Parenting, like so many other person-to-person relationships, is a significant challenge for INTJs. Being so heavily invested in rational thought, logic, and analyzing cause and effect, INTJs are often unprepared for dealing with someone who hasn’t developed these same abilities who they can’t simply walk away from. Luckily, INTJs are uniquely capable of committing to a long-term project, especially one as meaningful as parenthood, with all the intellectual vigor they can muster.
I Hope Our Wisdom Will Grow With Our Power...
First and foremost, INTJ parents will likely never be able to deliver the sort of warmth and coddling that stereotypes say they should. INTJs are rational, perfectionistic, often insensitive, and certainly not prone to overt displays of physical affection – it will take a clear and conscious effort on their part to curb and adapt these qualities to their children’s needs, especially in the younger years. If they have an especially sensitive child, INTJs risk inadvertently trampling those sensitivities or coming across as cold and uncaring.
Even less sensitive children will need emotional support from time to time, especially as they approach adolescence – INTJs, even more so than other Analyst types, struggle to manage their own emotions in a healthy way, let alone others’. As a result, INTJs tend to avoid “unproductive” emotional support, instead taking a solutions-based approach to resolving issues. This is where INTJs are strongest – assessing a dilemma to find the underlying cause and developing a plan to solve the problem at its source.
INTJs also recognize that life is often the best teacher, and they will tend to be fairly liberal, allowing their children to have their own adventures and make their own decisions, further developing these critical thinking skills. This isn’t to say that INTJs parents are lenient – far from it – rather, they expect their children to use their freedom responsibly, and often enough the weight of this expectation alone is enough to lay out understood ground rules. When they need to though, INTJ parents will communicate openly and honestly with their children, believing that knowing the truth is better than not knowing, or worse yet, simply being wrong.
...And Teach Us That the Less We Use Our Power, the Greater It Will Be
If their children are receptive to this approach, INTJ parents will find themselves respected and trusted. INTJs are excellent communicators when they want to be, and will frame problems as opportunities for personal growth, helping their children to establish their own brand of rational thinking and independent problem-solving skills to be applied to more and more complex situations as they grow, building their confidence as they make their own way. INTJs’ ultimate goal as a parent is to ensure that their children are prepared to deal with whatever life throws their way.
All this is the exertion of INTJs’ core philosophy of intelligent self-direction, and in this way they try to mold their children in their own image, working to create capable adults who can go on to use their own minds, solve their own problems, and help their own children in the same way when the time comes. INTJs understand that this can’t happen if they shield their children from every source of ill and harm, but believe that if they give their children the right tools, they won’t have to.