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It all started some time back when I was going through my Facebook timeline. A friend who had been very busy posted how she was so tired of it all, and needed to find a cottage in the woods where she would not have to worry about maintaining her blog or attending any meetings. Another friend posted a link to a personality test she thought suited the tired friend exactly. The tired friend agreed the article was almost 100 percent accurate, and that piqued my interest. I followed the link to the article, only to find none of the characteristics suited my personality. But on the article was this link to a test I could take to find out what my personality type is. The test is based on the Myers Briggs 16 personality types. I took the test which included some questions that you are required to answer as honestly as possible. The results indicated my personality type is INTJ (Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging), so I decided to do further research on the subject.
The first article I stumbled upon about INTJs was so accurate that I felt a little spooked. Here was a test that had led me to an article that described me better than anyone has ever done. It said INTJs are a minority, forming only 2 percent of the population, and women are especially rare, forming only 0.8 percent of the population. I started to feel special. Reading on revealed that INTJs are not just smart; they are really smart. You should have seen me grinning from ear to ear, feeling lucky to be rare. Further research led me to other articles that detailed how INTJs behave in relationships, friendships, work place habits and the best career paths for them.
But one area burst my bubble – parenthood. The first line on the page about INTJ parenting is, “Parenting, like so many other person-to-person relationships, is a significant challenge for INTJs”. My heart sank because parenting is the one job I wish to do better than any other. So I have been making an extra effort in improving in the two areas that have been pointed out as an INTJ’s weakest points as a parent:
I believe that although this might be true of this personality type, it is possible to turn it around for good, even if you are a different personality than me. If you find that giving warmth and affection is a challenge to you, the more reason to make a conscious decision to give it. Children need attention o thrive, no matter their age. Younger kids need to be held and cuddled often. They need to be tucked in at bedtime and played with. Older kids need a pat on their shoulder when they reach goals and hugs when they are feeling low. As a parent, you must make a conscious decision to try harder to be warm even when instinctively you show love through being firm and distanced. I believe in the power of the human mind to achieve anything it sets out to achieve. I believe I and other parents who tend to be aloof at giving love can try and do better if we make up our minds to do so. I have lately increased the amount of time I snuggle up with my kids. I don’t want anyone to come up to them later in life and claim that they are behaving as they are because they were not hugged enough, nor for there to be any doubt about it. I want them know deep down and for certain that they have received more than enough hugs, cuddles and kisses.
INTJs recognize that experience is the best teacher, according to the article. This means that INTJ parents tend to let their children experience the world on their own, but they expect responsibility with the freedom granted. This approach is both positive and negative. It is the method my dad used to raise me and my siblings. He never scolded or nagged or yelled. Yet, the fear of disappointing him kept us all in line. We could not fail him and the standards he had set for us, and he preferred to show us how to face life by living an exemplary life himself. However, I think it is good to make an effort as a parent to remind children every once in a while what you have already discussed with them. It might look like you are nagging them and they might even tell you they already know what you are telling them, but when they find themselves in a situation where your advice is needed, they will know what to do. Since I know I expect my children to learn through experience, I will put in extra effort at communicating what I expect and assume nothing. Sometimes kids might look like they know what is expected but in reality they are confused. Clarity is an important component of effective discipline.
I challenge you to test your personality and see where you fit. Then find how you tend to behave as a parent and make adjustments accordingly, especially in the areas described as your weaknesses.
About the Author
G. Runo is an educator, a writer, a mother of two young children and a guardian of five teenagers. She has been a teacher and a curriculum developer for four years. She’s a passionate storyteller who enjoys sharing her parenting and education wisdom with other parents. Follow her on Twitter @grarun20.
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