The MBTI can be a helpful tool in constructive parenting. One of the biggest mistakes a parent makes in their effort to rear and guide their children is treating them like their Pygmalion project. Many parents have a tendency to regard their children as a 2.0 version of themselves and proceed to shoehorn them into a similar mold rather than nurture the natural shape of their personality. This often backfires and leads children to eventually rebel. Some MBTI types may be more guilty of this than others. Here is a look at the style of parenting that each MBTI type displays.
The INFJ Parent
As parents, INFJs are deeply devoted to the guidance and nurturement of their children. Their attitude to child rearing is less authoritarian and more diplomatic. They seek to provide the space and environment in which their children can grow, discover and flourish as unique and interesting individuals. They provide encouragement, emotional support and seek to make themselves available whenever their kids need them. INFJ parents are longsuffering and will make sacrifices for their kids without hesitation. Without being overbearing or too controlling, INFJs will try to do what they feel is best. What they hope for their brood is that they grow up to become principled, independent, responsible and caring adults. INFJs tend to go light on the discipline and prefer to be like friends to their children. The bonds they form with them can be especially close even more so with INFJ mothers.
The INFP Parent
INFPs hold a special appreciation for the magic and innocence of childhood. As parents, INFPs take pleasure in the opportunity to relive their childhood through their children and also provide one that they would have liked for themselves. INFPs are loving, affectionate and very attentive to their children. They make their children feel valued and listened to and that their views matter. Furthermore, INFPs make themselves a trusted confidante for their children with whom they can share anything without fear of judgment. INFPs encourage their offspring to learn and grow and discover and are keen to instill their values and moral principles. They exhibit a generally lenient and flexible attitude except for when their principles have been violated. INFP parents desire to be sweet and supportive of their kids and be there to provide sound feedback and healing whenever their children need it.
The ENFJ Parent
The ENFJ parent is not domineering or overbearing. In fact, they can be guilty of being too lenient and soft on their children. They rely on diplomacy to gain their kids cooperation and try to connect with them on their level rather than talk down to them. ENFJ parents want the best for their kids and can be highly devoted to them. They are sure to pass on their values and ideals to their offspring and can be exceedingly good at enthralling their children with their storytelling and dramatic humor. ENFJ parents lend a compassionate and sympathetic ear to their kids and want them to be comfortable telling them anything. They try to foster strong loving bonds that are reinforced regularly with attention and affection. The ENFJ parent emphasizes the importance of quality time with their children and will make a point of being present and always available to provide emotional support and encouragement. Their hopes are for their kids to become prosperous people of good character, dignity, and courage.
The ENFP Parent
The ENFP parent is devoted but unorthodox in their style. They try to be whatever they need to be and do whatever is called for. They can be stern when they need to but also be their kids best buddy. ENFP parents tend to be reluctant to enforce discipline as they do not like being the bad guy. They prefer to use love and persuasion to cultivate cooperation. ENFP parents like to nurture their kid’s creativity and provide the tools and means to express themselves and their passion. Furthermore, they are emotionally supportive and seek to make their children feel accepted and loved unconditionally as they are. Unruly kids who whine and complain can still grate on the ENFPs nerves and make them lose their temper. They tend to rely on their partners to provide the structure and discipline to their children. ENFP parents will undoubtedly instill in their kids a strong sense of self-worth and independence of thought.
The INTP Parent
As parents, the INTPs are very tolerant and intellectual in their approach. Their hopes for their children are mostly for them to do what makes them happy and to be a rational, independent and decent person. Although the INTP parent is delighted when their children take an interest in what they are interested in, they are not inclined to push them in any particular direction. INTPs would rather provide the means for their children to develop their passion or interest — whatever that might be. INTPs enjoy the opportunity to answer their children’s questions and explain their perspective. Furthermore, the INTP extends a lot of latitude and trust to their children or at least as much as they think they can handle. They want for their children to be responsible for themselves and become self-sufficient. They also encourage them to think rationally and to take nothing for granted. The irrationality and emotional havoc associated with raising young children can be trying for the INTP and they may benefit greatly from the help of an emotionally intelligent partner.
The INTJ Parent
As parents, INTJs are devoted and intent on developing their children’s potential as individuals. They allow them the freedom to learn and be curious but will set reasonable limits for their protection. INTJ parents may not be naturally inclined to be warm and affectionate but can make a deliberate effort to provide this to their children. Like most things they do, INTJs are likely to take an interest in learning how to improve as a parent. When conflicts arise with their children, INTJs are not so fixed in their view that they are unable to take a step back and reassess a better way forward. INTJ parents may need patience in dealing with some of the irrational and emotionally fueled antics of immature children and teens. They encourage their children to use rational judgment and critical thinking skills. Additionally, they tend to communicate with an honest and direct approach rather than sugarcoat the truth.
The ENTP Parent
The ENTP parenting style can be unconventional and lax in the disciplinarian department. The amount of attention ENTPs devote to parenting can wax and wane due to their competing interest in their projects and work. ENTP parents may often be unavailable for quality time and less inclined to involve their children in the activities tht interest them. Day to day responsibilities like cooking and cleaning are things they manage with effort. As parents, ENTPs are likely to reason with their kids and negotiate with them using rewards and compensation in exchange for completing their chores and doing well at school. Furthermore, ENTP parents encourage their children to be independent and will help them become autonomous from an early age. They also encourage their kids to use their head and be unafraid to question the merit of what they are told or asked of. ENTPs love to see how their kids think and enjoy bonding through fun and thought to provoke conversation. They hope for their children to grow up to be strong critical and independent thinkers with a mind of their own.
The ENTJ Parent
ENTJ parents make it clear who’s boss. They discipline their children with firm control and without much drama or foofaraw. ENTJs seek to equip their kids with the tools for success and even if they are well to do, they would not want to deprive their kids of the valuable lessons of hard work. They want their children to be smart and independent and see their wellbeing and success as a direct reflection of their job as a parent. ENTJ parents lay down clear guidelines and rules that they expect to be followed. They have little tolerance for disrespect and disobedience and are willing to dole out some tough love in the form of discipline and corrective action. Tending to the aspects of raising children that require sensitivity and emotional intelligence can pose a challenge for the ENTJ parent. It is important that they guard against being too inflexible and authoritative at the risk of alienating and engendering resentment in their kids.
The ISFJ Parent
Parenthood is a role in which ISFJs are well equipped for. They are natural nurturers and perhaps operate much like the stereotypically wholesome and responsible parent. They take seriously the duty of caring for their children and are world class when it comes to looking after their needs. They provide warmth, and structure and are also keen on teaching their children how to conduct themselves in society and emphasize the importance of responsible behavior. ISFJ parents want their children to be respectful and respectable adults and view the overall condition of their children as a direct reflection of their performance as a parent. Punishment and tough love, in general, can be difficult for the ISFJ parent but they find it necessary to teach accountability. Their children’s failures or struggles as an adult are likely to make the iSFJ feel some guilt and cause them to question whether they did enough as a parent. More likely than not, the ISFJ parent sells themselves short and does not give themselves enough credit for being the loving and devoted parents they are.
The ESFJ Parent
ESFJs make for some of the warmest and attentive parents. They take their responsibility to their children very seriously and will happily invest a lot of their time and energy in this role. ESFJs are likely to enjoy parenthood and derive gratification from knowing they are needed by their children. At the same time, they are likely to make a point of instilling respect and obedience in their kids. They have little tolerance for defiance and disrespect from their kids and will seek to correct such behavior however they can. ESFJ parents are inclined to be stern but merciful. They can be controlling at times and place a lot of emphasis on tradition and imposing what they think is best for their children. They are strong advocates for their kids and can sometimes embarrass them in how they brag about them or cheer for them. Children of ESFJs may rebel at some point which can cause the ESFJ some stress. The ESFJ’s greatest weapon is making their kids feel guilty through manipulation.
The ISTJ Parent
The ISTJ parent is firm and someone who lays down clear rules by which their brood are expected to follow. Noncompliant children who often disobey or fail to fulfill their responsibilities are bound to be the bane of the ISTJ parent. ISTJs seek to instill their work ethic and values such as responsibility, integrity, and thoroughness to their children. They designate chores and responsibilities to their kids from an early age and try to teach their children to pay attention to details and strive to meet standards. They can be stiff disciplinarians and will permit and restrict their children’s privileges at will. Furthermore, ISTJs are sure to impress upon their children a healthy respect for law and order, authority and their elders. ISTJ parents can be old fashioned an inclined to use the same methods and approaches of child rearing that were used during their childhood. They enjoy sharing with their kids, photo albums, mementos and recounting countless stories of their own youth and of a family legacy for which they are proud.
The ESTJ Parent
As a parent, the ESTJ is inclined to rear their children up to be respectful and law-abiding citizens. They are sure to remember birthdays and oversee the planning of special events and ceremonies. ESTJ parents instill in the children an appreciation for hard work and good behavior. They take pleasure in the instructive role of being a parent and will put much energy into preparing their offspring for the real world. Furthermore, the ESTJ is likely to be conservative in their views and hypervigilant in steering their kids away from harmful and disapproved influences. ESTJs don’t take kindly to individualistic and rebellious kids who are hell bent on doing their own thing. This rebellion can often result from ESTJ being too stiff in their disciplinarianism and authoritativeness. At home, the ESTJ likes to delegate clear roles, responsibilities, and privileges, and will actively enforce rules and dole out punishments like a domestic magistrate.
The ISTP Parent
The ISTP parent, like all artisan types, is inclined to take a hands-off approach which is ironic considering how hands-on they are with most other things. The ISTP parenting style is marked by a wide range of latitude and freedom extended to their children. ISTPs are flexible and laid back parents but will administer discipline when it is necessary. ISTP parents do not feel a strong need to inculcate their children with their values and beliefs. They encourage their kids to explore and amuse themselves allowing them to learn from their own mistakes. ISTPs give their kids a lot of breathing room, but may also be guilty of being emotionally distant. Nevertheless, they do value one on one time with their children and the opportunity to bond with them while doing activities they enjoy especially those involving the outdoors.
The ISFP Parent
The ISFP parent isn’t a hardline disciplinarian. They set guidelines and limits but tend to be lax on their enforcement. ISFP parents can be fun and engaging parents. They seek to introduce their children to new and exciting things and make every day an opportunity for discovery. ISFP parents actively engage their extraverted side to embark on adventures and share creative activities through which to bond with their kids. ISFP parents are very loving, gentle and easy going. They allow their children plenty of freedom to roam and explore and encourage them to express themselves and grow as an individual. They seek to teach them many skills and hopefully pass on some of their passion, values, and love of life. ISFP parents are responsive and able to tend to the practical needs of their children while providing a wonderful source of encouragement and inspiration.
The ESTP Parent
The ESTP parent is something of a big kid themselves. They are energetic, playful, spontaneous and fun to be with. ESTPs encourage their children to be active and participate in sports and other forms of competition. When it comes to birthday parties and special events, they spare no expense. They aim to make the occasion big and impressive to the extent that few others could match. The ESTP parent takes great pride in their children’s accomplishments especially those that involve danger, and skill. Nothing makes an ESTP parent more proud than to see their offspring thriving using the tools and principles they’ve instilled in them. However, ESTP parents can be tough on their kids and impatient. They have a low tolerance for weakness and may have difficulty understanding the lack of outgoing-ness in children who are introverted. Furthermore, while the ESTP parent may be active in their children’s lives, they may often be unavailable for the intimate heart to heart conversation or expressing emotional support.
The ESFP Parent
The ESFP parent is enthusiastic and full of energy. They are some of the most open-minded and non-strict parents around. ESFPs genuinely enjoy playing with their children, horsing around with them and being silly. There is never a dull moment and they encourage their children to express themselves and explore. They try to make every day exciting and they pride themselves on being a fun parent. Despite that, ESFPs recalling the time of their own youth will often appreciate the need for setting boundaries and rules for the sake of their children’s own good. Although discipline is not their forte, they would like to spare their kids from making some of the foolish mistakes they’ve made when they were young. ESFP parents are super responsive to their kid’s needs and are super supportive. They have a playful spirit and their spontaneity and ability to improvise makes them an endless source of amusement for their children.
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Jhoon is a writer and artist who likes to study astrology and psychology. Astroligion.com was launched in 2016 with a focus on astrology but has since expanded to include the MBTI and other topics. This site has provided Jhoon a great incentive to research and learn more about many subjects of personal interest.