Dr Diana Monteiro
I have a 5 year old daughter who is talkative. The last time we went on a vacation she went all over the compartment chatting everyone up and divulging details like where we live. I worry, this may not be safe but I don’t want to turn her into an introvert.
At five, children are developing their social skills. A child who is talkative and friendly is exhibiting an extrovert classic way of interacting. A young child, does not realise the importance of sharing information cautiously. Obviously, they do not have the emotional development or experience. Typically, children will unknowingly humorously, ‘show up’ their parents to extended family and friends, sharing information they picked up much to the chagrin of parents. It is important to talk to your child about what kind of information to share. Explain to your child that it is not okay to talk to total strangers and it is important to not share information about herself. Explain to her that it’s okay to talk to other children her age and to make friends but to be careful when talking to adults and strangers. Explain to your child why she needs to be careful and how information can be dangerous. In addition, know that as long as you do not push you child, teaching them to be careful will make them an introvert. Being an introvert is normal.
The only disorder where they form inappropriate connections is reactive attachment disorder and this occurs in children who are from homes where they are abused or neglected and unable to form attachments with their caregivers. This is rare. Most children just need explanation for why or why not to do certain things.
The writer is a counselling psychologist at the Hyderabad Academy of Psychology. You can write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org