Whenever I’m in social settings with my daughters, I try to connect them with everyone, set up groups, and engage these friends in lively conversation.
This, of course, would delight and energize me, but it’s stressful and overwhelming for my more introverted family.
So I’ve learned to remember that they do not experience what I experience socially. What I see as isolation and boredom, they see as precious contemplative time to enjoy observing others and to interact with just one or two interesting people.
Parents who try to transfer their emotions onto their children might just be completely wrong. This is my best advice for all the summer gatherings ahead: don’t imagine we know what people want in social situations.
I’m learning everyday that what energizes me drains them.
I back off and let them live in ways that nourish them.