s where I’m at in that one child, and those are the challenges we’re having or to just look at the full dynamic of your family. We did have someone on “The Child Whisperer” group say that video alone was worth the price for Lifestyle membership.

Carol: I agree, because it’s the insight you get from it. And you might think that all the Types, the 1/2, the 1/3, the 1/4 would be the top three. It’s not the case. Looking at Type 1 energy singularly, if you’re only looking at that movement is the highest movement. When you add the secondaries, it modifies it. So the Type 1/2s actually the least of the, you know, they’re way down the line.

Anne: Not the least movement, but it’s the lowest of the Type 1 movement.

Carol: Yes. I invite you to join Lifestyle. It’s rich in content to continue a deeper dive into the world of energy profiling. You know, as an extrovert parent, as I looked at this, it will not be as obvious to you that you’re stressing your children and you’re not honoring their nature. They’re going to take on the stress rather than you. When in the last podcast, it was very apparent that I can’t keep up with my child or they’re too much for me. Where you’re dictating as the extrovert, the rhythm, the movement, kind of the mechanics of your family, you’re that nucleus.

Anne: So it’s more common to hear from like an introvert parent, “My children are driving me crazy.” Would that be the case for an extrovert parent to say that? Like “My kids are driving me…”

Carol: What they’ll say, what they’ll identify with without a reference to their influencing it is, “My Type 2 child is so whiny. It takes him forever to do whatever.”

Anne: So that could drive them crazy, I guess. We don’t encourage that language, by the way.

Carol: They’re wanting to correct now the whining and, “Why is my child so resistant?”

Anne: Or so slow.

Carol: Or you might hear from a Type 1 or a Type 3 parent about their Type 4 child, “They are so opinionated.” So your child is presenting their nature in an extreme way because they’re stressed, they’re not balanced. Well, this is why I come back in those conversations and say, what are you doing? Kind of dial back from that and say, what is the mood of your home? What is the environment that you’re influencing that’s causing stress?

Anne: That’s perpetuating this.

Carol: That’s now causing this disruptive behavior or this ill will from your child. So that’s something you need to look at. Like I look back at my parenting days, and I never stopped myself. I had to deal with whining and issues with both my Type 2 kids. My Type 4 son, he’d stomp off to his room by age 9 or 10 say, “I hate you all.” And he’d leave and go to his room.

And so I wasn’t in a place to be aware of going, “That’s a message for me. What am I doing that’s setting him up to say that as a Type 3 mother, as an extrovert parent? How am I not honoring these children that have a more inward process so that they are cooperative, happy children?” And that’s because Type 1s and Type 3 parents stay so busy. We don’t stop to look at that. What are we influencing?

So that’d be the number one tip. Stop and notice. Are you forcing your children to operate on the energy you run so much that your Type 1 influences? It’s chaotic, and it’s just kind of flying by the seat of our pants here, and you can handle that but your Type 2 and Type 4 children cannot. Type 3, go, go, go. Let’s do this. Let’s keep it going. Get these chores done. What’s the emphasis on? What do you talk to? Are you telling your children to do things more than you’re talking about how are you?

Anne: Not only household duties but if you’ve got an activity planned every day where you’re out of the house, which could be really appealing to a Type 3 mom to get out and do stuff and the higher movement kids, but your 2s and your 4s could get exhausted by that.

Carol: For sure. We had a recent post on the Facebook group from a Type 3 mom along these lines, and I invited her to look at some podcasts, and we’ve talked about this in other podcasts to some degree. And she wrote back after she had learned some things and said, “Wow, yeah, I’ve got the whole family operating to my agenda, and I can see now that that’s not serving these kids that need an environment that supports them.” So how do we create that, Anne?

Anne: Well, more time. More time for them to process, more time for them to prep and plan and think things through. Don’t spring things on them so spontaneously. Allow them time, give them a heads up and also let them know, I think in the same conversation that there may be some times where it’s unplanned. They like plans, they like structure, and you’re going to inform them, or you’re making some changes. I think having the communication, sitting down and telling them, “Okay, I realize I’ve been running at a fast pace and how could we make this more comfortable for you?” How could you make this better?

Carol: And sometimes they don’t need to go along with the family. I have a good friend who’s a Type 1. Her husband’s a Type 2 with a secondary 1, which kind of ups his movement level and then the daughter’s a Type 4. And I was giving some feedback to my friend, and I said, you know, “As she gets more independent into her preteen and teen years, she’s not going to want to keep up with your level of activity. It’s just not that much fun for her. So consider the possibility that you can give her a choice to stay home.” Staying home by herself would be like, that’s huge.

Anne: Yeah, we talked about this in the introvert mom. Like creating that positive breather, that space away from each other.

Carol: So, by the time she was 13, they started giving her that choice. They said, “We just like to get out there and stay really busy,” much more than she did. The Type 4 daughter was now complaining, “This isn’t any fun, and why do we have to go hiking again?” And she couldn’t keep up with that level of movement. She didn’t have the awareness as a 13-year-old to say, “It’s just too much for me to keep going out so much. I need to stay home by myself for a little bit.” But the mom knowing that allowed that choice.

Anne: That’s great.

Carol: Her daughter was thrilled.

Anne: I am sure.

We’ve got more “Child Whisperer” coming up right after this brief message.

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Anne: Let’s go to our next tip. As an extrovert parent, you probably speak your mind readily. You have a big energy, but speaking up may not come so naturally to your more introverted children. So you want to invite them and create a space where you are stopping and listening. Schedule time with them to sit in their room, or in a private setting and talk with them. That goes a really long way to create that connection and to create that trust.

Carol: Good chance as a Type 1 parent, you’re embarrassing your Type 4 child in scenarios that you don’t know that’s what it’s creating. And as a Type 3 parent, you’re forcing your Type 2 child to make decisions too quickly. Putting them on the spot.

Anne: Give them, you know, the tools to say, “I don’t know, I’ll have to answer you later.” I know how freeing that has been for thousands of Type 2 women who have realized like, “I can say that.” That’s an option. Because otherwise, you’ll go into like retreat mode, like a turtle where you’re pressured, where you freeze up.

Carol: You’ll just start doing what your parent wants and never get in tune with what’s right for you, though. And that’s really what you want to teach your children is how to know what’s correct for them. Listen to their own sense of awareness and not just be compliant to other people. Because a Type 2 would be more apt to be compliant where a Type 4 is going to put up a wall and not want anything to do with you.

By your preteen years, you’re going to start to see whether or not your Type 2 and your Type 4 child trusts you and if they’re opening up to you. Because based on how you’ve managed your relationship with them, they’ll feel that they can trust you with their feelings as a Type 2, and they’ll want to open up to you because they’re very tender-hearted. This is a sensitive space, and it needs to be treated in a sensitive way.

Your Type 4 will have the opinion at this point in their life by age 10, 11, 12, whether they feel respected by you. And they’ll cut you out. They’ll go through formalities with you, but they’re not going to open up to you. They have other people. It’s in their small inner circle. And so your motive when your child is 2, 3, 4, 5, with these more introverted children, true to their nature, you’re looking at the extended life of this and the bigger picture going, “I’ve got to do this now because what I want when they’re older, I want this experience with them.” And it doesn’t change as quickly with them. You know, take a preteen or teenager that you kind of messed up on the whole thing, Type 2s will put you on emotional probation, and Type 4 is like respect probation. Well, let me see if you really follow through. Type 2s will be like, let me see if I can really trust you with how I feel. Type 4s are, let’s see if you really mean it because your actions are going to tell me. And so you’re going to be able to shift those dynamics. It will just take longer. So if your Type 2 and Type 4 children are younger, think in terms of, “This is the return of investment in years to come.” It’s worth it.

Anne: I know, that’s great. It’s also important to meet your own needs as an extrovert mom. If your children are more scheduled and routine, you may start to feel stifled and so make sure that you’ve created outlets for yourself. As a Type 1 mom, are you getting out and have spontaneity? Maybe you don’t bring your kids with you. You’re going out or to the mall by yourself even or getting together with friends.

Carol: Taking children out anywhere from one to seven is weight. Nothing light about that. I highly recommend you get out by yourself and lighten it up.

Anne: Type 3, get your hands into a project and get focused and get done. Take care of you as a mom, fulfill your social outlets, your physical outlets. Your me-time will fill your tank so you can come back and give your best to your children.

Carol: If you’re a Type 3 mom, tell your spouse, “A really amazing gift you could give me is to take the kids for like four or five hours out of the house so I can get a lot of stuff done here,” because that would be a gift!

Anne: You’ll feel like you grew wings cruising through the house, getting all sorts of stuff done.

And the last one is to assume the best, both for yourself and your children. Don’t feel like you’re too much; you’re too loud, you’re too spontaneous. Don’t let that guilt weigh on you too long.

If you’re feeling little nudges during this podcast of, “Oh, I’ve been doing that,” then change, use these tips. Your child is not trying to do these things to pull you down. There’s an imbalance in what can be corrected.

Carol: Interestingly, it’d be more likely that the extrovert parent would be saying, “They’re too slow. They’re too serious.” They won’t guilt themselves. They’ll find the fault in the child going, “Ah, they’re so hard.” You know, “I have to deal with this.”

Anne: I’d be like, “Keep up, pick up, keep up with me.” Why?

So your parenting practice for this week is, what has stood out to you in this podcast? What changes can you make to create more balance and harmony in your home with your children? Take those ideas and make it happen. Create more harmony, so for long-term, you can have great relationships with your children.

Carol: Thanks for listening. For more support, go to where you can purchase the book, subscribe to our weekly parenting practice email and find a transcription and audio of “The Child Whisperer” podcast.

Anne: If you’re listening on iTunes, thank you for leaving your review. If you have a parenting question, please send it to [email protected].

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