Kids and teens, you can learn how to make the most of being an introvert at school, with friends, in your family, and with extracurricular activities with this remarkable guidebook: Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts by Susan Cain with Gregory Mone and Erica Moroz.
Parents, you can read this and share excerpts or summarize parts. Teens and tweens, can pick up the book and read it for yourself. Even better, why not read the book together? Do a parent-child book club with Quiet Power!
Introverted Teens and Kids Need This Book
Stories of real kids make the book’s advice and strategies more impactful. Several sections in the book have delightful cartoon illustrations, some of which I’ve included here.
Let me share two of the book’s tips that have most helped my introverted kids in the classroom. They’ll give you a sample of some of the ways this book can be life-changing for your introvert.
Class Participation: Try a Pre-Emptive Strike
Most introverts dread getting called on because AAAH — what to say? plus accessing the information so quickly can be tricky. Participation is part of school though. Teachers want to know what you know. So what can make it easier for introverts?
The Quiet Power authors suggest to strike early. Prepare (study, deliberate) something about the upcoming classroom topic BEFORE the class. Then, participate right away. Raise your hand early and you probably won’t have to be put on the spot later.
Isn’t this brilliant?!
Try it and just see for yourself.
Just think, if you’ve already participated, you’ll be less stressed through the rest of the class. No need to worry about getting called on. You can relax and just learn!
Good Strategies for Group Projects
Another classroom challenge for introverts is group work. Quiet Power suggests strategies to make these often difficult collaborations more successful:
- Speak up. (Even if you have to do it in an email chain.) It’s important to share your thoughts.
- Consider your role. Observe and discover where you feel the most effective in a group: as the facilitator, researcher, devil’s advocate?
- Change partners. Many times teachers assign partners. Or you can pick your own. But either way, this is a great opportunity because sometimes people who aren’t your friends might help you develop your own leadership skills and even become new friends.
- Advocate for quiet. Suggest that everyone take a quiet moment to organize their thoughts before discussing your topic.
- Brainwriting. This is a technique where each person in the group writes an idea down on a Post-it then puts it up on a board. Once all notes are up, they all get discussed. This helps all ideas get equally heard and considered.
- Speak up early. Sometimes it’s helpful to jump into the discussion because it leads to more comfort speaking up as you continue the group work.
Isn’t this helpful? An entire book devoted to helpful strategies for school, friendships, family dynamics, and after school activities. Just for us introverts!
And, if you haven’t seen or read it, I also recommend reading Susan Cain’s book, Quiet. It’s also very beneficial for anyone raising an introverted child.