Your Parenting Personality Type
The new book "MotherStyles: Using Personality Types to Learn to Parent From Your Strengths" outlines 16 different styles of mothering, based on the 16 personality types defined by the classic Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. You may already know your Myers-Briggs type (many people take the test in college or at their job); if you don't, go to http://www.motherstyles.com/quiz.asp for a sample test. Then, find your type on the following list (adapted from the book) and read about all the special qualities you have to offer your child and how you can capitalize on them.
I took the Myers-Briggs once in college and scored exactly 50/50 between two different personalities, INFJ and INTJ. Here are my parenting styles based on that:
- Sensitive and family-focused, the INFJ mother looks for and encourages the unique potential of each child. Self-knowledge may be her byword. Her aim is to help each child develop a sense of identity and cultivate personal growth. In fact, she may value the mothering experience as a catalyst to her own personal growth and self-knowledge.
- The INFJ mother spends time observing and understanding each child. She is drawn to intimate conversations and seeks a free exchange of feelings and thoughts.
- Sympathetic and accommodating, the INFJ mother strives to meet the important yet sometimes conflicting needs of each family member in harmonious and creative ways
- She is conscientious and intense as well. Probably no one takes life and child-raising more seriously than the INFJ. She approaches mothering as a profession requiring her best self.
- Individualistic and independent, the INTJ mother is both a role model and teacher of how to be an individual and live life with integrity. She is introspective, defining her own success from within, and generally confident in her decisions. She is unlikely to be persuaded by her children saying, “But all the other mothers are doing it.”
- The INTJ is competent in providing for her children’s basic needs, but she is likely more focused on developing their self-esteem and confidence. Observant and insightful, she puts great importance on independent thinking and self-sufficiency, yet she is comfortable providing protection and boundaries.
- Self-motivated and intense, the INTJ works hard and takes life seriously. As a mother, she lives for those moments when she can impart knowledge and offer her children perspectives on life and important issues.
From that Mother Styles test I got:
Your type is: infp —The “Tuned In” Mother
“Inside our children, I believe, is a truth that tells them what’s best for them. I am always listening for that truth.”
Aware, astute, and understanding, the INFP mother is sensitive to her child’s needs, feelings, and perceptions. By observing and listening to the cues of the whole child, she is “tuned in” and naturally develops an intuitive feel for what he or she needs. Responsive and helpful as well, she tends patiently to those needs as they arise.
The INFP mother is comfortable letting her children follow their own course of development and make their own choices. She offers encouragement and uses her insights to head off trouble and difficult issues.
The INFP mother takes vicarious pleasure giving her children good experiences and watching them enjoy childhood. She’s happiest creating pleasant, memorable times for the whole family.
“I keep the encyclopedia in the kitchen so we can look up things together while we eat.”
Intellectually curious and patient, the INTP mother relishes those times with a child when they are learning something interesting together. Whether they’re at the zoo or computer terminal, she sparks to answering his or her “whys” with in-depth responses or new knowledge.
The INTP mother is also objective and introspective. She listens to and discusses children’s ideas and questions as she would those of a peer, fostering self-esteem and confidence. Open and non-directive, she allows children the freedom to do for themselves and quietly encourages them to believe they can do it.
Independence, autonomy, intellectual development, and self-reliance are probably the INTP’s highest priorities for her children. An avid reader, she naturally imparts an appreciation and love of reading as well.
Drawn to all types of learning, the INTP may also value her mothering experience for all the new insights about life it provides her.
I'd say it's pretty accurate, lol!