In a lot of ways, ESTPs are what many children would consider the perfect parent. Fun-loving and playful, flexible and understanding, people with the ESTP personality type genuinely enjoy spending time with their children, and know how to make sure everyone is having a good time. ESTPs have a natural curiosity and spontaneity that is perfectly matched to the wonder and insatiable desire to learn that young children have.
Looking at Everything as if for the First Time
ESTPs love hands-on activities, and their children aren’t left wanting for someone to play catch with, or to help them build a model for school. Sports, hiking, and other practical, hands-on hobbies are all welcomed and encouraged. At the same time, given their aversion to rules and schedules themselves, ESTPs aren’t likely to forcibly enter their children into all manner of clubs and teams. If their kids want to play softball, great – if not, well, they’ll just find something else to do.
ESTPs give their children freedom, encourage them to use their own judgment (especially with the minor stuff), and to follow their hearts – to heck with what other people think. ESTP personalities keep a close enough eye on their kids, using that knack for picking up on even the slightest changes in others’ moods and habits, that they can step in with extra guidance when things start to go wrong.
ESTPs do have one significant parental challenge though: emotional bonding. As with any Thinking (T) type, feelings tend to be seen by ESTPs as a bit of an irrational distraction, rather than a tool for expression and connection. If their children happen to be Feeling (F) types, this can be a source of tension between ESTPs and their children. Frank honesty isn’t always the best prescription.
We Are All Apprentices in a Craft Where No One Is Master
Still, ESTPs can often rely on a more sensitive partner to help them out in this regard, and the healthy bonds they form through their shared activities can help to bridge the gap. ESTPs have the added benefit of direct and understanding relationships – their children won’t feel so much like they have to hide their mistakes and challenges, the holy grail of parent-child communication.