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Is my child an introvert and how can I help him open up?

Q: My son is 8 years old and reserved and does not like to talk much. When I try and find out things by asking questions he answers only when he wants to otherwise he just says that he does not like answering. He has a problem with making friends, in the sense that if the other fellow talks he responds but never takes a step to start friendship. He does not like to play outdoor games and has a very short span of interest, as long as somebody is appreciating him. He does not like to do anything himself. If we leave him he prefers to stay alone and needs nobody. He does not like crowd and noise. We want him to interact with people and do some physical exercise. I tried to find out what games he likes, he came out with all team games where even if he does not play will not affect the game. Study wise he is very sharp and remembers well. I want him to behave like a normal child and share his pain and happiness with me. How can I make this possible?

A:Children are not like mechanical objects made to order. There are very many individual differences, because every child is also a person, with a temperament and talents and preferences. You son does sound like a very quiet and reserved child. Let him be what he wants to be. Please stop insisting that he should act like other children. He may gradually start moving around with others a little more willingly if he finds that there is no pressure on him. Perhaps he will be an astronomer, who needs to spend a lot of time by himself. I think we tend to give too much importance to being outgoing and sociable. The world has many introverts who have made a good contribution to knowledge or art.

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