“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”
Architects (INTJs) are known for their rationality and self-control, and they may be bemused by anyone who doesn’t share these strengths – for example, children. For these personalities, parenting often requires mastering new skills and developing cognitive flexibility. Fortunately, Architects are pretty much always up for a challenge – and for Architects who have children, parenthood can be an especially meaningful challenge to take on.
An Honest Connection
Architects want their children to grow up to be capable and self-reliant, with clear interests and strong critical-thinking skills. Rather than enforcing pointless rules, parents with this personality type look for age-appropriate ways to foster their children’s independence. That’s not to say that Architects are lenient – far from it. They expect their children to use their freedom responsibly.
Some personality types might shelter their children from difficult subjects, but Architect parents believe that knowledge is far better than ignorance. For them, candor is a way of showing respect, and shielding their children from reality would be a disservice. Of course, the success of this approach depends on Architects’ ability to correctly gauge their children’s readiness for these hard truths.
The Chaos of Emotions
Compared to many other personality types, Architects aren’t especially comfortable with displays of affection. Showering someone with love and praise can feel unnatural to them – even if that “someone” is their own child. But children need cuddling and approval and other expressions of love, particularly during their younger years. As a result, Architect parents may need to expand their emotional comfort zone in order to show their children just how much they are loved.
Another challenge for parents with this personality type is offering emotional support. Architects take pride in being in command of their feelings, and they might (consciously or unconsciously) expect their children to be able to do the same. But this expectation isn’t reasonable – emotions may be confusing and, at times, chaotic, but they’re perfectly normal, and children need validation and support in order to navigate them.
Preparing for Life’s Challenges
Architects try to make sure that their children are prepared to deal with anything that life throws at them. Parents with this personality type have a talent for reframing challenges as learning opportunities – and in doing so, they can inspire their children to develop their own style of rational thinking and problem-solving. Over time, Architects’ children can apply these skills to increasingly complex situations, building their confidence as they grow.
Every parent has a different dream for their child’s future. For Architects, the dream is to raise a competent adult who knows their own mind and solves their own problems. Architects understand that this can’t happen if they protect their children from every difficult or unpleasant thing in life. But their hope is that, if they give their children the right tools, they won’t have to.