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

Kent council votes 4-1 in favour of Teacup properties development

Coun. Kerstin Schwichtenberg was the only ‘no’ in difficult vote

MP Vis advocates for faster internet in rural communities

Less than 45 per cent of rural households in Canada have high-speed internet

Peace on the water

Harrison Lake was rather serene recently with the lack of usual traffic… Continue reading

UPDATE: Police oversight agency investigating after shots fired Saturday night in Chilliwack neighbourhood

RCMP reported a ‘distraught male’ fired at police officers on Christina Drive – IIO is on scene Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

CAMH survey looks at binge-drinking, financial anxiety during COVID

Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism for those whose careers may have been sidelined due to the pandemic

Half of Canadians say governments are hiding something about COVID-19: poll

More than a third of people believe the virus was created in a lab

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Most Read