Charms of the Quiet Child

Big personalities may get the applause, but reserve can be a gift, and a little shyness can be O.K.

Lars Hansen / Gallery Stock


Most parents want their children to be assertive, bold and brave, to take on challenges without fear of people or of failure. Some kids do just that, and when they do, the grownups swoon. This is how Presidents, movie stars and Olympic medalists start out, isn't it? Who wouldn't want a golden child? The problem, of course, is that if boldness is golden, reticence must be silver or bronze--or tin. Introverted children are everywhere--you may be raising one--yet too often they wind up without cheerleaders.

So for starters, let's remember that introversion, in most cases, is good. The accomplishments of deep...

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