Lessons From My Extroverted Daughter


I’m an introvert. No doubt about it.

Before kids, I was leery of meeting new people and striking up a conversation. I enjoyed social outings but not in large settings and that consisted of a small group of friends and family. When I felt stressed or overwhelmed, I turned inward and wanted to be alone. Saying “hi” to a stranger was not on my radar. I didn’t like to try many new things and let my fear get the best of me at times. I felt like I was always assessing an impending risk.

When my daughter was born, it did not take long to realize that she was an extroverted person. She constantly smiled with or without prompting from the age of two months. She enjoyed seeing strangers at the stores and smiled at them from a safe distance. She was also a quick learner when it came to moving around and curious about anything she could get her hands on. She never thought twice about climbing tall staircases or couches before she could walk. We took her to the zoo in a forward-facing carrier when she was about six months old,. As an extroverted child, she was so excited to see the crowds of people she didn’t stop smiling, screeching and flailing her arms and legs until we were back at the car. At about two, she started approaching other kids at the playground, smiling and wanting to play with little hesitation. On her first day of preschool, I could sense she was nervous. It would be the first time away from me, with strangers. She showed her bravery by walking right in the door to the classroom hand in hand with a friend and never looking back.

Now, she is happiest when “everyone is all here!” as she says. She constantly wishes to be engulfed with friends and family, genuinely inclusive to others. The larger the crowd, the more at peace she seems. Many people describe my extroverted daughter as the “life of the party.” She is always ready to make you laugh and thrives from the attention she gets when she is successful.

Many mothers and fathers will say, “I’ve learned so much from my kid.” But, I never deeply understood what that meant until my extroverted daughter showed me. She turned six in August, yet she has taught me about the joys of being an extrovert in her tiny lifespan.

extroverted daughterShe’s taught me to be a kinder person in society. As she walks ahead of me at the park and looks a stranger in the eye shouting excitedly, “hi!” I follow her lead.

As she sinks into a creek bed full of mud and all things squishy and slimy, I follow with little hesitation, though it is well out of my comfort zone.

When I start to feel anxious about all the milestones of her independence as she turns six (hello Kindergarten!), I look at her excitement for the unknown and try my best to mirror it.

Watching her conquer a fear, like riding a full-size horse as her heart rapidly beats, is the motivation for me to be more focused on conquering my fears.

It’s not in my nature to genuinely mimic my daughter’s extroverted natural ability to entertain and encourage others to participate in the fun she’s created. However, I often find myself standing back and watching her with pride, reminding myself that confidence can be self-created.

Making people laugh with her silly faces or movements is a specialty. When my son was born, she would do anything to make him laugh when he was grumpy or crying. Watching her interactions with a more introverted sibling has shown me the power of enjoying the moment.

One of the most important lessons my extroverted daughter has taught me over the past six years is that inclusivity and genuine kindness towards others is the basis of forming and maintaining formidable relationships. Because my daughter loves to be around as many people as possible, she naturally has no bias as to who she should include. When I see the pure joy on her face and the laughter she shares with the instant friends she makes, I hope that her inclusivity will never be tarnished and as she grows, she shares this influential lesson with others and that she always remains the same!

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Shaina Uehlin
Shaina is a stay at home mom of two active littles, aged four and two. She is a Columbus native, OSU alumni and lives on the east side with her husband of six years. You can catch Shaina running around town wearing yoga pants. You may think she is on her way to a beloved yoga class, or glistening with sweat on her way home, but she’s most likely running errands with her kids in tow. Shaina enjoys fantasizing about tasting wine and cheese at local wineries. Mostly, Shaina spends her time cleaning up around the house, grocery shopping, meal prepping, searching for serenity, watching bingeworthy shows with her husband and counting her blessings.