My 4 and a half year old son, an only child, is an extrovert and I'm an introvert. I was always shy and quiet growing up, and while I'm not as shy now, I can be quiet, keep to myself, like a lot of privacy, etc. (My husband is what I would call an in-betweener). I realized this with my son a while ago but looking into the issue of why he can't play by himself prompted me to look into this more. I found many parents who asked that same question were also stating that their child was extroverted while they were not. It made me want to know how many other people had this dynamic and how they handled it.
My son will be the kid who says hi to anyone and everyone (even when you don't want him to, ie strangers, awkward situations, etc.). Wants constant interaction with others. Wants to be a part of everything going on. He has a lot of energy and has to do something all the time. He is a talker! For me, it's hard for a variety of reasons. I am not that type of personality and would be content not talking to anybody in social situations. I also don't know many people so can not give him that socialness that he craves. I have however made efforts to get to more kid things and have made friends through them but they all don't live close and can't see them all the time anyway. I also can not drive due to a past medical condition (working on getting that going though, who knows when it will) and therefore do not go out as much as if I could unless it's with my spouse, mother, sister, etc. (which is a pain in the you know what and very frustrating). He will also just blurt things out that I don't think is appropriate. He will ask stranger adults "What are you doing? Why?", needs to know about their business and tries to get involved in it. Maybe it's just the way I was raised but I don't think it's appropriate for kids to ask adults things like that. He has also become rude and talking back to us. I think part of the problem is that adults have been the ones to play with him for the most part of his life and he sees them as equals/peers instead of authority figures to respect. We make it very clear that is not acceptable to say the things he says and how he says it but it does not work and I don't know how to squelch that. He has even asked his aunt, who plays with him a lot when she is here, and myself on separate occasions, if we would be his sister
(For the record, he asks for a sibling, specifically a sister, all the time)
It is also exhausting. Introverts need alone time to recuperate which is very true with me, and my son does not. He does not like to do anything by himself. Constantly asking us to play with him or do something with him. The only break we get is if we go to a park with him or other place with another child to play there and he plays with them, or at bedtime when he's asleep. Every other time is, "will you play with me?", and if you say "can you play by yourself?" or "I will in a couple of minutes" it turns into either a whine fest or "can I have a snack?" or "can I watch something?", which I do not like. I don't want him eating or watching something just because he doesn't want to play by himself. Because my mother is living with us too, downstairs, now it's also "I want to go see Grandma", and expecting her to play or put a tv show on for him. Tonight I gave him the choice to either play by himself or bedtime and he chose bedtime, that's how much he will avoid playing by himself. He also knows that bedtime is more of our attention because we are putting him to bed. If he does play by himself, it's not more than a couple minutes, then he starts acting out in some way to get your attention. And I'm not talking about I go off and go on the computer or phone or something while he plays by himself, I'm talking about using the bathroom or attempting to make dinner, things that need to happen. I know that part of the problem is that we would always do something with him from the beginning, someone was always giving him attention at all times. I just thought that as he got older he would just want to play by himself. Maybe he will later on but it just feels like it's getting worse.
We are now into the summer and I am dreading it. At least during the rest of the year he was in preschool for 2 days a week and this fall will be in 4 days a week but this summer I don't have anything planned for him to be somewhere else, reasons being because of money, not having means to always get around, limitations based on his age, and programs filled up. We also just moved and it is farther away from some friends he had so that's not too much of an option either.
Sorry for the essay
, just wanted to give as much information about it as possible.
Any advice? Anyone go through something like this before or going through this now?