Being invested in your children, and especially in their early educational experience, is the rite of passage to parenthood. But it’s not easy to be involved in your kid’s school community if you’re socially awkward, introverted and easily overwhelmed by social demands. Here we’ve rounded up a few strategies from experienced parents to help you out in such situations.
Avoidance is indeed the path of least resistance. But, when it comes to your child, that’s not always an option. No matter how introverted you are, it’s necessary to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Think about all the happy memories your kids will have if you attend that evening meeting or volunteer at the school event.
Always remember that getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t entail biting more than you can chew. Know yourself and don’t pressure yourself to go to extremes at first. There’s no need to run for the executive board of the parent-teacher association immediately. Focus on doing as much or as little as you can.
Fake it Till You Make It
Constantly fighting the urge of staying hidden and not being noticed takes a huge amount of willpower, and yes, acting skills. You may feel like you’re acting while attending social events at your kid’s school because that’s what you’re doing! So, keep pretending. Make yourself look comfortable, start a conversation, and gradually you’ll learn the rest.
Inviting Others Into the Circle
When you’re at a parent gathering at school and notice someone who might feel introverted just like you, don’t hesitate to reach out. Introduce yourself, invite that person to join your table, and make conversation. This gesture will help that person as much as it’ll help you, if not more. It’s a baby step toward broadening yourself.
Being Honest About Your Feeling
Don’t hold yourself back from sharing your feelings of discomfort and awkwardness with others. You’ll be surprised to learn how many people actually feel the same way, even the seemingly put-together parents. Also, sharing your feelings with your children will help them understand you and the reasons behind your actions.
Taking Time to Recover Afterwards
It’s normal for any introverted person to feel physically and emotionally drained after an episode of not-so-willing socializing. In such a case, you need time to recharge before tackling the next challenge. Spend some time with yourself, alone, or in a comfortable setting, doing only those activities you enjoy. It’s helpful to make you ready for the next one.