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  1. #1
    Senior Member hazelsees's Avatar
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    Default A question for ENFPs and for people who love them.

    Is stick-to-it-iveness something that you struggle with or struggled with as a child. What suggestions do you have for the parent of an ENFP child who struggles with this?
    Loved Ones of ENFPs, how have you helped your precious ENFP learn perserverance without hurting them or crushing their wonderful spirits?

    Or is this not even an ENFP issue?

  2. #2
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    ENFP or not, a kid should learn to stick to things and learn that if you are sticking on something, it yields good results. this doesent mean that you should force him to go to piano class 5 times a week, even tho he doesent like playing it. also i dont think its a bad thing if he likes to try a lot of hobbies for example, but he should learn to stick to something, hobby or some other interest he has and it doesent have to be the main hobby just something that he can get good at due to sticking on it and having fun doing it. also explaining the importance on sticking to something might be a good idea.

    ENFPs are notorious for trying all sorts of things, getting reasonably good at them fast and then going to new things, so i think its even more important to teach an ENFP to stick to stuff(ISTJ for example might prefer that way on his own), so that it doesent get too bad and that he can grow a bit on this from early on and not in his 40's when the inability to stick to things has already taken its toll.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  3. #3
    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    No. I've always loved challenges so, as long as something motivates me/is difficult, i follow through.
    Then again, I'm 7w8 and I have a pretty kick-ass Te, so I might not represent "typical" 7w6 ENFPs.....I dunno.

    Your kid is an ENFP? What enneagram? Just give him/her a lot of source for curiosity and imagination (feed Ne), my parents did that a lot to me which was great, keep him/her busy......you should be fine!?

    You know what, something else: my sister is an ISFJ and she has always had gigantic problems with focusing and following through....so maybe it's not MBTI-type specific?!

  4. #4
    Senior Member hazelsees's Avatar
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    Thank you, @pinkgraffiti and @INTP
    My son is probably ENFP. I have a couple of books about children and types—Nurture By Nature and another one that I can’t think of the name. In the descriptions, he fits most closely with an ENFP.
    I agree about letting him try many hobbies—I encourage it and am very pleased that he’s interested in so many things. When he was very small, his new “favorite” thing changed daily, while most of his peers would love Thomas the Tank Engine or some other thing for a longer period of time. He’s still like that actually. He will see something that he’s dying to buy, but if I can hold him off; it will pass and there will be a new thing that he’s dying for the next day. It’s exhausting and he’s very good at convincing me that he “has to have it.”
    He’s in the gifted program at his school although barely. His math scores were just over the “advanced” line. His large and advanced vocabulary got him in. His third grade teacher commented that she had never had a student with such exceptional writing skills as he—and that’s including when she taught sixth grade.
    He is well liked at school and is a leader of sorts. He is also the school yard counselor.
    So, those are his “good” traits.
    If something is difficult or uncomfortable, he’s done. If he has a hard time figuring out a piano piece, than forget it. He’s not very athletic and if something is uncomfortable physically, he wants to quit. Basically, if anything is hard or hurts a little, he won’t keep with it. I’ve talked to him about how most things worthwhile require effort and a little pain. He is very sensitive and goes into a tearful “I’m a loser” mode. I’m sensitive too, so I approach this topic in a gentle way.
    What I really need help with is: How do I help him put forth effort when things are difficult without making him feel like a loser? How do I help him self-motivate?
    His father is a poster child for ESFP and I am an INFJ—hilarious, I know. How did two people of those types ever get together to create a child, right? Well, it happened. His father is actively in his life.
    He just turned 11.
    Please help.
    Thanks.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    -lead by example. Cog preference aside children are sponges.
    -Frequently examine choices and consequences in any real life situations and stories
    -Help him develop evidence based judgement.
    -Show him how compassion and honesty with others ties into self discipline and follow through.

    Edit: Reward and affirmation as well.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  6. #6
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    I hope to god I never have an ENFP child. I will destroy any self esteem it has and fail to understand any of its potential in the world and it will grow up as a single mother with twins while working at mcdonalds with herpes.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chiharu's Avatar
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    I was terrible at sticking to anything. My mother let me stop, then retroactively guilt-tripped me as a teen (gotta love Fe). I still have trouble sticking to things, but a little trick I've learned is to tell myself that I can stop- at a later date or time. a specific one. Knowing that I'm not trapped makes me want to do it more. If your son is an ENxP, cater to his Ne and give him choices.

    You can also appeal to Fi and gently suggest how proud he'll be of himself if he sticks with it. This can backfire if you come on too strong though (YOU CAN'T KNOW/UNDERSTNAD ME! I'M DIFFERENT AND SPECIAL! THE SNOWFLAKE OF ALL SNOWFLAKES! etc.)
    Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness." ― Kurt Vonnegut

    ENFP. 7w6 – 4w3 – 1w9 sx/so. Aries. Dilettante. Overly anxious optimist.

  8. #8
    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazelsees View Post
    How do I help him put forth effort when things are difficult
    OK, speaking from experience, i liked when my parents encouraged me, told me I was good, made me feel special, made me feel they were proud of me. I guess the feeling of pleasing them, in a way, coupled to my interest in learning and curiosity, was what made me continue one thing and not get side-tracked. Also, when I "did something wrong", my parents not only reprehended me, but always explained the "why" ...and this was very important for me to feel understood and to get better.

    Your kid might be different from me because he's a boy and he's entering his teenage years now. This is the best I can tell you, sorry.

  9. #9
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Ime, we tend to be sensitive to disappointing those we love, and if he is smart, he is likely unexperienced in dealing with failure. Show him that he will still have your approval and unconditional love if he makes mistakes.

    In fact, teach him that making mistakes can be exciting, can trigger your curiosity and excitement as it is a vital step on the road to succes. Show him it will not earn him your disapproval, ridicule or scorn, on the contrary, and help him focus on the journey, while occasionally checking on the goal.

    We're P's...the goal can feel far, impossible, unreachable and ultimately undesirable (and it eliminates all other possiblities which keep us driven to discover them along the way). And expect him to go in circles...we contrast and compare and double back to recheck data, until we are sure we like the path we've chosen which means youhave to first sample everything on the buffet before you can hone in on which dish or combination of dishes is for you.

    Lastly, take the journey with him and let him observe which path you choose and why. Your particular personality traits predispose you to choose one of the many options, suited to you. Seeing how you choose will give him the patterns he needs to help determine which way is likely to be suited for him and cut down on circling back significantly.
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  10. #10
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    I don't know if my problem is so much on following through as it is getting distracted by something new and shiny. (I'm also 7w8 like @pinkgraffiti.) Being easily distracted has been one of the bane's of my existence, no doubt. I struggle with this even now at the age of 42... but i've gotten a lot better about it over the years. (Learning about MBTI has really helped in this, btw.)

    My dominant Ne means that I'm always searching for new knowledge to absorb. I think you might be able to channel your son's dominant Ne in positive ways in order to improve his stick-to-it-ive-ness. I started reading about Buddhist mindfulness stuff about 10 years ago and it blew me away. Being mindful (in this Buddhist sense of the word) requires me to practice things that ENFPs aren't very good at.... like paying attention to details. And, once I put a little practice in, my ability to concentrate increased immensely. Once my ability to concentrate improved, I was able to more proactively control my actions and choose to follow through on something rather than being distracted by the shiny new thing on my periphery.

    I know your boy is only 11, but that doesn't seem too young to start talking to him about things like the concept of mindfulness. Here's a pretty good introduction to mindfulness in case you're interested: http://www.wildmind.org/applied/dail...is-mindfulness.

    Another thing you could do is start talking to him about MBTI. If he can learn to identify when one of his cognitive function is coming into play, for example, he'll eventually learn to choose which cognitive function is most appropriate for any given situation. His ENFPness might default to Ne and Fi. But he could recognize that perhaps Te is called for instead. In reference to the OP and how this might help your son's particular situation, imagine if your son fully understood that he as an ENFP was easily distracted and sometimes didn't follow through on things like he should. Well, the beauty is that it allows him to be aware of his weaknesses and compensate for them. And, it also allows him accept himself (strengths and weaknesses alike) for who he really is without shame or guilt. His struggles are common to all ENFPs. He is not alone.

    You also might want to talk to @Orobas. She's an ENFP. And, I'm pretty sure that one of her kids is an ENFP. She might have some interesting insight into this from a parent's perspective.
    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

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