Caring and steadfast, Defenders take the responsibilities of parenthood seriously. Parents with this personality type see it as their duty to provide their children with a secure and comfortable home life – a stable foundation to help their children grow up to be capable, successful, and happy.

But when it comes to parenthood, Defenders aren’t just motivated by a sense of duty – they are also motivated by love, and the depth and power of this love can be nothing short of amazing. Many people with this personality type feel that parenting is not just a responsibility but a calling, a way for them to use their gifts of altruism, generosity, and patience to guide a beautiful new soul into the world.

Defender (ISFJ) parents

The Road to Independence

Given that this personality type values tradition and guidance, it’s no surprise that many Defenders embrace clearly defined roles for parents and children. Rather than seeing themselves as their children’s peer or best friend, Defender parents view their role, and often rightly so, as that of a loving authority figure – someone who imparts wisdom and values, gently but firmly teaching their children the difference between right and wrong.

Defenders dedicate themselves to ensuring that their children understand the importance of taking responsibility and doing the right thing.

It can be challenging for Defender parents when their children, in an effort to assert their independence, push back on this well-intended guidance and support. As part of their development, most children reach a point where they want to test boundaries, experiment with new ways of doing things, and make their own choices – and that sometimes involves going against their parents’ advice and values.

This may not be difficult for Defenders to manage in the early years, but it can become more of a struggle once their children reach adolescence and young adulthood, when the decision-making stakes become much higher. Defenders value stability, and they want to make sure that their children are setting themselves up for the “right” kind of future – one that includes financial and professional security as well as happiness. If they worry that their children aren’t putting themselves on track for this kind of future, Defender parents can become deeply unsettled or even somewhat controlling.

An Abundance of Love

Fortunately, Defenders hardly ever lose track of just how much they love their children. It’s true that parents with this personality type may sometimes be heavy-handed in their efforts to steer their children in what they perceive to be a good direction – but even if their children end up going a different way, that doesn’t mean that Defenders will stop loving them or trying to help them find a way to happiness. Defender parents lead with their hearts, and those hearts have more than enough room to love and accept their children as they are.

The truth is that parenting is far from easy for any personality type – not if they’re doing it right. That said, Defenders have the advantage of being not just caring but also thoughtful and responsible in how they administer that care. Often seen as ideal parents, people with the Defender personality type are able to offer their children stability, security, and – most importantly – an abundance of love and support.