In parenting, as with many social roles, people with the INTP personality type (Logicians) face a robust but healthy challenge. At times, they may be baffled by their children’s messy, irrational, and ever-changing – but completely natural – emotions. After all, children have yet to develop the sort of agency and logic that INTPs take for granted.
Still, parenthood can be extremely meaningful. Tolerant and open minded, INTP personalities encourage their children to think independently, seek out new knowledge, and voice and defend their own opinions. They view the experience as a dynamic avenue of learning through which they are not just imparting wisdom but also continuously gaining insight from the process.
To Thine Own Self Be True
Parents with the INTP personality type usually don’t fret too much about social expectations. In other words, they rarely obsess over parenting advice or other people’s ideas of how their children should behave. They’re also unlikely to push their children toward a traditional life of school > career > marriage > house > kids > retirement (and in that order, thank you very much).
This isn’t to say that INTP parents don’t have expectations of their children – they do. These personalities expect their children to be self-motivated and independent. They hope that, when their children are old enough, they’ll have the critical-thinking abilities necessary to decide on their own life path and figure out how to go after it.
The Gift of Freedom
People with the INTP personality type encourage their children’s curiosity, giving them the freedom to acquire knowledge and expand their horizons. These parents generally take a relaxed, intellectual approach toward their children. Rather than imposing needless rules or strict schedules, they aim to create a home environment that encourages exploration and independence.
INTPs also greatly value the intellectual growth of their children. They encourage their children to be independent thinkers and to question everything. These parents are more likely to respond to a child’s query with a “What do you think?” rather than providing direct answers.
For INTP personalities, honoring their children’s independence is a sign of respect. But for many children (and even young adults), this level of personal freedom can be daunting. If their home life doesn’t include reasonable boundaries and parental guidance, these children may find themselves unfocused or adrift, convinced that they need to figure out the world on their own – a tall order indeed.
Fortunately, INTPs have the mental flexibility to understand that they can encourage their children’s independence without being too hands-off. Parents with this personality type can reestablish balance by making sure that they’re available to offer advice and support whenever their children need it. They can also set clear, common-sense boundaries and establish reasonable consequences for bad behavior so that their children can navigate daily life without relying entirely on their own burgeoning self-control.
A Worthy Challenge
Offering emotional support may not be easy for INTP parents – in fact, along with establishing rules and boundaries, it may be among their greatest challenges. The good news is that these personalities are more than capable of meeting this challenge, although it can take some effort.
INTPs want to empower their children to solve their own problems and meet their own needs. This is a worthy goal, but children need a steady foundation of validation and support – along with the aforementioned rules and boundaries – before they can tackle the world on their own. To help create this foundation, these parents need to express the love, affection, and admiration that they feel for their children.
INTPs want nothing more than for their children to grow up smart and independent. As long as parents with this personality type teach empathy alongside rationality, their children can grow into confident adults who know how to ask questions, use their minds, and take care of themselves no matter what comes their way.