5 Reasons Introvert and Extrovert Couples Make Great Parents
You know what old wives' tales say: opposites attract. So if you find yourself in a relationship with an extrovert when you're an introvert, or vice versa, then you're well-aware of all the benefits that come with having a partner who's the yin to your yang. And while it's no secret that agreeing on a restaurant to eat at — or whether to even go out to eat at all — can take a little longer for you compared to other couples, guess what? Partners who decide to have kids are in luck because, according to Jennifer Kahnweiler, PhD, a public speaker and author of The Introverted Leader and The Genius of Opposites, there is a multitude of pros for children who are raised by one parent who's an introvert and another who falls directly into the extrovert category.
They get exposed to the best parts of each personality.
Let's be honest: people with extrovert vs. introvert tendencies usually thrive in utterly different situations, so when it comes to personality traits, kids literally get the best of both worlds.
"Introverts like to focus on a pursuit and not have lots of plates spinning," said Jennifer. "This has a positive result because they encourage their children to go deeper with their interests and passions."
Extroverts, on the other hand, "are very comfortable having children explore different pursuits simultaneously because they favor breadth of experiences over depth." That means your little one can try their hand at a whole bunch of things without having to fully commit indefinitely.
Each parent has different weaknesses — and that's totally OK.
Do you thrive at the office cocktail party while your SO would rather be reading at home? Well, as far as parenting goes, that's perfectly fine. "Introverts know the value of alone time and will encourage their kids to embrace quiet time," explained Jennifer. "Extroverts bring 'people energy' to the family and are more likely to open the door for children to explore new pursuits. They also enjoy meeting new people, so kids learn to socialize."
The bottom line? Your child can have the best of both worlds — someone who values movie nights galore and another parent who will be the first person to volunteer for the PTA. Talk about a win-win.
It can create "balance" in the household.
"The balance of more internal and external energy creates balance in the home as long as everyone is on the same page," explains Jennifer. If not, chaos many ensue. "A drawback is that if parents don't agree with the amount of activities and external stimuli allowed in and out of the home, kids get mixed messages," she explained, adding, "Parents will inevitably have different parenting philosophies, but it is important that they agree on the parameters."
Their differing parenting styles can totally neutralize hard parenting decisions.
In a perfect world, talking to kids about their bad behavior would be a breeze, but that's not the case, especially when they get older. Sometimes parents have to dole out the punishments. Believe it or not, extroverts and introverts may handle this process differently, and that can be a good thing.
"Introverted parents are more likely to think about the punishment, like wait until the next day to talk to their teenager about her curfew violation. The extrovert might be more likely to react in the moment and give a punishment that might not fit the 'crime' or be unrealistic," said Jennifer.
The topic of discipline is a great example of a situation where balance matters. Should you immediately fly off the handle when your child acts up? No. But putting off the unpleasant conversation also has its negative consequences.
Kids get to flush out their own identity early in life.
Obviously, letting children grow and learn for themselves — under your supervision, of course — is something every parent strives to do. And if you're in an introvert-extrovert relationship, you literally get twice the bang for your buck when it comes to raising kids.
"Children get to see what different styles are like and that there is not one way to act," explained Jennifer. "As they are forming their own identity, they can explore both the introverted and extroverted parts of themselves and then incorporate these qualities into their lives."