How much do we change between childhood and adulthood?
I first took the MBTI (I believe it was the Real Thing) in the 9th grade. The result was INFP. Then I took Kiersey's test in Please Understand Me II about three years ago and the result was ISFJ. I've taken so many online tests and such since then, and gotten so many different results (INFP, INFJ, ISFJ, ISFP, and even INTP once) that I think I'm ruined for finding out my "real" type. I can tell what the questions are answering so I'm sure I steer the test somewhat.
Recently I've been trying to think back to myself as a child, and see what I can remember about my temperament then, hoping it'll provide a clue to what my temperament might actually be. I was a bright kid with a fairly active imagination that I frequently got lost in. I played a lot of "office" and "house," and pretended my apple juice was brandy (my parents were teetotallers, not sure where I got that idea). I messed around in the creek and dug in the backyard watching ants and bugs, wondering what life was like for them. Magnolia trees were teepees for domestic play. Evidently I brought home a lot of injured animals, and my parents couldn't stand not to help me tend to them either until they could be set free, or until they died.
In middle school and high school, I became a bit of a social activist, probably inspired by the Quaker school I went to at the time. We made meals for the homeless shelter, and I always hoped that the people who ate them would feel a little less shitty because there were people who cared for them without ever even meeting them.
My mother swears that I was just like my daughter, who I think is probably an NF of some variety-- but she's more clearly an NF than I was. Most of her play revolves around being a fairy, witch, or some other mythical creature. She's hyper-aware of people's feelings and intentions, as I was, but much moreso. She has always been more cerebral and less kinetic than other children. She could be reasoned with as a toddler, at least most of the time.
How much do you think we change? Is a child who shows NF qualities likely to grow up and be an adult NF? I tend to think that people are who they are, and habits and activities can change, but the underlying temperament does not. I'd love to hear other thoughts on this.