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.

6 years ago
An anecdote regarding the defiance of unreasonable authority: I once was caught speeding...I was going 75 or 76 in a 55-MPH zone. It was roughly 9:00 PM in the summer, and the road was deserted. The road in question is slightly winding, but was in good condition -- and I was intimately familiar with it, as it was the main highway between where I worked and where I lived. I think when most people argue tickets, they're arguing that they weren't actually speeding. That was the furthest thing from my mind. What I was discussing with the officer was that the speed at which I was traveling was reasonable for the circumstances. After a little bit of back-and-forth (all very calm, of course), the officer mentioned that the road is often plagued by animal life at that twilight/early night timeframe. I hadn't considered that. My thinking was entirely about how good of a driver I was (31 years old at the time, never been in an accident -- still haven't), and how I wasn't at all endangering any other driver. When he said that, I immediately changed my mind and agreed with the officer. After all, there would have been virtually no way for me to avoid, say, a deer, at that speed...and it probably wouldn't have ended well for me. The officer tried to give me the benefit of the doubt and drop my ticket to a 74 in a 55, which would have made it cheaper. I told him he shouldn't do that, because I was wrong. He did it anyway, which was of course nice of him. I haven't sped around dusk or dawn since...but I still speed any time it seems reasonable to do so. That's the kind of mentality you're dealing with, "Anonymous". Flexible, emotionless rationality. We don't care who you are, lord...just that you make sense.
5 years ago
Kyle, Your words are brilliant. You taught me things about my relationship with my parents many years ago.
5 years ago
This is a perfect example of how having flawless reasoning abilities can still fail in the absense of all relevant information. As an INTP myself, I have had some similar experiences where I have come to wrong conclusions, not based on any logical flaws, but simply because I didn't have all of the relevant details to work with. It's a good example of where we need other people to interact with; they can show us things we didn't see or induce on our own (deduction is never a problem). It's one thing I took issue with in the type description about INTPs, that they are "perfectly able to conduct full-fledged debates in their own heads." This only can be true if the "other person", so to speak, has no relevant personal experience or knowledge to contribute to the debate, which is usually not true. On another note, about your speeding on a deserted road, did you consider the possibility of encountering pedestrians or bicyclists on the road as well? Hitting wildlife would have been bad enough, but hitting another person would be much worse. As a cyclist myself (a very nice activity for an INTP, btw, especially on rural deserted roads), I've personally seen how dangerous speeding on curvy roads where visibility isn't perfect can be. Just another tidbit of info to put into your mental database to reason upon.
6 years ago
I put everything through deep analysis,even feelings.
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