When I was pregnant with my first children, a set of twins, I had playdates scheduled before my third trimester check-up. Friends would talk about the importance of nap schedules and I’d joke that the babes could sleep in the car between adventures. An Extravert since birth, I’m always on the hunt for the next big adventure, and people (all the people please!) that I can adventure with.
It shames me to say this but: I was never in awe of my mother. When I was a child, she embarrassed me. I despaired at her lack of ambition, her loyal commitment to soulless, exploitative jobs that she was far too good for, her uncomplaining acceptance of her lot in life. We lived a life of duty and routines. There were no expectations of achievement; it was almost unthinkable for me to aspire to go to university, the first in my family to achieve this goal.
Children are filled with curiosity, energy and creative thinking, and it can sometimes feel challenging to keep up with even the most introverted young child. When your child is gregarious, outgoing and easily-distracted, the excitement of raising them can easily be overshadowed by the exhaustion you feel at just trying to keep up!
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.
Right now, our kids are really feeling the effects of “staying at home” orders. Luckily, most of them are physically healthy and safe, but many are feeling bored, stressed, scared, anxious, and confused. Could we use personality typing to better understand and help them as we do for ourselves? Well, it’s not that simple. Personality type assessments are usually intended for adults or older teens.
As an INFJ personality type, I understood at a young age that there were “rules” in society that people were “supposed” to follow. Through intuition and observation, I learned that men and women had different roles to play. And while I understood that these rules existed, what didn’t make sense to me was “why?”
The coronavirus lockdown has brought us plenty of shocks and adjustments, but for parents, perhaps the most startling change is suddenly being responsible for our children's education. Suddenly we're all ready to vote in six-figure salaries for our local teachers as we realize what's actually involved in keeping kids occupied, stimulated, and educated day after day...after day.
As an ENFP personality type, I have often felt that I don’t know how to be a “real adult”—as if there is such a thing. While I may be good at listening to others or expressing my feelings, I’m not so great at everyday things like folding laundry or figuring out how to sign up for healthcare benefits. While I always wanted children, I feared I wouldn’t be a natural at caring for them.
It’s scary that my kids are so radically different from me. For a person who lines up her cans alphabetically in the pantry, it’s pretty harsh. This ISTJ submitted identical genetic samples at conception, then raised them all in the same house with the same rules with unvaried routines…and they are from five different planets. And that’s only if Pluto counts. What you need to know is that your little one was born with a complete personality. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
Only children can't share. First-borns are bossy. And the youngest child gets away with murder. We all know the stereotypes connecting personality with birth order, and no matter where you sit in your family tree, you likely have some assumptions about how your position in your family helped to shape your personality.
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