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.
Anyone who knows me (or even just talks to me for five minutes) knows of my deep, undying love for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality assessment. However, there are so many other people and things I love as well, and my mom is definitely up at the top of that list.
Do I give my baby a pacifier or let her cry herself to sleep? Should I force the defiant toddler into a coat or let him feel the pain? Shall I let my child make his own decisions or enforce the rules with an iron fist?
I'm a Judger, a.k.a a freakishly neat, compulsively organized, stressed out, OCD bore. Ditto my ENTJ husband.
So will someone please explain how we managed to produce an INTP teenager, emphasis on the "P"?
“Can you imagine what this will be like when they’re older?”
I heard it in my voice before I had a minute to say more. There we were, my husband and I, watching our kids play, carefree, on our last night of vacation and I was already living in the future. I was dreaming of something better than this, whatever that might be. We had planned and dreamt of this trip, our first time introducing our children to the beach, and still I was struggling to stay there, in the moment, with the people I loved the most.
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