SC016: Knowing Your Child’s Personality

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Season 3: Personality Matters

Don’t miss the free homeschool personalities reference page!

Understanding differences in personality type can drastically reduce conflict and friction in relationships, and this is as true with our children as it is with anyone else.

However, typing children is tricky. Personality preferences develop over time, as people exercise more and more decision-making and observation-making abilities. Children are developing, and so we need to give them space to grow and experiment and blossom rather than box them into labels prematurely. Though typing them can be helpful, we should be careful to not do so too soon and to still always treat them as an individual rather than as a type. Finding our children’s personality type should only be done as a means to understanding and shepherding them better, seeing how different responses to a given situation might not be a sin problem or even need to be a conflict if we understand that they see things and respond to things differently than we do.

Knowing their tendencies helps you understand their perspective, what they’re seeing, and how to respond to them so they understand you.

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Simple Sanity Saver: The Perks of Personality

I mentioned in the last episode that introverts have to extrovert and extroverts have to introvert. It’s true. You are not either a total extrovert or a total introvert – or, if you are, you’re not functional. Extroverting means dealing with anything external to you while introverting means dealing with anything inside your mind – we all do both, though we each prefer one mode.

And, there are multiple ways to both extrovert and introvert. For example, a TJ personality type extroverts by making decisions, being bossy, and getting things done while an FJ type extroverts by being a sort of emotional thermostat for people – sensing where people are and helping move them toward where they need to be.

With the free download for this season available below, you can check what your extroverted and introverted functions are based on your type. Here’s how you might use that information:

  • a Te in a group will need to know things are under control – either by someone more competent than herself or by herself.
  • an Fe in a group will need to be dynamic, helping people understand what’s important and become better through relational connection.
  • an Ne in a group will be happier with a back seat role, noticing all the different perspectives and circumstances coming into play. They’ll have good insights about what’s going on after the fact.
  • an Se in a group will be paying attention to every detail and be able to make it beautiful, make it work, in the moment.

So, Ne & Se are better at playing supportive roles – Te types need to be aware they are resources to draw on so their decisions are better informed. Fe types will make group dynamics work, but need help with the details.

When you know your type, you are better able to help out and make things happen in a way that works for you and supports others.

Perks of Personality: Free Reference about MBTI Cognitive Functions


Download the free 1-page Homeschool Personality Cheat Sheet

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Knowing your child's tendencies helps you understand their perspective, what they’re seeing, and how to respond to them so they understand you.

One Response

  1. Rachel
    |

    I have been really loving your stuff on personality. It has felt so insightful! I also really love that your approach is so focused on applying in a healthy way to walk out our lives more faithfully rather than just an indulgent self analysis! You always challenge us toward greater depth and faithfulness!
    As I listened to this episode, the situation you described with your son in the mornings is SO familiar that I was wanting to ask a bit more about it, if you don’t mind. I am also an INTJ. My son is only 5, but he is definitely distinctly different from me in some very key ways. (It seems likely he is an ENFP, but there are obviously many things still developing.) Anyway, he is such a servant-hearted kid, so I have felt really surprised when he kicks into BIG emotional reactions when it is time to get some things done, and your description of your morning situation shed so much light on those interactions! Is there more to the adjustment you have made in approaching that or is it truly just a mindset shift for you and just tuning into tone? (I don’t mean “just” as if that was an easy shift because that is a big challenge for me!) I suppose the INTJ in me is looking for a system or a construct, but it is likely a matter of me tuning into the relationship and feelings of the situation more than just the system and agenda! Sigh.