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  1. #1
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Default Parenting Different Personality Types

    How useful/valuable do you think personality type of your child is when it comes to parenting them. Generally, I'm thinking MBTI and Enneagram Type.

    - Does it help to understand your child better?
    - Do the different types impact family dynamics?
    - Do you tailor how you parent your child based on their type?

    Also, does the parent's personality type impact what kind of parent they are? Are some types favored by children over others?

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  2. #2
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    I've found MBTI to be useful as a parent.

    My oldest daughter is an ESTJ and this has given me a degree of insight on how to communicate with her more efficiently. This is especially important when there is a disagreement between ESFP mother and ESTJ daughter and there is a need to intervene. Wifey tends to issue eddicts with no reasoning or explanation offered. While sometimes this is what is required, depending on context, it is wifey's default method. Needless to say sparks can fly. When I speak with my daughter and she questions my reasoning/motive/intent I do not take it personally or a challenge to my "authority" but rather her need to see the "rationale". I find that when I explain myself in simple direct terms and show causal links that in the end I save time/effort because I've built "trust".

    I also change my mode of communication based on type. My youngest is an ISFP and I speak to her differently. I tend to "jolly" her along when she is resistant to a course of action and then point out, "see? that wasn't so bad now was it?". Again, trust, but in a different way. With her I usually leverage "good intent" as the starting point to explain/teach.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I've been hesitant to put a typological label on my kids when it seems they're still in flux, but I do think the idea that there are multiple valid ways to be a human being and that they all respond to different motivations and such to be very valuable- the vocabulary of typology, as well as things like the concept of multiple intelligences, has been a huge part of parenting for me. I never wanted to make assumptions about who they are that couldn't be changed- when my daughter was little we sort of thought of her as ENFP-ish, but as she's grown it has become apparent that she's a strong introvert. I never would have seen that coming and if I had really invested in the idea of her as an ENFP it could have been the source of conflict between us. She had to break through a little of that anyway- I kept making comments about how outgoing she is and it was making her feel misunderstood and minimized. She talked to me about it and that made an impact on me. Typology can be a useful vocabulary to use but we can also use it to pigeonhole others, and that's something worth being careful about.

  4. #4
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    i am pretty sure of the kids types even tho they're so young but i don't think i do anything differently because of it. not intentionally anyway...not anymore than i normally react to different people differently.

    though i definetly feel like i understand them better than i would without it...tho i may have just labeled the things i knew differently.

    and I'm open to being completely wrong. my entp boy mimics his father's te pretty convincingly and my esfj daughter seems very p..even tho she's so clearly sj haha
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  5. #5
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Figuring out my son’s enneatype has helped in the sense that I can better customize the way I support him. I think it’s human nature to try to support the ones we love by doing what makes us feel supported/loved ourselves (‘do unto others what you would have done unto you’), but it can end up being counterproductive if their support doesn’t jive with the person’s actual needs. I find many of the succinct lists of “dos and don’ts” for each enneatype to be a very helpful reminder of the things I should be most careful of with him- and it’s stuff that I don’t need myself, so it wouldn’t otherwise really occur to me so clearly.

    I think that knowing my own enneatype- and better understanding my own issues/needs (and becoming aware of the extent to which these are not needs that everyone feels and being able to ensure my own needs are being met so that I can actually be present for my son, etc)- has been far more beneficial to the quality of my parenting than figuring out my son’s enneatype. I think in the past I have shown love for people by giving them something like cognitive legroom (not sure how to explain what I mean by this, maybe ‘trying to demonstrate maximum respect for their boundaries’, not needing them to like the same things I like, etc) because it’s what makes me feel loved/respected- and it confused me when it didn’t mean anything to them. Learning about enneatypes has helped me see that difference.

    He's INFJ too, so there's never been a conflict there. Though learning about mbti does help make sense of communication barriers we both experience (and have always experienced) with his eNTJ dad. Also- knowing what I've learned about how NiFe thinking seems to have needs that others don't especially have (whilst not having the needs that others seem to have)- I can help him understand those needs are there and to be okay with them and to be okay with others having needs that might otherwise seem selfish or unreasonable (because he doesn't directly understand them).
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  6. #6
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Speaking from the other side of this: My parents have a history of seeing some of my more Te/Fi-related traits as things that are objectively wrong or right and can/should be changed. I think that if they had learned about function theory, they would have been more likely to realize that our resulting communication breakdowns weren't from me being "selfish" or "sensitive".

    As for typing your kids accurately, there's always the kid version of the MBTI, that doesn't include S/N. I checked out the type descriptions online and ETJ fit my childhood self to a T.
    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    I think that knowing my own enneatype- and better understanding my own issues/needs (and becoming aware of the extent to which these are not needs that everyone feels and being able to ensure my own needs are being met so that I can actually be present for my son, etc)- has been far more beneficial to the quality of my parenting than figuring out my son’s enneatype. I think in the past I have shown love for people by giving them something like cognitive legroom (not sure how to explain what I mean by this, maybe ‘trying to demonstrate maximum respect for their boundaries’, not needing them to like the same things I like, etc) because it’s what makes me feel loved/respected- and it confused me when it didn’t mean anything to them. Learning about enneatypes has helped me see that difference.
    This is a good point -- related to mine, above, in the sense that learning of the existence of type, and what it affects, should help parents realize what's a correctable flaw and what's an inherent trait.

    Also my dad's a 5w6 and he very much parented like this. I appreciate that style of parenting increasingly, the more I see "helicopter parenting". I stayed with my ISTJ aunt for a few months, a few years ago, and I felt so trapped and stifled that I almost reverted back to teenage rebellion (despite being in my early twenties).
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


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    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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