INTP Parents

In parenting roles, as with many social roles, INTPs find themselves facing a robust but healthy challenge. Not a naturally sensitive type, INTP personalities struggle to identify with the raw emotions and irrationality that are often the standard with young children, who have yet to develop the sort of self-control and logical thinking that INTPs take for granted.

People with the INTP personality type are nevertheless incredibly devoted – perhaps not in the traditional, emotionally supportive sense, but they are parents who are committed to encouraging their growing children to think and act independently, seek out new knowledge, and voice and defend their own opinions.

INTP parents

For INTPs knowledge is key, and they will do their best to give their children the tolerance and freedom necessary to acquire it. INTP parents take a relaxed, intellectual approach towards their children, allowing them to explore the world around them and overlooking the more minor offences along the way.

Having no interest in exerting control over other human beings, INTPs are likely to allow their children to form their own principles – though they may take the opportunity of the "why?" phase to share their own perspectives and ideas, just in case.

INTP personalities are not particularly demanding parents, at least not in the sense that they expect their children to live a traditional life of school/career/marriage/house/kids/retirement (and in that order, thank you very much). Rather, INTP parents are demanding in an intellectual sense – they want their children to ask if this path is the best path for them, and how to go about following a different one if they need to. This level of personal freedom can be daunting, and can take a long time to come to terms with, but INTP parents are prepared to stand by their children with support and advice for as long as they need.

While there is hardly a better parent for having rational, intelligent discussions with their children, there is hardly a clumsier example when it comes to providing the emotional support that many children need, especially as they approach their teenage years. In this area, INTPs will need to either rely on a more capable partner, or to take themselves far out of their comfort zone in order to empathize without trying to clear away the tears with an endless series of rational suggestions and blunt truths.

Not Just Life, but Good Life

INTPs want nothing more than for their children to grow up smart, independent, and tolerant, but if they want them to be well-adjusted too, they must make this effort. INTPs’ parenting style affords a great deal of latitude for their children, but with this freedom comes responsibility, and it is INTPs’ responsibility to ensure that it is used constructively. Though it’s a challenge for people with the INTP personality type to teach empathy alongside rationality, if they are able to pull it off, their children will grow into confident adults who know how to ask questions, use their minds, and take care of themselves no matter what comes their way.

Some Teenager
5 years ago
Childhood was fun as an INTP raised by Buddhists. I have gotten kicked out of at least 4 households though for blatantly neglecting rules. For families who want better relationships with their INTP children. As I child I personally had good morals, and every decision I made was completely rationalized in my head. Having said this I never listened to my parents rules. Even their golden rules such as 'don't bring girls in the house while I'm gone' ect. If I believed the girl to be respectable enough and I trusted her enough to be in my parents house without their knowledge, I did not see the problem. Don't take what your children do personally. They are just trying to experience life so that they may go on and completely devote themselves to their careers in the future without any sense of regrets or 'empty feelings' in their hearts. Though you are the parent and you do work hard for everything your child has, they have a deep want for freedom, an any 'rule' that you set upon them will either be neglected or create tension between you and your kid Instead of setting rules try to develop a mature relationship with your child. Imagine talking to them as if you where talking to an adult. Instead of saying 'Go to sleep early "Because I said so" ' try talking to them about their sleep patterns. Explain to them how irregular sleep patterns will greatly effect them in the future. How sleep is a necessary part of the day so that their minds may reproduce serotonin and they will never slip into a state of hysteria. Also how they need to develop these patterns at a young age. Go very deep into the discussion so that they know beyond a doubt that they should go to sleep, then they will go to sleep.
3 years ago
"Because I said so" is probably one of my biggest pet peeves. It doesn't hurt to go the extra mile to explain why the behavior/habit needs to stop.
5 years ago
Kyle-you're so right. we just want people to make sense. I get frustrated and angry if someone keep insisting and he's not making sense. My dad's an ENTJ and understands me more than anybody else. My need for logic and reason is not strange to him and he caters to it. He convinces me more easily than anybody else, when he doesnt forget to give me a reason or give me the 'i'm your parent and i know better ' talk. My mum is a different kettle of fish, she doesn't usually get my reason for doing things - logic. I have to explain my thought processes and for me, it is neither simple or easy to do. Our thought processes don't work the same way and she gets angry or frustrated when i keep thinking about the other small possibilities and ignore the more obvious ones even though i can clearly see and understand them. also, I am always accused of having an uncaring and nonchalant attitude. is it true? kind of, but it doesn't mean I don't love them or I'm not showing it. I'm just showing it in a different way and less frequently, and they probably don't get what i'm showing or telling them when I do so. . Truth is what matters to most, hardly matters to me so it's kind of hard to build up enthusiasm for such things and when I dont fire rains on me. A lot of times,if it's less important than my need to be left alone, I give my parents what they want so just get off my back, and if it's not all the lectures wont stop me from doing what I want to. All I ask is for them to give me a good reason, one that makes sense to me, a logical one, if they really want me to stop. Emotions- do I feel them? yes, most times not very deeply, a few times deeply? Do I show them? Hardly, most times when I do show them, they're not deep or whatever is causing them means little or nothing to me. People tend to ascribe stronger depths to my emotions when they see them. Do I talk about them? hardly. Can I talk about them? Not really, it feels very uncomfortable. How do I deal with them? Whether they're from myself or others, i try to figure out why the emotion and deal with it. Does that work? sometimes, I've learnt that one sometimes experiences emotions for reasons one doesn't understand (one more reasons i'm not fond of them). What do I do then? I deal with it, I pray about it (i'm a christian), I suck it up. Its not easy coz they feel like a thorn in the flesh but I try to accept their existence and manage them. One could ignore them but I don't think that's a wise decision. A lot of people around me are emotional and i've learnt not to dismiss them, they come out for a reason and i deal with that reason. If the reason is irrational and you're trying to make me feel guilty-you'll just get a very angry gal. I absolutely hate manipulations If you're a parent with an INTP child, do try to let them be, we tend to be very individualistic and independent. don't try to force them or manipulate them; and remember emotions are in no way a bargaining chip. We don't usually know what to do with it, we'll probably just throw it away. If there's one trait we have which is mostly a weakness- it's our incompetence with emotions. You could try helping us with that but that's going to be very tricky to get right. so maybe you shouldnt bother and let us learn on our own- that they're sometimes important even if we dont like them. We cant always throw them away or ignore them, it wont hurt to be quite competent in dealing with them and be able to relate more easily with those around us.
5 years ago
A word for parents with an INTP child, let them be. They're in their own world, recognize that and dont try to force them out, you're going to push then deeper in, if you do. make the first step and try entering their own world, and maybe they'll step out and meet you in yours. They probably understand yours, emotions exempted, that doesnt mean they are going to accept yours. We're fiercely independent in thinking and action. There's no pushing or forcing us around, the best you can do is convince with logic and reason, emotional arguments hardly hold water and only frustrate and irriatate. By the way we do care, we just dont show it the way you want us to, maybe even need us to. And i dont know if it just me, but my emotions are not strong and the expression of my emotions if i do express them is deeper than the emotions I do feel. Also, there's usually a reason why we do what we do, find out that reason and give them a worthy enough reason why we shouldnt, if you really think we shouldn't. if you're going to have any hope of changing actions deal with the reason behind. If you keep pushing and forcing they might simply hide and pretend to get you off their backs but nothing's really changed.
5 years ago
My simple advice for parents of INTPs: be more understanding and accepting. It is often mentioned that we INTPs don't 'understand' others' emotions and that they confuse us. In a way, most of us do technically and objectively understand what you are feeling and why, it's just that we can't honestly sympathise, as we don't emotionally work the same way. Just because our emotions work a bit differently doesn't mean we don't have them, and trying to understand how the INTPs feel and respond emotionally is key in trying to get along with your INTP child(ren). Compromise is a major part of any relationship, and most INTPs will know this, so don't expect to have to cut off all ties for their benefit, discussing this compromise with them could help (just make sure not to spend to long trying to discuss this, as I know those kinds of discussions can be incredibly boring/irritating to us). Accepting your child is the most important thing you can do. Personally, my parents (in particular my mother) are not very accepting of me at all. When I first mentioned my personality type to her and gave her a summary of an INTP to read, her first comment was "Don't worry, you're only young still, we can still fix these things." I was genuinely hurt (yes, we can get hurt); as although I don't really need social acceptance, it's very disheartening to have your own mother consider you 'wrong.' I am often punished for 'not being a part of the family' and being 'too nonchalant.' All humans need a place where they can be themselves, and not have to conform to society's expectations for convenience (which in my, and most other INTPs', case is faking appropriate emotional responses), and for most people that place is their home. Although your INTP child(ren) can be expected to pretend for your benefit sometimes, please don't ask them to pretend for you all of the time, and accept them as a normal human being. These two pieces of advice are sound and helpful regardless of your own personality type, and the most important (in my opinion) things you can do in order to get along better with your INTP child. Obviously your relationship will not just automatically become smooth sailing as soon as you understand and accept them; further ideas for improving your relationship would depend on you and your child(ren) and any personal problems you have with each other. Also, depending on you, your child and your situation and experiences this advice might not improve your relationship as much as you would like, but I can nearly guarantee you that nothing bad will come of accepting and (inobtrusively) trying to understand your INTP offspring.
5 years ago
I am mostly an ENTP (my N/S preference is not very strong, and my E/I isn't either) and most of what you said about parenting the INTP child would have applied to being my parent as well. Unfortunately, I had an INTJ stepdad (nice guy, just very inflexible) and an ENF* mother who always wanted to talk about feelings and was I happy and always crying about everything. It was really confusing and alienating to me. These halting attempts at "being close" (in her terms) almost always ended up with me being totally baffled and her crying, which was even more baffling to me and did tend to make me resent her a great deal, even though I knew she couldn't help it. I do have feelings, of course, but they aren't interesting to me and they tend not to come out except when I am under a great deal of physical stress (very fatigued, ill, etc.), and then they only come out in a very negative way. I wasn't, I guess, the daughter she wanted, but I also wasn't the consistent, orderly personality that my stepdad could relate to, plus my constant arguing exhausted him. Childhood was kind of a disappointing time all around for me.
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