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Thread: Typing children

  1. #1
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Question Typing children

    I'm interested in typing my own children even if they are too young to be typed correctly.

    I will not force a MBTI type on my children until they grow up and show definite signs of some type. But before that I would be interested about hearing the experiences of other people typing their children.

    Some questions then:
    - Which functions did you recognize first in your childred when they grew up?
    - How did you recognize whether your child is I or E?
    - P or J?
    - N or S?
    - F or T?
    - Did the typing help you to understand your child?
    - How old were your children when you were able to type some functions of MBTI in them?
    - How old were they when you knew their type?
    - What MBTI types do you have in your family?
    Last edited by alcea rosea; 02-10-2008 at 11:27 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    My eldest daughter:

    She was always E from the start. Never shuts up and needs to be around people all the time. As she got to about age 9, she started wanting music on all the time, or a TV even if just in the background. She won't go to sleep without her radio on. She gets extremely excited the minute any people are around, and goes into maximum show-off mode no matter whether it's friends or strangers. There was never any case for her possibly being an I. She's a far stronger E than I am; I score about 50 to 60% on it, but I think she'd be close to 100%.

    The P/J thing is sometimes harder to decide. On the one hand she definitely has the 'silly switch' of the ENFP, but by the same token she's pretty controlling (in a 'meaning to be helpful', benevolent way), and about 80% of her conversation revolves around outrage/indignation/gushing over the behaviour of other people; she's mistress of the guilt trip and generally, a really open book - Fe seems to be her dominant function, but I see a lot of Ne in her too - random subject changes and instant grasping of intuitive/abstract stuff. Ne and Ni can be hard to tell apart though sometimes, and a lot of her silliness can be easily put down to her age. She's pretty disorganized and not really diligent at all regarding school, but if something's important to her or someone she cares about, she gets very anal and 'desperate' to have it all decided and organized. But she has a brain like a seive. I still lean more towards ENFJ though. Her biggest flaw is her bossiness, and I've never really known ENFP's to be bossy or as interfering as her.

    N was obvious from the start, she was always an abstract kind of person, always asking questions about what's behind things, what things mean, how things are connected to other things, making connections herself, and pretty airheaded when it comes to physical realities.

    F was also obvious, always. Very, very people oriented and also very emotional. Approaches everything from her emotions and always has done, very reactive, and attaches to people quickly and generally a very 'warm' person.

    Typing has helped me understand her and deal with her more sympathetically. Without it, I'd have been inclined to tell her to get a grip, pull herself together etc more, and would've been pretty dismissive of her feelings, without realizing how important they are to her. It's also given me a clue as to what to be on the lookout for, what might need curbing and what needs encouraging.

    By the time she was 10 it was obvious that Fe was big in her. It's about then that I began to lean more towards ENFJ than ENFP.

    Myself being ENTP, my parents ISTP and ESFJ, sisters ENFJ, ESFJ and ESFP and brother ENFP. My other daughter is harder to type because of Asperger's, but I suspect INTP.
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    I bought the book Nurture by Nature which is all about typing children. While I found it helpful, I'm still not sure of my own kids. They display qualities which I think are important but don't show up in the lists provided. I guess as I learn more about MBTI I will have more insight.

    I also believe that it can be hard to type kids because so much of what they do is due to the influence of adults - they live by our rules, they must do what the teacher says, and so on. I think as they get older and get more independant it becomes easier to see their type. On the other hand, I was surprised to find out that my daughter is the leader of her social group at high school but at home she tends to grunt and give one-word answers and spend most of her time in her room!

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    Senior Member Littlelostnf's Avatar
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    There is actually a test for your to take based on your knowledge of your children. It's pretty good. I'll have to find it for you and post it later as I'm on my way out the door. I have no children but I do have nieces and nephews and it is in watching them and watching how they react to people that I can sorta figure out what they could be. 8 nieces and nephews 4 older ones 22-ISFP 20-ESFJ twins 18 ESFJ and ESFP younger set 7-ISFJ other 7 year old IXTX 4-IXTX and 2 - EXXX. As you can see the younger one (sans one) are harder to type usually the I/E is pretty clear sometimes you can even quickly see the T/F it's the N and S that is harder. I'll def search out that link and post it for you later on.


    Here's the link I hope it helps.
    The Personality Questionnaire for Kids
    Last edited by Littlelostnf; 12-01-2007 at 07:56 AM. Reason: I'm ultimately a J and couldn't leave without finding it. ;)
    for my life is slowed up by thought and the need to understand what I am living.

  5. #5
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alcearos View Post
    I'm interested in typing my own children even if they are too young to be typed correctly. Still I have recognized some functions in the eldest ones and it seems that one ENFP (me) and one ISTP (my husband) have produced one ExxP, one IxxJ and one xxxx child.

    I will not force a MBTI type on my children until they grow up and show definite signs of some type. But before that I would be interested about hearing the experiences of other people typing their children.

    Some questions then:
    - Which functions did you recognize first in your childred when they grew up?
    - How did you recognize whether your child is I or E?
    - P or J?
    - N or S?
    - F or T?
    - Did the typing help you to understand your child?
    - How old were your children when you were able to type some functions of MBTI in them?
    - How old were they when you knew their type?
    - What MBTI types do you have in your family?
    In Keirsey & Bates's book - Please Understand Me, they devote a whole section on how to type children.
    Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types by David Keirsey, Marilyn Bates

    Also, Nurture By Nature (which I highly recommend) by Tieger and Barron is all about understanding your children's type and nurturing them accordingly.
    Nurture By Nature

  6. #6
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I remember a place saying that if a child was attentive to what a toy was "supposed" to be, then they were an S.

    A truck is a truck. A very specific model of truck at that.

    If a child made a toy whatever they wanted it to be, then that kid was an N.

    A truck is a killer robot. A wash-cloth is a sea monster. The actual details are irrelavent.
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    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    In Keirsey & Bates's book - Please Understand Me, they devote a whole section on how to type children.
    Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types by David Keirsey, Marilyn Bates

    Also, Nurture By Nature (which I highly recommend) by Tieger and Barron is all about understanding your children's type and nurturing them accordingly.
    Nurture By Nature
    Actually I have both of those books and have read both of them. I find that they are not helping much, at least me.

  8. #8
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I remember a place saying that if a child was attentive to what a toy was "supposed" to be, then they were an S.

    A truck is a truck. A very specific model of truck at that.

    If a child made a toy whatever they wanted it to be, then that kid was an N.

    A truck is a killer robot. A wash-cloth is a sea monster. The actual details are irrelavent.
    That's pretty cool. My son is always bringing me "blankie pizza" with his blankie draped over his hand. Actually anything can become pizza. He likes pizza.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    With my kids, my impressions of their types is based on the way their behaviors, attitudes, etc remind me of people whose types I'm pretty certain about.

    Oldest daughter (14) has reminded me of my mother-in-law from a very early age and I would bet money that my m-i-l is an INTJ. My daughter could be an ISTJ, INTP, or even an INFJ, but I really think she is an INTJ.

    My younger daughter (12) reminds me of a quieter, more ethical version of my ESFP mother. It's like she's a cross between the two of us. I think of her as an INFP, but she could be an ISFP or an ENFP.

    My youngest son (9) reminds me a lot of my INTP husband. He is always wanting information and really likes to tweak things. He could be an ISTP or an INTJ, but I lean towards his being an INTP.

    My older son (11) is the one who has me stumped. He's more of a cross between my ESXJ brother and my ISTP brother. I'm wondering if he isn't an ESTJ, but the only thing I'm reasonably convinced of is that he's either an SJ or an NT.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #10
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alcearos View Post
    Actually I have both of those books and have read both of them. I find that they are not helping much, at least me.
    Ah. Too bad. At least "not knowing" won't drive an ENFP as crazy as it drives an INTJ!
    I had to just patiently wait, and learn more about type.

    Did you take a look at that online test somebody posted?
    It looked like it might be helpful.

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