For Mediators (INFPs), life is a journey. But even as they find their own way through the world, these personalities feel called to help other people embark on their own journeys toward meaning, fulfillment, and happiness. In their understated, nondomineering way, Mediators love guiding others to learn and grow – and parenthood can be an incredibly rewarding opportunity for them to do exactly that.
From the start, Mediator parents aim to be warm, caring, and open-minded. People with this personality type delight in their children’s wide-eyed wonder at the world, and they want to give their children freedom – freedom to form their own opinions, discover their own interests, and grow into their unique selves. Mediator parents counterbalance these freedoms by creating a stable foundation of support and acceptance, in hopes that their children never forget just how much they are loved.
Coping with Challenges
Mediators may enjoy raising free spirits, but that doesn’t mean that they’re totally hands-off. They want to teach key values to their children, including honesty, compassion, and the importance of caring for others. They also want their children to understand the meaning of personal responsibility, especially when it comes to not hurting others.
Like parents of any personality type, Mediator parents inevitably face challenges. They take their parenting responsibilities seriously, so it can feel like a personal failure when their children misbehave in ways both large and small. These personalities may be especially upset when they see their children behaving in ways that don’t seem considerate or ethical.
When their children do something wrong, Mediators may find themselves wondering, Have I failed as a parent? The danger here is that people with this personality type might become so focused on blaming themselves that they don’t establish appropriate consequences for their children’s actions. Discipline may not come easily to Mediators, but when balanced with their caring, gentle natures, it can become a powerful tool in their mission to teach their children the difference between right and wrong.
Balancing Structure with Spontaneity
Mediator parents naturally want to serve as good role models. They try to show their children the best side of themselves, keeping their problems, negative emotions, and frustrations under wraps. This can preserve a sense of harmony in the household, helping their children feel safe and cared for. By the same token, Mediators often try to shield their children from the greater problems in the world. This is certainly appropriate when their children are young, but eventually, Mediators need to find ways to talk through tougher issues with their kids.
Another hurdle for many parents with this personality type is establishing practical, day-to-day structures and rules for their children. Fortunately, Mediators can use their creative energy to impose boundaries without stifling their children’s curiosity and enthusiasm. These parents have a remarkable ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes, and this enables them to come up with schedules and rules that truly work for their children’s individual needs.
When they balance structure with spontaneity, Mediators can help their children grow into their most caring, responsible, and joyful selves. And that is exactly what these parents strive for – to raise children who recognize their unique gifts and talents and share them with the world.