Early Spring 2013 -- Being True to Our Nature

Dear Friends

While at a 9-year-old's birthday party last weekend, I saw one of the little girls take a break from all the raucous romping in the bounce houses. As I watched her quietly get her book, read for a bit, and then return to her friends, I couldn't have been more impressed -- not because she was a book lover (although that's great too!), but because she had enough sense of self to regulate what was comfortable for her. How many of us can say that about ourselves?! I was equally impressed with the mom for understanding her daughter and not forcing her to go play with the others out of fear that she'd appear odd or 'anti-social.'

After reading 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking,' I've come to greatly value the importance of being true to our nature (introvert or extrovert) more than ever. Although I don't have a shy bone in my body, I am every ounce an introvert and crave 'restorative niches' in my day. In a society that tends to reward and even expect extroversion, it's refreshing to see introversion finally being more understood and accepted.

Sometimes (perhaps lots of times!) it's challenging to be an introvert parent raising an extrovert child or an extrovert parent who thinks there's something wrong with the child who just wants to stay home instead of go on another play date. That's why I'm glad to see a growing awareness of our differences, understanding that neither personality type is better or 'right.' After all, where would the world be without Chopin, Einstein, and Stephen Spielberg (famous introverts) or Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Madonna (famous extroverts)?

The important thing is to know our children and respect their needs as well as our own, somehow finding a balance. Had the mother of a little extrovert at the party removed her child from the action in order to have reading time, it would have been hard to watch! Our children need us to support them in who they are — not who we want them to be. Granted, we all need to stretch our limits at times in order to grow, but we can do so while being true to our nature.

My hope is that we come to understand our children and ourselves a little better and that we respect each other's differences and learn from them. Yin and yang is a good thing. Whether introverts or extroverts, let's celebrate the unique gifts we bring and, most importantly, be ourselves, even if that means excusing ourselves from the bounce house for a season.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Offering Wisdom to New Moms

From our archives -- The Best Good Deed

From our archives -- Embracing the Wonder of Children

From our archives -- Encouraging children to live their bliss

From our archives

Holiday 2013 -- Embracing the World of Wonder

Winter 2013 -- Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall 2013 -- Finding Beauty in the Everyday Tasks

Late Summer 2013 - Taking Our Own Advice

Midsummer 2013 -- Appreciating Nature's Bounty

Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

Late Spring 2013 -- Having Realistic Expectations

Spring 2013 -- Offering Mothering Wisdom

Holiday 2012 -- Appreciate the Goodness

Winter 2012 -- Enjoying the Anticipation

Early Fall 2012 -- Looking Back to Appreciate Now

Summer 2012 -- Chinaberry's History & Future

Early Summer 2012 -- My Dad

Late Spring 2012 -- My Satisfying Yet Untraditional Upbringing

Spring 2012 - The Consequences of Our Actions

Early Spring 2012 - Learning From Experience

Winter 2011 - The Small Moments

Holiday 2011 - The Good Deed

Fall 2011 - Gratitude

Late Summer 2011 - Overwhelmed? You're Not Alone.

Midsummer 2011 - Louise's Gallery

Early Summer 2011 - Flying 101: Giving Them Wings

Late Spring 2011 - Letting Them Fail

Spring 2011

Early Spring 2011 - Encouraging Your Kids to Live Their Bliss

Fall 2010 - The Chinaberry Commitment

Late Summer 2010 - In the Blink of an Eye

Midsummer 2010 - It's Her Story

Early Summer 2010 - Weathering the Storm

Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Enjoy the Ride

Early Spring 2010 - Enter the Land of Dirt and Bugs

Winter 2009 - Less Cleaning, More Meaning

Holiday 2009 - Finding Gratitude Every Day

Fall 2009 - Teaching Children Through Our Actions

Late Summer 2009 - A Spoonful of Sugar

Midsummer 2009 - Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom this Summer

Early Summer 2009 - Who's the Kid and Who's the Parent?

Late Spring 2009 - Making Connections

Spring 2009 - Fully Engaging With Our Children

Early Spring 2009 - Building Character While Playing Characters

Winter 2008 - Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Hello

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