Perceiver personality types can be a lot of fun to spend time around. They’re playful and good at adapting to new situations with ease. They’re innately curious and always following the next exciting project, and they thrive without too many guidelines or structures, finding success on their own terms and in their own ways.

These traits are just a few of the reasons a Perceiver can bring something new to the workplace or make a romantic or platonic relationship truly exciting. But they can mean challenges for Perceiver parents looking to follow their own hearts and interests while still setting rules for the little ones and guiding them into the world. 

Here are a few ways Perceiver parents can work to create an effective and structured home environment while staying true to themselves.

Lean into your strengths

Perceivers are often excellent listeners and happy to communicate about an issue until a satisfying conclusion is reached. Being open to conversation and journey with your children is a vital skill. It helps you get to the root of any problem you may be experiencing and establish yourself as a safe haven for the future. 

Perceivers are generally adaptable and happy to go with the flow, which are key skills in parenting. Embrace those elements of yourself when helping your family to grow and communicate effectively.

Find balance in organization

By nature, Perceivers like to have an open schedule. They’re always up for adventure and happy to follow whatever path might appear before them. While there is certainly room for spontaneity and excitement in parenthood, it’s important to find a measure of organization and think-ahead to help keep your family’s day-to-day running smoothly and efficiently.

There are many unique ways to stay organized, from planners and calendars to setting simple routines for yourself -- try these productivity tips. Try to find an organizational system that matches your needs as an individual, so you can show your kids that having fun and staying on top of your responsibilities are not mutually exclusive.

Focus on seeing projects to completion

Perceivers may come across as flaky or absentminded because they often drop projects halfway through, but the opposite is true. They’re simply excited by everything they see and can be tempted away from a current interest by something new. 

In parenting, problems may arise when your children see a lack of follow-through on commitments, whether that is to them or others. It can lead to misbehavior and even disrespect, if they believe you won’t truly discipline them or see a punishment through to the end.

It’s okay to put down projects if they’re unfulfilling or no longer important to you, and that’s something your kids should know and feel comfortable doing. But you also want to show your children that completing something can be its own reward. They’ll see this both as a reason to push through on challenging assignments and activities, and also cause to take the rules and guidelines you set more seriously in the future.

Make realistic routines

Yes, following routines can be very challenging for Perceivers. If there’s too much structure in their schedule, they can feel overwhelmed or burdened by responsibilities. This often results in extreme behaviors to the other side of the spectrum, like week-long road trips or career changes.

As your family grows, however, you will have to reckon with a certain measure of routine to fit their schedule and your own as a parent. The key to creating a routine that sticks is to make it your own. Include elements and activities that interest and excite you. It’s vital that the kids get to school and practice on time every day, but maybe weekends can be left open for day trips or science experiments. Leave time within your own schedule for a personal adventure, and always make space for the small elements of the day-to-day that make you happy, like watching the sunrise or speaking with an old friend.

When your kids see that expectations are set and that there is a certain measure of routine each day, it will be easier for them to adjust to structure and follow guidance. They’ll also see that it’s important to make time for joy. 

Have honest conversations about rules and guidelines

Perceivers often want to know ‘why.’ They’re innately curious and always chasing answers to big and small questions.

And children are often the same way! 

Rules and expectations that seem arbitrary may be more difficult for them to follow—which you totally understand.

Instead of making a list of demands and behaviors for your children, involve them in the conversation and discuss why certain rules exist and what they’re designed to do. Show your kids that you make rules to keep them safe and healthy, but that you’re open to discussion because the rules impact their lives too. 

Not only will this help your children to better understand and take more ownership over the structure and guidelines in their lives, but you’ll likely find it easier to follow as well, since it came about as the result of informed discussion and the reasoning behind each intention has been made clear.

Concentrate on the important things

When you’re accustomed to an unstructured environment, it can be very difficult to create one rule and guideline, let alone follow through on each. To avoid throwing your own rules out the window in a week, you’ll want to narrow things down, so only the most necessary rules and guidelines remain. Determine what’s most important for you and your family and focus on that, with less concern for the rest.

It’s easier to follow a few really important rules for yourself and your charges, than to try to suddenly become someone who works well in totally structured and organized environments. With that central point guiding you, you won’t feel as stifled and your family will more naturally strive to be respectful, kind, and active.

Set good examples

Rather than wondering how you’re going to show your children to be organized and structured in all things, show them that a healthy balance is the key to success. It’s important that you don’t change who you are at the core. Kids know when you’re being disingenuous and it’s unsustainable long-term.

Instead, highlight the balance between following your goals and dreams and putting your head down and getting the work done right. Your kids will see the beauty of spontaneity and excitement. But they’ll also know that success takes patience and follow-through, and they’ll be more likely to practice what you do than what you say.

Remember, there is no one way to raise smart, kind, and good children. Your Perceiver personality traits are a benefit that helps to make their lives full, exciting, and interesting, and you shouldn’t try to hide any part of who you are or what you value. You can create a household standard that encourages your kids to work hard, help the world, explore, and love with ease. All it takes is a little bit of balance. After all, to the Perceiver, parenthood is just the next great adventure. 

Ruby Scalera recently graduated Emerson College and has since reported on a wide variety of topics from the Equal Rights Amendment to the history of the romance novel. In her free time, she loves to travel, and spent several months living in a 14th-century castle in the Netherlands. She currently resides in Nashville.