I'm an introvert and have previously shared some insights into how I approach a variety of situations, both professionally and personally. While having an inward focus isn't negative, it's the one aspect of my personality that I've struggled with accepting as a positive. I tend to get jealous of people who can walk into any room and immediately strike up an engaging conversation with a stranger, in a seemingly effortless fashion. I don't think about my introversion on a daily basis, but that's changed a bit as Sloan has gotten older and has begun to show traits that both G and I share. There's a wide range of introversion levels and while I'm not qualified to diagnose anyone, it's become apparent that our daughter's early behavior leans more towards an internal focus versus external stimulation.
It's been interesting and enlightening to see how Sloan reacts to new experiences, while also allowing us to adjust how we guide her through challenges. I felt some early anxiety when I noticed Sloan wasn't the kid who would immediately run around the playground with the others (hence why we use this article as a sort of guide), but instead opted to play in the sand with her toys, watching from a safe distance, before deciding to join in. I soon realized her process was similar to mine: Find a comfort zone before taking the next step. It's helped both G and me feel confident that she's developing her own way adapt to situations, without feeling like we're not doing enough to foster her growth.
The biggest take-away we've gained is that her behavior is constantly evolving and there's no guarantee she'll maintain a stronger sense of internal focus as she grows up. On Halloween, for example, she surprised us all. She got into her costume, slung her bag over her little arm and marched out our front door and up the steps into our neighbors' yards. She joyfully yelled, "Trick-treat!" at their doors, thoughtfully selected candy, and ran back towards our group with the hugest grin on her face. I'd been nervous that she'd find the entire experience overwhelming, but she maneuvered it with a kind of grace and self-assuredness that made me tear up. Watching her navigate these early life experiences has made me understand that there's nothing wrong with being introverted, and her sweet, cautious disposition is one of her best traits.