The odd juxtaposition of NT, NF and SJ - and coping with it all
I am struggling to be a good parent. And I look for specific ways to improve.
Look, I am not fishing for compliments. Sure, I like a good word. :) But what I am looking for, is ways to channel work & energy in such a way that there are positive outcomes.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on the following:
1) What can I do to be a better parent for an ES*J child? (most likely, ESTJ)
2) How can I find resources within myself to be very very calm all the time, and yet be effective with tasks, discipline and getting things done? Remember, I am an ENFP who tries very hard to not make excuses, but an ENFP still.
3) How can I get the long-term strategy right for a high-potential ENTP child? I don't want to fail him.
I am asking on this group because you have a lot of clarity on such matters. Any suggestion/thoughts/clarity you can offer is welcome.
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I have two children - high-potential and talented above average in multiple areas. The things they really enjoy doing, they excel in, and that is all that I focus on to. They don't need to be Harvard material; they just need to use their time well, including having enough left to just be children. :)
The children aren't identical at all - an ENTP court-jester who is witty and bright, but his argumentative tendency can put people off and he is now working on not being so rough-edged in social interactions; and an ESxJ who is dutiful, but is much more easy going, writes thought-provoking poetry, and can ask some pretty hard-hitting philosophical questions. Her sense of time and people (EQ) are really very good; but she struggles with inter-connected ideas. She has yet to find what she really wants to do (which is fine) and I want to help her on that journey.
Being close in age (both are middle schoolers now), they have a ton of fun together, employing their complementary natures to support each other (God bless them!).
My role as a parent:
I am an ENFP. My Te is not my strongest suit, but I have over all these years, learnt to channel it effectively. But I wish often for some support in this crazy management of schedules, preferences, time, tasks, behaviour and generally maintain an air of sanity, discipline and focus, so that everyone has time left over to do "random, casual" things too, at their leisure.
I am studying, working and managing two kids and facilitating their journey towards what seems like high ambitions.
But I do what I can. To date, I haven't dropped the ball when it comes to responsibilities as a parent. I ensure they have fun too and indulge their changing ideas as much as is reasonable. But you know what?
I feel tired.
And I feel inadequate.
Where I am seriously lacking:
For my SJ child, I wish to give a lot more sensory joys - going out, calling friends over and so on, which we hardly ever do for various reasons. I am way too tired to entertain and the environment at home is often tense. Plus, I can't think of interesting things to do - plays and exhibitions and so on are in the newspapers, but somehow I never keep tab. She is a warm, understanding child who quietly accepts 'reality', but man! do I want to give her a better, more joyful 'reality'! This tolerant, respectful child deserves a much better mum than me. I am afraid I am veering too far into just 'duties' and not giving her the type of 'joys' she might enjoy.
My NT child is intelligent, but also argumentative. I have a relatively easy relationship with him (I understand his quirks and weirdness and celebrate his ability to seek and think, no matter the topic or his age). But even there, I don't know if I have the skill to plan the long term strategy better for such a hugely talented child.
Yes, I do have a partner. A good INTP gentleman. He is textbook INTP - clever, socially witty, easy-going. He does very well for himself - a clever and successful individual by all standards. I said "individual". He means well, is light-hearted and cares for his family, but doesn't necessarily relate to the practical realities and asks of a committed pursuit of bringing up young people. I accept him for who he is, but he is not a resource I can meaningfully turn to for any sort of practical support - tactical or strategic.
Here's a bit of background about me:
The idea of being a good parent has been inculcated in me by my highly duty-conscious parents (NFJ+SFJ) who walked their talk. Their decisions, the discipline they insisted on and their direction has stood me in good stead. They were both strict and purpose-driven; they held themselves and their children to the highest standards, but also were very kind and empathetic and emphasised effort over results always. I do not wish to do worse. :)