As a student, my parents would inevitably hear the same thing at every Parent-Teacher conference—some variation of: “She sure is a spirited one!” or “Participation isn’t an issue for her!” or my mother’s personal favorite: “She simply needs to stop talking.”
Growing up, I liked to talk to anyone about anything. I was the student others wished would just stop raising her hand to give the other kids a chance—and I was considered a strong, engaged student because of it, if not a little too chatty.
Today, along with my husband and daughter, I continue to be boisterous, silly, and love a good adventure—but my son is a different story. Where we are loud and outgoing, he is quiet and introspective. He sits back, watches and listens, never the one to try new things or start a conversation. During holiday celebrations, he is most often found in his room, waiting out the craziness.
Predictably, it is now me who hears the same thing year after year at Parent-Teacher conferences: “He needs to participate more.” “He’s a smart kid but I would like to see him add to class discussions.” My usual response: “Maybe try to find another way for him to contribute?”