[ENFP] The Development of ENFP Children

The Development of ENFP Children

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  1. #1
    INTJ - The Scientists

    The Development of ENFP Children

    ENFP: A Great Idea? I've Got a Million of 'Em!
    'It's pointless telling her something can't be done. For her, where there's a will, there's a way.'

    The key to understanding and appreciating ENFPs of any age is to remember that they are ruled by their highly developed sense of what is possible. They have an insatiable curiosity and need to talk about their many original ideas – whether or not anything comes out of them. Above all else, they think of themselves as idea people, but they are also deeply sensitive and need their feelings and values to be honored and understood. These two insights are essential to nurturing the energetic and imaginative spirit of ENFPs.

    The examples that follow are drawn from stories of real children. But since all people are unique, your ENFP may not demonstrate all of the characteristics described or may not demonstrate them with the same degree of intensity. But if your child really is an ENFP, most of what you read should sound strikingly familiar.

    Preschool ENFPs
    Birth to Age 4

    Perhaps the most outstanding characteristic common to all young ENFPs is their high exuberance and excitement about people and new experiences. Preschool ENFPs instantly notice anything novel or out of the ordinary and are eager to explore and play with new toys. Rarely hesitant or reserved, even with strangers, they are very energized by being with other people and become more wound up, the more people they interact with. ENFPs are usually very eager to see, touch, and experience the world. Alert and especially aware of people, they tend to smile early and easily. Generally, excitable, bouncy babies, they like to be out of the house and tend to become bored and cranky on the days they have to stay home.

    • From the time David was born, he seemed to be in perpetual motion. He derived much energy from the people around him and, even as a tiny baby, craned his neck to see faces and was excited by the voices and the touch of other people.

    Highly social, happy infants and toddlers, ENFPs are usually able to express themselves well even before they start to talk. While they tend to be loud and demanding babies, they are also delightful and exciting, with an easy laugh and boundless enthusiasm. Loving and warm, most ENFPs enjoy being passed around to people other than their parents. While they prefer to be upright and able to see their environment, they also like to be snuggled and are usually very affectionate.

    • Two-year-old Melissa seemed to have no fear of people. She was more than willing to be held by her parents' friends or relatives she barely knew. She was a dramatic and expressive toddler who delighted adults with her outgoing charm and vitality. Melissa loved to sing and show off for groups and usually started dancing as soon as she heard music, whether it was at a wedding or in a restaurant. Friendly and outgoing, Melissa would boldly walk up to children at a playground whom she did not know and ask if they wanted to play.

    Even very young ENFPs are nearly always described as creative and imaginative. While they express this innovative thinking in many different ways, it is a true hallmark of ENFPs. Most are big talkers, very curious, and full of questions about why things are as they are.

    • Three year old Trevor loved to draw and offered elaborate and amusing captions for his many drawings and paintings. His preschool teachers and parents often found themselves in stitches over his delightful sense of humor, clown-like antics, and joke telling. Trevor demonstrated a real acumen for solving problems in creative and unusual ways. And since he was so enthusiastic, he was nearly always able to persuade other children to play games his way.
    • Holly had a circus of stuffed animals that always figured large in her play. Each had a name and a distinct personality, and she invented complicated scenarios and relationships between them to embellish her play story lines. Holly sometimes played alone for brief periods of time but really preferred to have the company of one of her parents or a friend who would act out the part of one or more of the animals with her.

    From the toddler years on, art is usually a favorite activity. Making collages, painting, and drawing are activities ENFPs often love. And like most of what they enjoy, ENFPs like to show off their art, explaining in great detail what they had in mind or what is depicted in each piece. Young ENFPs also enjoy music, dancing, and putting on spontaneous performances for family and friends. All of their play springs from their rich imaginations and their love for action and variety.

    • Jake's choice of toys was always a bit unconventional. He never had any sustained interest in toy cars or trucks – unless he was building one out of some totally unrelated material, like his supper. He preferred to use toys in other ways and often turned blocks into dinosaurs, sticks into weapons or flags, and chairs, tables, and blankets into secret forts. He spent much of the time discussing what superhero he was and the special powers he had. He liked to improvise costumes and, for about three months while he was four, wore a cape his grandmother had made everywhere he went.

    In addition to their high energy level and active imaginations, preschool ENFPs are deeply caring and sensitive children. While they may not show all of their deepest emotions to the outside world, they are usually open and expressive with their parents, siblings, and other close family members. ENFPs are particularly aware of their parents' feelings, and tend to become anxious if they sense that their parents are worried or frightened. They have a strong need for harmony and do not like to upset others, especially their parents.

    • Carson was an affectionate, loving four year old but he tended to hold in his fears until they built up to a level unmanageable for a small boy. One day his father lost his patience when Carson knocked over a display at the bank because he was swinging on the poles and ropes that separated the teller lines. His father quickly apologized for raising his voice, and they continued their errands. But Carson still seemed upset long after the incident was forgiven and forgotten by his father. At bedtime that evening, Carson finally relaxed enough to tell his father how the angry voice had scared him and embarrassed him in front of the other bank customers. His father apologized again, and they talked for several minutes about how Carson and his father had felt.

    The Joys and Challenges of Raising Preschool ENFPs

    While ENFPs are interesting, exciting, and stimulating children to be with, they are also exhausting. They never seem to slow down, rest, or stop talking. Their parents are often worn out by midday; because ENFPs almost always choose to be with someone, parents rarely get a much-needed break to recharge themselves for the next round of adventures, and sometimes their exuberance can just seem like too much of a good thing.

    • Three year old Gina's parents frequently worried about how best to channel and manage her enormous energy level. Many evenings, after falling exhausted onto the couch, they worried about whether they were letting her run roughshod over their lives and their household. They found it increasingly difficult to take her places because she was so loud, boisterous, and messy. She touched everything she saw, climbed on anything around her, and seemed to either not hear or quickly disregard whatever instructions or warnings she was given. They wanted their daughter to feel loved and cherished. But instead, they sometimes feared they were giving her the not altogether erroneous impression that she was a pest. They agreed that they needed to re-think some of their priorities. They could see that because she was so comfortable – even thrilled – being places with other people, perhaps they were setting her up for failure by taking her places which they wanted to go but which she just didn't yet have the self-control to manage. They vowed to keep trips to fancy stores to a minimum and spend more time at the playground – at least for the next few months.

    Because ENFPs rarely accept anything at face value and because they have such a remarkable ability to see alternatives, they naturally question most limits and rules. It's important to realize that most of the time, ENFPs are not being intentionally defiant or disrespectful. They are so driven by their natural curiosity that they ask more questions than children of other types. And they are thirsty for information, perpetually wondering: What lies just outside of this limit? What would happen if I...? Why can't I...? and What else is there?

    Accepting and respecting ENFPs' driving need to question their environment and understanding their impact on it are essential to nurturing them. Their need to ask is even more important than their desire for an answer. ENFPs think out loud and do not censor or edit their thoughts. They actually need to hear what they've said before they can apply any judgment to it. For ENFPs, the process rules.

    We love our ENFPs' natural enthusiasm, and know they are happiest when allowed to explore their surroundings to their heart's content. But it just isn't always possible or advisable to let them turn the world upside down for their own amusement and intellectual curiosity. We need to strike a balance between their needs and those of the rest of the world.

    While it can be unnerving to be around ENFPs' noisy physical energy, it's usually just more bothersome to the adults than really dangerous or harmful to the kid. When we stop to think about the behavior, we realize that the problem is rarely what is happening, but instead, the way it is happening (too loud, too fast, too messy, etc.). Before we try to stop the behavior, we need to determine if we are really responding to the way, rather than the what. Taking a moment to reflect gives parents the perspective they need to avoid overreacting and making the child feel bad about his or her natural energy level. Even adult ENFPs often admit it is sometimes hard to know whether their energy is appropriate to the circumstance. But there are limits, and we do well to look ahead and anticipate where we will need to draw the line, ideally before the child has reached it.

    Because ENFPs are so energized by interacting with other people, they often become so wound up that they lose control of themselves. Their eagerness makes them attentive, engaging, and interesting children to be around, and they are often funny and entertaining as well. But without the maturity that will eventually help them regulate their energy, they tend to become louder, wilder, and more outrageous, the more excited they get. Rather than shaming or embarrassing the child because of the volume of his voice – which usually carries across two football fields – we can teach him to distinguish between an 'inside' and an 'outside' voice. There is nothing wrong with insisting that the child move to another room (or go outside), as long as he isn't required to play alone quietly for too long. (That's a combination that rarely works for very long.) Also, physically drawing the child away from the source of stimulation, even for a moment, can enable the child to calm down. Eye contact is important here. At times, this small intervention is all the child needs to settle themselves.

    And because ENFPs are so tuned in to the world around them, disconnecting from that stimulation can provide a small pause in the frenzy of the moment so the child can actually hear and attend to the request or correction. Whatever technique we use, we need to communicate that their energy itself isn't bad – just misplaced. The minute we stop looking at behavior as something they are doing to us, we are able to shift our viewpoint and see the important drive behind what they are doing. Almost all young ENFPs can be distracted away from unwanted behavior if they are enticed with something new or intriguing or with humor. With these happy, spontaneous children, it is fairly easy to turn a negative into a positive.

    When you redirect behavior, the key is to be extremely precise about what you are asking and exactly how you expect their behavior to be changed. ENFPs are so good at bending rules that if there is any ambiguity in your message, they will find a way of continuing the action, but with a slight variation that wasn't expressly prohibited ('You told me I couldn't swing on the chandelier. You never said I couldn't just hang from it!') In general, the more you correct and limit, the less they pay attention. Instead, thoughtfully decide which behavior really is over the top and needs correcting, and then give explicit directions. It doesn't help any child to have to fight for every ounce of freedom. We don't want our children growing up feeling that there's something inherently wrong with their striving to try things in new ways. We are wise to help them learn to self-regulate their behavior, rather than relying on grown-ups to do it for them. While it is hard to raise this type of child in a society that still believes on some level that children should be seen and not heard – or should at least be strictly contained – the bottom line is that the more we give them reasonable room to experiment with life, the more they will learn the outer limits quickly and on their own. As a family, we will all have fewer battles to live through, and our ENFPs will grow up thinking of themselves as capable and courageous people, rather than out-of-control monsters.

    Life can be chaotic with an ENFP. They seem to create messes everywhere and are not nearly as interested in finishing projects as they are in starting them. Cleanup is almost always a battle. Mess represents activity and possibility to ENFPs, so they can live happily amid more disorder than most parents are comfortable with.

    • Three year old Isaac loved building complicated and imaginative structures with his Legos or making a hospital for his stuffed animals. But he resisted putting the toys away, even after he had lost interest in actually playing, because he never wanted to admit the activity was over. He would frequently say he was going to play more later. Instead of arguing over whether the game was really over, his mother made an effort to simply close the door to the room or place the project – intact – inside a large box, out of the way, or find a shelf or cabinet area dedicated to the many inventions Isaac made and the many works-in-progress he had. If a couple of weeks went by and he didn't touch them again, she would privately dismantle them and reintroduce the materials into his playroom.

    By not offering resistance to the ENFP's desire to keep the play options open, we avoid yet another struggle. And more important to the child, the parent who deems the piece of work worthy of keeping (for a while, at least), communicates appreciation and respect for the child. To ENFPs, who view their ideas as a central part of their self-worth, this expression of acceptance is a giant 'I love you'.
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  2. #2
    INTJ - The Scientists

    School-Aged ENFPs
    Age 5 to 10

    For most ENFPs, the elementary school years bring some settling down of the high energy level of preschool. Most develop some focus and skill in their imagination, so they aren't quite as scattered. Eager to please their teachers, they generally try to rein themselves in and work hard to control some of their impulses.

    • At the end of kindergarten, Jenna's teacher commented on the remarkable problem solving and creative thinking skills Jenna brought to every aspect of school. She loved working in a group and was seen as a leader by adults and her peers. She enjoyed working cooperatively toward a goal and was enthusiastic and energetic about her projects.

    The artistic and creative interests of ENFPs may begin to show great promise during these years. Art, music, dance, and any kind of dramatic performance are usually great fun. Many like completing mazes, finding hidden pictures, and playing word games. Anything with humor and fantasy is usually appealing to ENFPs. While most ENFPs tend to dabble in a variety of creative pursuits rather than specialize in any one area, some find a niche and pour themselves into whatever they love.

    • Danny took a cartooning class the summer he was seven. Once the instructor demonstrated a couple of techniques for showing movement in characters or creating different facial expressions, Danny was off and running. He created pages of cartoons, delighting his family. He developed a dog character who appeared repeatedly, like a signature element in his pieces. Danny doodled with his cartoons for hours in the car or while watching TV. While he liked to show them to his parents, he created them as much for the pure joy of drawing. To this day, when Danny's parents come upon a pad filled with cartoons, they laugh at the wonderfully expressive and comical designs.

    ENFPs see possibilities everywhere and love to brainstorm or talk about all the many things they could do. They like to know they have options open to them and are happiest when they can discuss and investigate those options without having to choose and lock themselves into just one direction. They have such confidence in their ideas that they can generate great enthusiasm among others as well, easily persuading other children to play games their way. ENFPs have great energy for starting projects but often lose interest once the creative problem solving is done or their ideas are fully worked out.

    • The spirit of innovation was alive and thriving in nine year old Lilly. She attended a craft fair with her mother one weekend and fell in love with everything about it: the people, the bustling energy, all the neat items for sale. She announced that she wanted to get a group of friends together and set up their own booth to sell crafts that they would make. She went to the fair each day it was open and talked to people staffing different booths. She even called several friends and got them excited about her idea. But within three days, she was on to another project: building a fort out of some pieces of vinyl siding left over from the renovation of a neighbor's house.

    Not every ENFP inspiration dies on the vine. Many ENFPs are able to carry off their ideas with exceptional demonstration of ingenuity and skillful executions of their talents. But they are interested in so many things that, more often than not, projects are short-lived because there are so many other enticing distractions competing for their attention. Intensely curious about global issues, ENFPs have an advanced ability to see the big picture. They are usually most interested in school subjects that explore human dynamics or other cultures. ENFPs are deeply concerned about and hungry to more fully understand societal concerns like racism, poverty, violence, and questions of ethics.

    • Eight year old Drew often lamented to his mother the fact that many of his classmates didn't seem to grasp the significance of the problem of the homeless. They just didn't seem to care. Drew, on the other hand, begged his parents to give money to anyone they saw living on the street and often gave his own allowance away. He was also interested in stories about programs that assisted the homeless, and as soon as he was old enough, he volunteered to work several weekends a year for Habitat for Humanity.

    ENFPs are strongly individualistic children. They sometimes have trouble striking a balance between their need for social acceptance and their desire to express themselves in original ways. But generally, during these years, they are still more intent upon being themselves than with fitting into narrow, externally defined ideals.

    • Around age six, Tracy's individuality began to express itself in her choice of clothing. No slave to fashion, Tracy was impervious to trends and developed a signature outfit of comfortable sweatshirts and pants. With rare exceptions, she wore a clean sweatsuit everyday day. After some initial struggling, her parents stopped resisting her and bought her a dozen identical sets so she could wear her 'uniform' every day. Tract was unaffected by the amused questions or comments from adults. She simply replied that she swore what made her comfortable, and how she felt was more important than how she looked.

    The social lives of ENFPs are very important to them. They are usually well liked for their warmth, creativity, and concern for others. Naturally empathetic, they may act as mediators or peer counselors. They tend to be fascinated with understanding people and may possess an uncanny ability to read the emotions of others. They are also highly motivated to establish and maintain harmony in their relationships. As they get closer to the start of adolescence, they tend to become more and more private about their feelings.

    ENFPs are happiest in a very casual and relaxed environment, where there are a minimum of rules and limitations. They like to keep all their options open as long as possible to be able to explore every alternative. Responsive and open to new experiences, they usually like surprises but can be startlingly resistant to changes that are of a highly personal nature – like tasting unfamiliar foods or wearing an item of clothing that isn't comfortable. While they can roll with the punches about things happening around them, they tend to feel very strongly about things that affect them personally. There just isn't a lot that are neutral about regarding themselves.

    The Joys and Challenges of Raising School-Aged ENFPs

    Focus and concentration do not come easily to most ENFPs. It takes great effort to stay on task and not take on more projects than they can realistically finish. Homework is frequently another trouble spot for many school-aged ENFPs, who have yet to develop the work and study habits that make completing assignments easier and quicker.

    • It seemed as though Rebecca's brain began to fall asleep when she was left alone to work in silence. Her mind worked so much faster than her pencil ever could; she would often become distracted and bored, and the quality of her work became sloppy if she hurried to get through it. Most evenings, her assignments took twice as long to finish, and she was left feeling exhausted and incompetent. However, if her mother sat at the kitchen table with her, silently reading or writing letters, Rebecca was able to stay focused and could get through her homework more quickly, with fewer mistakes, and still have time to play before bed.

    The playful spirit of ENFPs is delightful and refreshing. But they also tend to lack self-discipline and often wait until the last possible moment to begin working on assignments or chores. Emergency trips to the library to gather needed research material or morning scrambles to find the book report due that day are common sources of chaos in the homes of many ENFPs.

    • Nine year old Will's bedroom was filled with dozens of partially completed drawings, inventions, structures, and glass jars filled with 'science experiments' concocted from all sorts of unidentifiable kitchen ingredients. His parents constantly had to remind him to finish his homework, clean his room, do his chores, and bring his backpack to and from school. Will's 'I'll get to it' attitude was frustrating to work with, but his parents decided that instead of badgering him or serving as his memory or conscience, they needed to model time management techniques that worked for them. They helped him create schedules and put up a chart near the back door listing each of the items he needed to take to school each day. Overall, they changed their own attitude about his procrastination. They realized that it was Will's responsibility – not theirs – and that learning to stay organized was going to be one of his most important life lessons. As with everything else regarding Will, they accentuated the positive and praised and rewarded him for the times he was on time and followed through on his commitments.

    For most ENFPs, gentle reminders, early in the process, offered in a private and encouraging manner are most effective. They are easily embarrassed when their privacy is violated, and since they tend to perceive insensitivity as intentional meanness, they can wind up feeling emotionally abandoned when criticized. Any emotional hurt sets them back even further, because they tend to ruminate about it long after the incident is past. So gentle and positive are the most important watchwords when guiding ENFPs.

    Eventually, ENFPs learn the benefit of project management the hard way. Parents who remove themselves from the process are free to comfort and support the child later if they do end up experiencing a failure. When we rescue our children too often, we deprive them of the opportunity to learn for themselves. But the time for reminders is always and only before they make a mistake, never after. Once they do, silent comfort or murmurs of reassurance are best. No one ever benefits from 'I told you so' lectures.

    • Like many ENFPs, Russel could naturally see options and creative ways around rules, so he could intuitively find any cracks in his parents' arguments and try to widen them. While his intentions were self-serving, he was never malicious. Russel's questioning nature was his way of understanding the world more fully. But there was no question that he was searching for a way around limitations to get what he wanted. His parents saw this as an admirable quality – in moderation. They knew that their son saw the world as negotiable but needed practice to hone these important skills. They created opportunities for good, spirited debate, and whenever Russel's argument was especially convincing, clever or well presented, they would grant an exception to the rule – for this time.

    Many times, as parents we are so concerned about being consistent that we're afraid to make exceptions for fear the very structure of our lives will fall away, leaving utter chaos. That's rarely the case. But allowing for the exception – if it is really infrequent, saved for special situations, and clearly acknowledged as such – will be both appreciated and respected by the ENFP.

    The emotional availability of ENFPs can be an endearing characteristic and most readily understanding to Feeling parents. It can be more difficult for Thinking parents to fully grasp the extent to which ENFPs need to feel appreciated by and connected to their parents. They may seem to get their feelings hurt 'at the drop of a hat' and withdraw into their rooms to sulk or rage. Both boy and girl ENFPs tend to cry easily, at home. Until the tension is reduced by resolving the grievance, they have difficulty moving past it.

    • As Maria's moodiness increased, so did her parents' concerns. They tried giving her time alone, but her black moods permeated the house like smoke. Their overarching concern was that she might close herself off and not tell them if she were in real trouble. As they looked ahead to her teenage years, they worried about her dark side sliding her toward depression or that her tendency to worry might create real health problems for her. They tried to give her a few minutes of private reflection but to then gently press her to open up and discuss what was bothering her. Even though she sometimes said she didn't feel like talking, if her parents just sat quietly with her for a brief period of time, she could be coaxed into sharing her feelings. This always made her feel better.

    A growing ENFP is an increasingly sensitive person who spends more and more time concerned with private matters of the heart. Whereas the public ENFP is active, entertaining, clever, and playful, the private one can be worried, fearful, and morose. Accepting both sides of their personality is essential to fully understanding them. Accepting the child's feelings as valid, no matter how odd or irrational they may seem, is critical. ENFPs often suffer self-blame and may express doubts about their worthiness or their ability to handle the tough stuff. With constant (even if it seems excessive) reassurance, self-doubting ENFPs will learn to comfort themselves during the small trials of childhood. Emotional upheavals may come less frequently or occur only around more serious concerns. As parents, we want to show our children that they can trust us to be gentle and accepting of their huge feelings. But most important, we want to encourage them to trust themselves.

  3. #3
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Adolescent ENFPs
    Age 11 to 16

    Because ENFPs, more so than many other types, are such individuals, they often become less conventional as they grow older. They like the whole mystique of being different and are often attracted to lifestyles, clothing, and behavior that is different and unique. They feel a strong and unrelenting pull to figure out what makes them special, and they pursue a quest to understand themselves and the meaning of life.

    • Hayley had always been an expressive and dramatic child. As she moved through adolescence, she often became melodramatic. She had big mood swings, from delight and near manic hysteria to gloom and despondency. Her emotional temperature was closely tied to her relationships with her friends or how she was doing in school. Labeled as bright by her teachers her whole life, she often let her grades slip as they became less important to her than her many friendships. She once lamented to her mom, 'I change who I am for every group. I don't want to do that any more. I want to be me.'

    Many teen ENFPs like to cause a stir and get a reaction; they find shocking adults is fun and exciting. They usually respond best to being treated like adults, being invited into adult conversations, and having their views considered. But their natural ability to read between the lines may result in some heated discussion of necessary limits, or constant renegotiating of the rules. They are almost incapable of accepting that there is no possibility of getting you to change your mind or of getting what they want, so they will go to great lengths to try to convince you. Closing a door causes them such anxiety and frustration, it's usually best to save the absolutes for the really important issues and leave open the remote chance you might be convinced by a really well thought out argument.

    The artistic interests and talents of ENFPs may be highly developed by their teen years. At a time when finding the right group to belong to is vital, many ENFPs are able to float between groups because they are interested and involved in so many things. Usually, their interests are in music, art, theater, and team sports.

    • Playing basketball brought joy to fourteen year old Naomi. She enjoyed being part of the team and thought of her teammates as sisters. She also enjoyed the strategy of the game and had a natural instinct for being able to anticipate where the ball would go.
    • For sixteen year old Denise, it was poetry that brought her the greatest happiness. She loved to talk about her poems with her friends, and she submitted them regularly to the school newspaper for publication.

    Many ENFPs are also deeply concerned about the welfare of others and may become activists during their teen years. They may be passionate speakers for issues they care about, and they usually like working with a team of people on everything from fund-raisers to petition drives. While they seem tireless, they may find that have over-extended themselves and have little time left for the more mundane activities like chores and homework or for taking care of their health by getting enough sleep and eating a nutritious diet. ENFPs feel there's always enough time to do everything they want, but because they are very unrealistic and don't want to miss an interesting opportunity, they can get in over their heads. The real trick for ENFPs is to learn to narrow their focus so they can avoid scattering their talents over too wide a field. Learning to set and then stick with priorities is another important life lesson for ENFPs.

    The social life of most ENFPs reigns supreme. Many are such loyal and supportive friends that their peers often seek their counsel. They are intrigued with all types of relationships and spend large amounts of time on the telephone helping friends deal with their problems. ENFPs usually have a wide and varied circle of friends of both sexes and are well known and well liked by adults and children. Generally they have a strong value system that helps them make good choices. But some may be more motivated to make decisions to please others, as opposed to making choices that are really right for them. When children base their decisions solely on what pleases or impresses their peers, there can be trouble.

    • Fifteen year old Thomas's parents were horrified to be called into school one day to learn their son had been caught selling drugs. Once they heard all the details, they saw that the picture wasn't as ominous as it sounded. Thomas, who never used drugs himself, had agreed to do a favor for a girl in his class – to deliver some marijuana to another student and then pass the money back to her. Nevertheless, his parents' response was swift and sure. Thomas was suspended from school, grounded for a month, and required to attend drug awareness counseling sessions. He readily admitted to his parents that he had exercised poor judgment and learned a tough lesson about making choices against his better judgment, just to 'help out a friend'.

    Clarifying the many choices ENFPs have is an important role for parents. Because they have such difficult eliminating options, ENFPs may need help talking them through and discussing the probable ramifications of each. But they do not want to be lectured or have their plans made for them. They are most open and grateful to the parent who listens, helps them reframe issues, and patiently mirrors their feelings. Some parents find that serving as a recorder – listing the possible pros and cons their teens mention – is a food role. The teens are free to use their imagination, knowing nothing will be forgotten and they will have the benefit of a written list to review. Above all, they feel supported while remaining in the driver's seat.
    Arioche, truevitality, Aster and 40 others thanked this post.

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  5. #4
    INTJ - The Scientists

    The ENFP in a Crystal Ball

    True and lasting self-esteem for ENFPs comes from being appreciated for their originality and supported for their deep feelings. Because their ideas and inspirations are so important to them, parents need to remember that is it the viability of possibilities that motivates ENFPs. Even if nothing ever comes of a particular idea, the child needs to be able to dream about, talk about it, and act on it with encouragement and genuine praise.

    At their best, ENFPs are clever, warm, responsive, and imaginative people. When we parents can have the courage to turn our backs a bit on society's conventions and instead stand by our ENFPs – in all their occasional quirkiness – we send a loud and clear message of unconditional love that lasts a lifetime. When encouraged to develop their innate capacity to see possibilities and find opportunities beyond the ordinary, ENFPs can become ingenious problem solvers. With help to be in touch and aware of their feelings and values, they grow into compassionate, committed friends, and loving, accepting family members. Allowed to dance to their own spirited and unique beat, they grow up to be independent, confident originals, with a multitude of talents and a resilience to overcome obstacles.

    Recapping What Works with ENFPs

    • Offer a variety of challenging physical outlets for their high energy.
    • Since they quickly tire of toys and games, try putting some away and rotating them after a few weeks.
    • Don't be impatient when they ask seemingly irreverent questions and challenge pat answers; compliment them on their curiosity and imagination.
    • Listen to their ideas; brainstorm with them; then help them figure out ways of making them real by offering the technical know-how or supplies to create some of their fantasies.
    • Avoid the tendency to make the project perfect for them; recognize that the process of creating is usually more important to them than the ultimate product.
    • Allow them to fantasize without accusing them of lying.
    • Provide increasingly different and more sophisticated art supplies, including paints, clays, and art and science kits.
    • Permit them to try out many hobbies or interests without having to make a life-long commitment to any one of them.
    • Be patient with their desire to think out loud; help them make decisions by bouncing possible outcomes off you.
    • Engage their creativity to solve problems; make a game out of chores.
    • Respect their privacy and need to process their feelings at their own pace; be a supportive confidant, but don't try to talk them out of their feelings.
    • Ask for their input in setting and keeping reasonable limits, deadlines, and curfews.
    • Encourage them to explore alternative ways of dressing or behaving as they seek to find their own unique style.

    [Source: Nurture by Nature: Understand Your Child's Personality Type – And Become a Better Parent by Barbara Barron-Tieger and Paul D. Tieger]
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  6. #5
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    Very confusing... I was just reading ENTP profile from this book and it's so descriptive and helpful... this seems to me like a water down version. What scared me is the fact that I was reading ENTP thinking it's my son's ENFP profile and it suited him much more. When I read adult profiles of ENFP it's him, but this is confusing.
    How do you test a 9 years old for sure?

  7. #6

    This article gave me so much insight. It pointed out exactly the issues arose that have affected me up to this point. I realize now what I was missing. It can be so difficult growing up as an emotional child. Until recently I never really trusted my parents and never really trusted myself. I feel like so long I've been stuck in this mentality--it's really been holding me back.

  8. #7
    Unknown Personality

    Is there a description like this for INFPs?

    Thanks :)

  9. #8
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Dang, marz must have been going through the phase I've been in lately lol... I went to my mom and asked her what I was like as a kid and this was almost exactly how she described. I'm accepting my enfp-ness now (: my mom explained that I was always very logical and smart and had my opinions- knowledge was always very important to me, but she said I was also extremely compassionate, i wouldn't cause rifts because of my logic, I'd just keep it to myself if I thought it'd cause a fight. From what she said, it seems I was just a loving enfp who loved learning facts. Not so much arguing them unless it was just for fun. Nothing apparently irritated me unless someone was irrationally judgmental towards someone. I had said that I was blunt and told it as I saw it, which I did and as a child could cause internal self guilt at the most. I also think that my recent valuing logic over feelings was just due to my alcoholic infj roommate who was overly sensitive and irrational, and it made me resent feeling at all. I'm coming back slowly but surely (:

  10. #9
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsarina View Post
    Very confusing... I was just reading ENTP profile from this book and it's so descriptive and helpful... this seems to me like a water down version. What scared me is the fact that I was reading ENTP thinking it's my son's ENFP profile and it suited him much more. When I read adult profiles of ENFP it's him, but this is confusing.
    How do you test a 9 years old for sure?
    you can't really. at age 9 only Ne is fully developed and the secondary function is still in infancy.

  11. #10
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    This article is kind of misleading in a way. As a kid, I was very shy and needed some time to myself. I didn't have a preference for being with people or alone.
    INFantP and angelcat thanked this post.

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