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  1. #21
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Exactly. It is literally just a vocabulary I sometimes use to describe behavior and the differences between people. I would probably discourage them from using it in other ways, personally. I think it can be limiting, even to adults, to self-identify as a single type and think thats the sum of who you are.
    Pretty much this; mbti types (I've mostly only studied Kiersey, really) are reasonably (though only broadly) accurate personality profiles, but there is no scientific basis whatsoever behind it all, just intuitively appealing suppositions.

    I don't have kids, but I have introduced mbti to the teenagers amongst my honorary nieces and nephews (the actual nieces and nephews have been too young) in the form of those humorous 'brutally accurate' personality profiles, while explicitly telling them all of the above. Some of them were curious enough to do a little bit of further reading, but with a full understanding of its limitations.

  2. #22
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    i have temp-typed my son (ENFJ) but, its fairly early, and i take it with a bucket of salt.

    i think MBTI is useful for inter personal relations, but potentially destructive as a form of identity. as such, i would rather dodge the typology frame altogether, and instead explain the derivatives.

    for example, he might not understand why certain things are obvious for him [Ni] while his teacher [Si] doesn't get it, i would rather explain, "your really good at this and that, but other people aren't", then let him grow thinking he's crazy. he might not understand why other kids stand their grounds [Fi] while for him its clear its just making his peers upset [Fe], and i can try to explain to him what it is that the other kid was going through.

    on the other hand, i think he is much better off finding the depths of who he is for himself without wearing an MBTI on his mental identity badge.

  3. #23
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I typed my daughter (mentally- I didn't talk to her about it) as a young child as an ENFP. As she navigates adolescence she is pretty clearly growing into an introversion that in retrospect was always there, just masked by childlike chatter and friendly openness.

    My son seemed ESTPish early on but as he gets older seems more and more xNTP. Not sure about his intro/extroversion- he's not energized by people or being alone, really- he seems to like people and being alone just about equally, almost to the point of not caring- but he does seem to "consume" the world in an outwardly-directed way. Learn ALL THE THINGS! Which feels kind of extroverted to me. He's definitely not a navel-gazer.

  4. #24
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I typed my kids very early in life. It's not easy for some kids, it will take longer for them. (My INTP, I was debating INTP/INFP on him until he was 5-6, when it became clear he preferred the detached logical and he was at an age when I could hear enough of his reasoning.) I suspected my younger son was ESFP shortly after his birth (just a hunch) and that was always the case with him, almost to a cliched degree.

    I adopted my daughter at age 4, so she was older. I suspected IFJ, but leaned N on her, and that's where she's gone.

    I never really talked about MBTI to my kids, but my INTP came to me a month or two ago and brought it up to ME -- apparently at college orientation/visiting, he ran into another IxTx type who rambled on and on about function theory to him, so he asked me if I had ever heard of it. That was pretty hilarious... yes, I have. So I saturated his brain.
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  5. #25
    Senior Member chatoyer's Avatar
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    Yes I have. I've got a middle school dtr that is xNFP, a 3rd grade son who is ESxP (I think F), & a 1st grade ISxJ, who is very rule-oriented but needs to be flexible due to birth order. It's fun to see them develop!

  6. #26
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I suspected my younger son was ESFP shortly after his birth (just a hunch) and that was always the case with him, almost to a cliched degree.
    How did he act ESFP as a baby? I can envision type-specific behavior from toddlers, maybe, but it's hard for me to imagine with babies -- except for introversion vs. extroversion.
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  7. #27
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I typed my daughter (mentally- I didn't talk to her about it) as a young child as an ENFP. As she navigates adolescence she is pretty clearly growing into an introversion that in retrospect was always there, just masked by childlike chatter and friendly openness.
    This is why I find really early 'typings' kinda alarming. By all counts I was more of an extrovert until age 3 or 4 (confident, walked up to strangers/was friendly and more 'bubbly', wasn't the little toddler hiding behind their moms' legs, etc), and then introversion is the way it went, pretty solidly so.

    Buut, it sounds like I only really went up to adults to talk; I don't think I was uber-engaging with kids my age... my mom says in pre-school I liked playing alone and had to be taught to share toys.
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  8. #28
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    I think around 12 is when I start typing kids. I feel like that's when they really develop something other than I or E/ P or J. They get a second function, which sheds light on their first function, and assert their individuality a bit more without the complications of third functions or a lot of life experience.
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  9. #29
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    How did he act ESFP as a baby? I can envision type-specific behavior from toddlers, maybe, but it's hard for me to imagine with babies -- except for introversion vs. extroversion.
    Extroversion was the main thing, but it just RADIATED from him.

    he was born premature in Johns Hopkins in Baltimore MD, and spend the first, oh 8-12 weeks of his life there recuperating from surgery. Literally from the day he was born, the entire nursing staff fell in love with him. He was an extremely happy, magnetic, and "good vibe" baby. He was engaging and active. The nurses would of course take care of all the patients, but they would also blow off their breaktime to come be with him. I mean, the kid is there inside a plastic incubator machine, and it wasn't just, "Aw, nice baby," it was literally "people magnet." Everyone LOVED/gushed over him. I was pretty inured to such things, and even I could feel the pull.

    So that was my GUESS at that point, but I needed confirmation over his development. Nothing ever changed. Very loud, very extroverted, always getting into things, had to experience them to understand them, not over-cerebral, very engaging, his colors are yellow and orange (the brightest ones possible), always laughing and having fun, very passionately without any real detachment, very expressive of his emotions in any situation and without care or wanting to hide them. It was all on the surface with him.

    When he was three, we took him to the park and he would befriend every kid in the park. We'd go home, and he'd want to invite his "friend" over. "Who's that? That boy you met? What's his name?" "I don't know! But he's my friend!" He would steal the friends away from our other children over the years. You know that phrase, "A stranger is just a friend you haven't met"? That is an ESFP thing, and that is our son.

    When he was 5 and his brother was 6 -- and his brother was a foot taller than him -- the INTP would be on the verge of tears having to go to a new Sunday school class, so we would send him with his brother instead. This little kid, leading the big kid, and plunging into this new environment and making friends with everyone almost immediately.

    I could go on, but when he was in the 1-12 year old range, they could have written the cliche textbook description of ESFP from him.

    Anyway, as a baby, the EF qualities seemed obvious, and he was so pleasant and happy (rather than battling) it seemed that P was probable, and he was also very very sensory oriented. It was a guess, but a good one.

    I think it is harder to type introverted children. So much of their main processes are under the surface and you have to draw them out.

    I think later in life people deepen and expand. He's more to himself and pensive than before. Then again, he's been through a lot, he deals with an issue that can put him at odds with people he is around, etc. Sometimes our kids might seem to change, but then again, it's just like typing adults -- many of us are not cliches, we're textured; and we have also expanded ourselves into areas that aren't necessarily our original preferences. Is a child that seemed introverted actually extroverted because they now have developed enough social skills to be comfortable in social settings, and can engage in new ways? Is a child who is sensory by nature now suddenly intuitive because they realize there's connections between things in the world and want to explore those things? Those can be complicated questions to answer, and sometimes just demand a "look and see" response.

    (I've had people try to tell me nowadays I am an extrovert because of how I engage people, but I know that's not correct -- it's just that I finally feel comfortable and competent enough to engage, but the preferences and detachment and energy drain is still occurring under the surface, and those who expect me to be extroverted then become disappointed or shocked when I slip back into introverted behavior. )

    I think typing young kids can be fraught with mistakes, and I think people have to take care not to force their kids into something just because "you think you know what type they are." Our son always had freedom to just be himself. I'm simply answering the question that was asked; in my situation, the typings did not really waver. But I had no idea whether they would or not until after it was all said and done.
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  10. #30
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    He was an extremely happy, magnetic, and "good vibe" baby. He was engaging and active.
    I don't doubt this at all, but for the thread I'd thought I'd mention that my parents would of said the same for me... Until I was about 10 or so. Now I test in the top 10% of introverted. Granted, there were life events in there that are a direct cause. OTOH, my parents felt that something was "wrong" with me when I changed (right or wrong). That made it a lot harder for me. As you mention, these traits can differ greatly depending on confidence, context and perception... but parents typically (observation bias aside) spend enough time to know their kids in all situations.

    I think that MBTI is good when it is descriptive. It's not different than other descriptive language. A positive (or negative) trait can also be negative (or positive); shy as a description can good or bad, even sexy or unflattering, depending on context. MBTI isn't context free either, so you get a bit of loaded language in there. It's the use that matters.

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