[ESTJ] Help me be a better parent. Ideas welcome from the young and the old. :)

Help me be a better parent. Ideas welcome from the young and the old. :)

Hello Guest! Sign up to join the discussion below...
Results 1 to 7 of 7
Thank Tree4Thanks
  • 1 Post By middle_aged_enfp
  • 1 Post By Jeffrei
  • 1 Post By MonarK
  • 1 Post By middle_aged_enfp

This is a discussion on Help me be a better parent. Ideas welcome from the young and the old. :) within the ESTJ Forum - The Guardians forums, part of the SJ's Temperament Forum- The Overseers category; The odd juxtaposition of NT, NF and SJ - and coping with it all I am struggling to be a ...

  1. #1
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Help me be a better parent. Ideas welcome from the young and the old. :)

    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.




    --------------------------- DETAILS FOLLOW FOR THOSE WHO PREFER TO KNOW THE CONTEXT -----------


    The kids:
    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. :)
    Emancipation thanked this post.



  2. #2
    Unknown

    I hate to say it, but things get a lot harder without a father who is more than physically present. However, you can still do this!

    It sounds like your heart is already in the right place. You are already thinking about ways to improve. Just keep doing that.

    Also, you don't have to go it alone. You can find other adults that you can trust to invest in your kid's lives. I've heard somewhere that kids need 5 invested adults in their lives to be the most successful. Of course, you'd still do the parenting, but having more wisdom available is always helpful. Plus, if you see a need that you are struggling to meet, it is good to have someone you can turn to for help.

    Edit: One more thing. I know it sucks and it's hard, but punish appropriately and stand your ground. Never do it out of anger, just come back when you've chilled a bit, but always make sure that there is a consequence for bad behaviour.

    I know it's kind of frowned upon nowadays, but my parents would spank my siblings and me when we needed it. That really helped a lot, and I'm glad they did.

  3. #3

    You're already at a fine position in giving them the time of day and not only being there for their physical needs. I commend you for seeking to best parent possible. For the ESXJ child, see if you can enagage them in extracuricular activities hosted by the school if they're a tad bit bored; if they fancy being with friends, see what you could work out with the friend's parents... maybe they could overtake the transporation of the child. Do pay attention to what they express directly and act with parental discernment. With the XNTX, he's just having his fun. It may be difficult to take it as such, but that's often times an ENTP's brand of fun; you may even see a smirk on his face. A little validation goes a long way for him, so do acknowledge he's a bright child, but briefly remind him every now and then to be mindful of the audience. If you find yourself too tired to do much, heavily consider cutting back the amount of work that you engage in; a child's growth is a worthy investment. You may have to convince your husband to become more involved. Other than that, you appear to be set.
    middle_aged_enfp thanked this post.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    PersonalityCafe.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrei View Post
    I hate to say it, but things get a lot harder without a father who is more than physically present. However, you can still do this!
    Thank you, @Jeffrei . First of all, I meant to reply sooner, but this one slipped through the cracks somehow. I apologize for writing back so late.

    Yes, it would have been easier if the father had also been fully involved. The thing is, he is not 'not involved'. He is just involved to the extent he deems fit and in areas that interest him. That's reasonable too, I understand. The things he is involved in are useful, no doubt. But there are a lot of other areas that need attention as well. And in too many areas, I am left holding the ball. Besides, being more disciplined about even the areas of his interest would help me. Let's put it this way. The areas that he provides support in are largely the ones associated with dopamine rushes of the brain. :D I handle the Commander Tough Talk areas. As an ENFP, it is somewhat hard for me to play villain all the time. Some of the times would be just fine. All the time is draining.

    But yes, I'd rather have him in my world than not. He is a good guy, basically.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrei View Post
    It sounds like your heart is already in the right place. You are already thinking about ways to improve. Just keep doing that.
    This coming from an ESTJ is very special. :) Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrei View Post
    Also, you don't have to go it alone. You can find other adults that you can trust to invest in your kid's lives. I've heard somewhere that kids need 5 invested adults in their lives to be the most successful. Of course, you'd still do the parenting, but having more wisdom available is always helpful. Plus, if you see a need that you are struggling to meet, it is good to have someone you can turn to for help.
    Absolutely. It takes a village, no? :)

    I take help. It does make me wonder if I am being a leech, though! :D LoL! I do what I can to make sure I am not freeloading or becoming a burden on anyone else in my support system. But with so much on my plate, I don't often have the bandwidth for all but a very small number of people, whom I call 'dear friends'. For them, yes, I make time at any cost. But to be honest, they are all mostly not demanding people at all. So, I am getting away light here. LoL!

    I wouldn't survive without my support system. That said, I am glad you said this, because it validates my reaching out to others besides my partner for help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrei View Post
    Edit: One more thing. I know it sucks and it's hard, but punish appropriately and stand your ground. Never do it out of anger, just come back when you've chilled a bit, but always make sure that there is a consequence for bad behaviour.
    You hit a raw nerve there. :) But you are right to bring it up.

    I am definitely a disciplinarian, but not in an ESTJ-like consistent way. Well, I do mete out consequences as well as promised. But say, if I make the child run 10 rounds of the apartment, sometimes, if I feel that the kid has sufficient remorse, I'll let them stop at 8. :D

    (Most of my punishments somehow build their athletic ability and help them cool down while creating an ache - that's the general idea; things they are happy to do in smaller measures, but as a punishment, it is just more reps, if you know what I mean. Squats, runs, stair-climbs and so on. So far, it has not caused an aversion towards sports in them. They don't associate sports with punishment, thank God! :) )

    Besides, I am not nearly as consistent as I should be about routine. Darn, I need help there myself; how am I to be the guardian of processes and systems in a meticulous fashion? :( I appreciate all the help and advice I can get on this one. Keeping a constant routine over a long period of time (over 3 months) is not something I've been successful in, going by historical track record. I am not blaming 'my type' for it; but just saying that it is my Achilles Heel.

    You perceptively zoned straight into it. hehe. :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrei View Post
    I know it's kind of frowned upon nowadays, but my parents would spank my siblings and me when we needed it. That really helped a lot, and I'm glad they did.
    I reserve spanking for serious mistakes of two types: 1) repeated infraction of something that is truly important in the value system and 2) anything that is immediately dangerous to the child or others.

    It works. I use it quite sparingly, and when I spank, it only hurts for a short while. For my kids, it isn't so much the pain as it is the fact that "mummy actually spanked us" - the indignation and may be shame - that keeps them out of such situations. :)

    Is that what you meant or something else?

    Again, thank you for replying. I appreciate your taking the time from the real world to advise a stranger on the internet. :) Happy New Year.

  6. #5
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Quote Originally Posted by OfMythAndMajesty View Post
    You're already at a fine position in giving them the time of day and not only being there for their physical needs. I commend you for seeking to best parent possible.
    Thank you, @OfMythAndMajesty . The reassurance is nice to hear. And gives me a shot in the arm to keep going. :)


    Quote Originally Posted by OfMythAndMajesty View Post
    For the ESXJ child, see if you can enagage them in extracuricular activities hosted by the school if they're a tad bit bored; if they fancy being with friends, see what you could work out with the friend's parents... maybe they could overtake the transporation of the child. Do pay attention to what they express directly and act with parental discernment.
    O.K. Yes, she does take part in a wide range of extra-curricular activities. She is happy to do almost any of them. Her interests are in good things, so I am a lucky mom of a 'tween. It is just that I need to do a lot of the pushing to actually 'do the work' required to culminate her interests meaningfully. If I push her, she does take the effort and then the results are very good. But if I don't push her, she can slip into a merry existence of flitting about and just letting time slip away. LoL! :D

    To be fair to her, when I tell her to get her act sorted, she usually comes to me asking for a timetable. I tell her to make it herself (and follow it too!). She tries to make it, slaving over the task for hours on end, and then coming up with something that isn't fully thought through. I get livid and get into this cross-examination mode of why this wasn't considered and that was left out and how the other thing even makes sense. She is a sensitive kid and gets discouraged. But being someone who doesn't express much, she silently gulps away her anger and pain and goes away. Finally, I still make her a timetable (these days, I have her sit with me and do most of the work, while only guiding) and then she totally follows it by herself. I'll also admit that with the sheer number of activities they are involved in, making the timetable is hard, even for me. May be she is getting overwhelmed? It is possible, given that she feels very stressed when asked to make a timetable (but tries sincerely every time I tell her to, only to breakdown eventually).

    Help me analyze the above pattern.

    Am I just being too demanding from a child? Would it help if I just gave her timetables for a while more (continuing to involve her in the process of making them)?

    The more I think of it, the less Te-dom she sounds. Gosh! :D Helpppppppp! :D


    Quote Originally Posted by OfMythAndMajesty View Post
    With the XNTX, he's just having his fun. It may be difficult to take it as such, but that's often times an ENTP's brand of fun; you may even see a smirk on his face. A little validation goes a long way for him, so do acknowledge he's a bright child, but briefly remind him every now and then to be mindful of the audience.
    This one, I am happy to say, I am doing exactly as you have said above. I am reasonably sure-footed around my ENTP. He is doing some good work and becoming a better human being (values-wise). In terms of what passes for 'reasonable behaviour in public', there is definitely more work to be done, but there is improvement there as well. I'll keep working on that aspect continually and see how it pans out. Thank you for this feedback.

    Quote Originally Posted by OfMythAndMajesty View Post
    If you find yourself too tired to do much, heavily consider cutting back the amount of work that you engage in; a child's growth is a worthy investment. You may have to convince your husband to become more involved. Other than that, you appear to be set.
    Oh, how I wish I could do that! For reasons I can't mention here, I have to work in as high-profile a job as I can. I would have been very happy to be a homemaker, since I do find that raising children is a full-time job. But that is not an option I have as such. I've made my peace with it and with multi-tasking like a maniac. :) I don't fight battles that I have nearly no chance of winning. :) :) Better to channel your energies in more productive ventures, no? :)

    Wish you a very happy 2019!

  7. #6

    @middle_aged_enfp Parenting is tough! I'm a mom of three little kids so I hear you. Maybe I can be of some help since I'm an ESFJ married to an INTP. Plus, my brother is an ENTP and his wife an ENFP so I have some experience with those types.

    Quote Originally Posted by middle_aged_enfp View Post
    1) What can I do to be a better parent for an ES*J child? (most likely, ESTJ)...... (from comments below): I get livid and get into this cross-examination mode of why this wasn't considered and that was left out and how the other thing even makes sense. She is a sensitive kid and gets discouraged. But being someone who doesn't express much, she silently gulps away her anger and pain and goes away."
    I think it's wonderful you're asking this question to see how you can best serve your ES*J child. As an ESFJ child myself I can tell you that I was very driven academically and had high standards for myself. My worry after reading your example above about "cross-examining" her is that she now not only has her own incredibly high standards to achieve but also yours. I know you just want the best for your kids, but I think she might be better served if you can approach her with less stern oversight and demands and more warmth, caring, and understanding. Not saying you don't do this as well! Believe me, parenting is tough I totally get it and yes, kids do need structure and guidance. All I'm saying is that as an ESFJ I could come down pretty hard on myself, keep it all in, not share that with my parents, try my everything to please them and if I felt criticized about that then I internally felt like I wasn't good enough. That I was letting people down. ESFJs in general don't take criticism very well and I'm sure she felt terrible being lectured about her not being organized enough. Plus, they pick up on emotions and if they can tell you're really upset then it gets deep under their skin because they feel what you feel and hate conflict. If she's an ESTJ, I'm sure you pointing out all her flaws in thinking when you're livid (your words) makes her feel incredibly stupid, which would be hard for anyone let alone an ESTJ. She needs to learn from her own mistakes and if she's overlooking something in her schedule, I'm sure when that day comes around and she misses practice or doesn't make the cut off time to register for band that she'll have learned a life long lesson.

    My biggest advice with her would be to lead with heart. Be her champion and comfort. She will be hard enough on herself and it'll be your role to help her feel loved for just being herself without the need to be "perfect." Believe me, you don't want to raise an ES*J who tries to be a perfectionist!! That will be very hard for their future relationships / partners to live with since they'll somehow start projecting their own internal high standards onto everyone else and that can be very off putting to many people who don't want to feel so "controlled." Or in a work environment an overly perfectionistic and difficult to please ES*J sounds like a lot of people's worst nightmare.

    As an ESFJ, all I wanted from my mom (which I got) was to feel loved and accepted just as I was and not feel like I had to be the "perfect" child or student or anything to get her love. Home should be a safe haven from harsher realities outside. I would take a look at how many activities she's doing and ask her if she feels like they're too much or not. Be the person that helps free up her time if she needs it and has some downtime. I was involved in a ton in school but I enjoyed the social aspect of it but was also spread too thin. My family also, like it sounds yours is, didn't have many friends over outside of school and that was okay with me because I was very focused on homework etc. and would get my socializing in through all my extra activities and in school. In the end, for an ES*J consistency and structure are key plus understanding and heart. You don't want her gulping, keeping it in, and going away. You want her to come to you with her vulnerabilities and for her to know your love is unconditional and not related to her performance. You might think that should just be obvious but you need to tell her that and show her that not just think it should be understood.


    Quote Originally Posted by middle_aged_enfp View Post
    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.
    This is the million dollar question! Ha! I mean, this is a challenge anyway in parenting but as an ENFP it definitely can be challenging to deal with all the mundane daily things and organization of lives plus I get it an INTP husband sometimes is not the biggest help with this... I will say though that doing all of this alone is really tough and honestly shouldn't fall solely on you. It sounds like you're kind of accepting the fact it is all on your shoulders but I don't know that that has to be a truth (or if that's a pressure you feel from growing up with parents who expected a lot from you so you'll just shoulder this burden alone). I would see if you can't reason out something with your INTP partner to get him more involved. It felt like a HUGE victory to me that my INTP husband now empties the dishwasher and takes out the trash and takes over bath time for our little kids consistently without me asking. Baby steps.. I know, but it's been a big help. Talk to him and see what areas he could step up more in that would lighten your load.

    To answer your question:

    1) Get your husband to help out more. Divide up mundane tasks and if he balks, make a list where he puts down everything he does around the house and then you put down what you do. He'll logically see that you do way more. Then ask him which ones he would hate the least to take over. Then let him find a new system that he can live with to make it his own. That means you have to be okay though if dishes don't happen every day or whatever new system he comes up with. Then agree to revisit this new schedule in 2 weeks and change things around depending on what works or doesn't. I've found giving a timeline of "let's just try this" gives the INTP a feeling like they're not totally selling over their soul to a horrible lifelong experiment.

    2) What are things you can put on autopilot? What tasks can kids take over? Also, are you okay with some failure? Do you do anything for yourself or is everything just for your kids and work?

    Organizationally: Maybe have a big chart that shows what the weekly schedule looks like for activities etc. Get the middle schoolers on board with packing their own lunches in the morning, seeing for themselves what activity they have and pack for it, etc. Get them to take more responsibility of getting their homework turned in on time. Maybe even have them set their own alarms so they wake themselves up. With this though you have to be okay with some failure. Some homework will be late...until they figure it out. They might oversleep a morning etc. But in the end it teaches them valuable lessons and lightens your load, if you can handle this internally. It's better for them to try and fail and learn now while they're in middle school and grades don't really count.

    3) About the calmness part, here are some things that help me:

    A) It's not my job to entertain my kids all the time (being bored is actually good for them. They get to use their imagination and come up with their own games and activities. You are not a chauffeur and don't need to fill their every day with fun things to do. Teaching them delayed gratification is very important!).

    B) They are their own people (Try not to put your own goals for their lives on them and push your own agenda. Not saying you're doing this, just in general good thing for parents to watch out for. As an ESFJ, I went to undergrad not totally knowing what I wanted to do but my dad pushed me gently in a certain direction which I then stuck with even though I wanted to quit several times and study something different. Then I went on to get a masters in that same field because well...I figured that was the next step in what I "should" do and was well respected in society. Then worked a few years in that field and realized this wasn't what I wanted to do.... I wish I hadn't felt the need to please my parents that much and would have had more trust in my own inner instincts and thoughts...then I wouldn't have to be starting over now again and changing fields... but again, I grew up in a family who pushed us and me and my siblings all made it far academically, but at what cost?)

    C) Kids can help out. They're old enough to do their own laundry. Take trash out. Empty dishes. etc. There's no reason you need to do it all. If you feel they are too busy with other extra activities to help out, then it might be time to re-prioritize things. While it may seem way more mundane to have your kids learn about household chores, they will be better served knowing how to do some practical life skills than that extra season of lacrosse. It'll make them value what you do more for them and will help them be better roommates when they're in college and don't expect their mom (or roommate) to pick up after them.

    D) Their successes and failures are their own. Sure, easier said than done. Of course I feel proud when my kid gets good comments from a teacher and all else. This is a HARD lesson for me to learn and accept. But the truth is it's their life. It doesn't all reflect on you. It has to be okay for them to fail sometimes. If they are perfect at everything they do that means they're not taking any risks or challenging themselves. (Again, not saying this is your kids, just in general)

    I really believe an ES*J kid will push themselves enough without needing you to be an overly stern parent. Be their champion and help them emotionally as a safe place. Leave your gold stickers and too high expectations at the door. Try to be consistent and somewhat structured so they don't label you as a "flake" but other than that just slow down and make sure you enjoy your day as well and do things for you too. They'll grow up seeing their mother have her own interests outside of them as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by middle_aged_enfp View Post
    3) How can I get the long-term strategy right for a high-potential ENTP child? I don't want to fail him.
    To this I would say, don't worry you aren't failing him! He sounds like he is in a family who loves him and supports him in his interests. He'll figure it out on his own with or without you pushing him. Maybe you won't believe me with that but I can say from watching my ENTP brother that he had miserable grades, hated high school, played tons of sports but couldn't care less about homework etc. I honestly at the time had no clue what he was doing with his life and totally didn't get it. That said though, we got along GREAT and had SO much fun together! In the end, he went to college, found something he loved, and now is in a great job and has the most fun hobbies and life. He finds plenty of things that interest him and keep him excited and challenged. I don't think it's your job to over structure your son's life so he has every single opportunity possible to him. It's good to have down time. It's good for him not to expect that someone will always be doing that for him or to expect others to constantly entertain him. Let him be bored and take his own initiative. I'm sure the conversations between him and you as an ENFP and your partner as an INTP are very stimulating to him!

    With my brother the biggest crusher of his ambition and contributor to mediocre / low grades was an overly strict and pushy (*STJ) father. He pushed back at the "control" and authoritarian / rule heavy hand. That said, I would think with an INTP dad and ENFP mom he's in great company and that probably isn't an issue. Just keep supporting his ideas and let him gain his own experiences good and bad. Let him fail and pick himself back up, it's the only way. He needs those experiences and life feedback.

    I would think in the end learning how to be around your ES*J child will be much more of a struggle than the ENTP child. For the ES*J, just be consistent and fair, don't be too demanding and overly-critical. Make sure they have some downtime and get hugs and words of affection and caring. Ask sometimes how they're feeling or what they're thinking. Be the person they want to run to not the person they need to please.

    I'm sure you're doing a great job as a mom and the fact that you're even thinking about these questions shows how much you care! Working and balancing kids and being a mom and the house and all else is huge. OF COURSE you are tired!!! I think most parents are exhausted! In the end it's really simple though, just give them lots of love and food and shelter and they'll remember having a great childhood whether you go the extra mile on activities and events or not.

    Hope that helps a bit! You got this!
    Last edited by SummerRoads; 01-27-2019 at 12:17 PM.

  8. #7
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    I'll get to everything else in a bit... but the amount of warmth you exuded in this post brought tears to my eyes. I write as they roll down my cheeks.

    I want that super power too - of making people feel genuinely supported.

    Thank you, @SummerRoads .

    I'll reply in detail shortly. I'll need to do justice, as you've hit a lot of thought-provoking points.

    Quote Originally Posted by SummerRoads View Post
    @middle_aged_enfp Parenting is tough! I'm a mom of three little kids so I hear you. Maybe I can be of some help since I'm an ESFJ married to an INTP. Plus, my brother is an ENTP and his wife an ENFP so I have some experience with those types.

    Quote Originally Posted by middle_aged_enfp View Post
    1) What can I do to be a better parent for an ES*J child? (most likely, ESTJ)...... (from comments below): I get livid and get into this cross-examination mode of why this wasn't considered and that was left out and how the other thing even makes sense. She is a sensitive kid and gets discouraged. But being someone who doesn't express much, she silently gulps away her anger and pain and goes away."
    I think it's wonderful you're asking this question to see how you can best serve your ES*J child. As an ESFJ child myself I can tell you that I was very driven academically and had high standards for myself. My worry after reading your example above about "cross-examining" her is that she now not only has her own incredibly high standards to achieve but also yours. I know you just want the best for your kids, but I think she might be better served if you can approach her with less stern oversight and demands and more warmth, caring, and understanding. Not saying you don't do this as well! Believe me, parenting is tough I totally get it and yes, kids do need structure and guidance. All I'm saying is that as an ESFJ I could come down pretty hard on myself, keep it all in, not share that with my parents, try my everything to please them and if I felt criticized about that then I internally felt like I wasn't good enough. That I was letting people down. ESFJs in general don't take criticism very well and I'm sure she felt terrible being lectured about her not being organized enough. Plus, they pick up on emotions and if they can tell you're really upset then it gets deep under their skin because they feel what you feel and hate conflict. If she's an ESTJ, I'm sure you pointing out all her flaws in thinking when you're livid (your words) makes her feel incredibly stupid, which would be hard for anyone let alone an ESTJ. She needs to learn from her own mistakes and if she's overlooking something in her schedule, I'm sure when that day comes around and she misses practice or doesn't make the cut off time to register for band that she'll have learned a life long lesson.

    My biggest advice with her would be to lead with heart. Be her champion and comfort. She will be hard enough on herself and it'll be your role to help her feel loved for just being herself without the need to be "perfect." Believe me, you don't want to raise an ES*J who tries to be a perfectionist!! That will be very hard for their future relationships / partners to live with since they'll somehow start projecting their own internal high standards onto everyone else and that can be very off putting to many people who don't want to feel so "controlled." Or in a work environment an overly perfectionistic and difficult to please ES*J sounds like a lot of people's worst nightmare.

    As an ESFJ, all I wanted from my mom (which I got) was to feel loved and accepted just as I was and not feel like I had to be the "perfect" child or student or anything to get her love. Home should be a safe haven from harsher realities outside. I would take a look at how many activities she's doing and ask her if she feels like they're too much or not. Be the person that helps free up her time if she needs it and has some downtime. I was involved in a ton in school but I enjoyed the social aspect of it but was also spread too thin. My family also, like it sounds yours is, didn't have many friends over outside of school and that was okay with me because I was very focused on homework etc. and would get my socializing in through all my extra activities and in school. In the end, for an ES*J consistency and structure are key plus understanding and heart. You don't want her gulping, keeping it in, and going away. You want her to come to you with her vulnerabilities and for her to know your love is unconditional and not related to her performance. You might think that should just be obvious but you need to tell her that and show her that not just think it should be understood.


    Quote Originally Posted by middle_aged_enfp View Post
    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.
    This is the million dollar question! Ha! I mean, this is a challenge anyway in parenting but as an ENFP it definitely can be challenging to deal with all the mundane daily things and organization of lives plus I get it an INTP husband sometimes is not the biggest help with this... I will say though that doing all of this alone is really tough and honestly shouldn't fall solely on you. It sounds like you're kind of accepting the fact it is all on your shoulders but I don't know that that has to be a truth (or if that's a pressure you feel from growing up with parents who expected a lot from you so you'll just shoulder this burden alone). I would see if you can't reason out something with your INTP partner to get him more involved. It felt like a HUGE victory to me that my INTP husband now empties the dishwasher and takes out the trash and takes over bath time for our little kids consistently without me asking. Baby steps.. I know, but it's been a big help. Talk to him and see what areas he could step up more in that would lighten your load.

    To answer your question:

    1) Get your husband to help out more. Divide up mundane tasks and if he balks, make a list where he puts down everything he does around the house and then you put down what you do. He'll logically see that you do way more. Then ask him which ones he would hate the least to take over. Then let him find a new system that he can live with to make it his own. That means you have to be okay though if dishes don't happen every day or whatever new system he comes up with. Then agree to revisit this new schedule in 2 weeks and change things around depending on what works or doesn't. I've found giving a timeline of "let's just try this" gives the INTP a feeling like they're not totally selling over their soul to a horrible lifelong experiment.

    2) What are things you can put on autopilot? What tasks can kids take over? Also, are you okay with some failure? Do you do anything for yourself or is everything just for your kids and work?

    Organizationally: Maybe have a big chart that shows what the weekly schedule looks like for activities etc. Get the middle schoolers on board with packing their own lunches in the morning, seeing for themselves what activity they have and pack for it, etc. Get them to take more responsibility of getting their homework turned in on time. Maybe even have them set their own alarms so they wake themselves up. With this though you have to be okay with some failure. Some homework will be late...until they figure it out. They might oversleep a morning etc. But in the end it teaches them valuable lessons and lightens your load, if you can handle this internally. It's better for them to try and fail and learn now while they're in middle school and grades don't really count.

    3) About the calmness part, here are some things that help me:

    A) It's not my job to entertain my kids all the time (being bored is actually good for them. They get to use their imagination and come up with their own games and activities. You are not a chauffeur and don't need to fill their every day with fun things to do. Teaching them delayed gratification is very important!).

    B) They are their own people (Try not to put your own goals for their lives on them and push your own agenda. Not saying you're doing this, just in general good thing for parents to watch out for. As an ESFJ, I went to undergrad not totally knowing what I wanted to do but my dad pushed me gently in a certain direction which I then stuck with even though I wanted to quit several times and study something different. Then I went on to get a masters in that same field because well...I figured that was the next step in what I "should" do and was well respected in society. Then worked a few years in that field and realized this wasn't what I wanted to do.... I wish I hadn't felt the need to please my parents that much and would have had more trust in my own inner instincts and thoughts...then I wouldn't have to be starting over now again and changing fields... but again, I grew up in a family who pushed us and me and my siblings all made it far academically, but at what cost?)

    C) Kids can help out. They're old enough to do their own laundry. Take trash out. Empty dishes. etc. There's no reason you need to do it all. If you feel they are too busy with other extra activities to help out, then it might be time to re-prioritize things. While it may seem way more mundane to have your kids learn about household chores, they will be better served knowing how to do some practical life skills than that extra season of lacrosse. It'll make them value what you do more for them and will help them be better roommates when they're in college and don't expect their mom (or roommate) to pick up after them.

    D) Their successes and failures are their own. Sure, easier said than done. Of course I feel proud when my kid gets good comments from a teacher and all else. This is a HARD lesson for me to learn and accept. But the truth is it's their life. It doesn't all reflect on you. It has to be okay for them to fail sometimes. If they are perfect at everything they do that means they're not taking any risks or challenging themselves. (Again, not saying this is your kids, just in general)

    I really believe an ES*J kid will push themselves enough without needing you to be an overly stern parent. Be their champion and help them emotionally as a safe place. Leave your gold stickers and too high expectations at the door. Try to be consistent and somewhat structured so they don't label you as a "flake" but other than that just slow down and make sure you enjoy your day as well and do things for you too. They'll grow up seeing their mother have her own interests outside of them as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by middle_aged_enfp View Post
    3) How can I get the long-term strategy right for a high-potential ENTP child? I don't want to fail him.
    To this I would say, don't worry you aren't failing him! He sounds like he is in a family who loves him and supports him in his interests. He'll figure it out on his own with or without you pushing him. Maybe you won't believe me with that but I can say from watching my ENTP brother that he had miserable grades, hated high school, played tons of sports but couldn't care less about homework etc. I honestly at the time had no clue what he was doing with his life and totally didn't get it. That said though, we got along GREAT and had SO much fun together! In the end, he went to college, found something he loved, and now is in a great job and has the most fun hobbies and life. He finds plenty of things that interest him and keep him excited and challenged. I don't think it's your job to over structure your son's life so he has every single opportunity possible to him. It's good to have down time. It's good for him not to expect that someone will always be doing that for him or to expect others to constantly entertain him. Let him be bored and take his own initiative. I'm sure the conversations between him and you as an ENFP and your partner as an INTP are very stimulating to him!

    With my brother the biggest crusher of his ambition and contributor to mediocre / low grades was an overly strict and pushy (*STJ) father. He pushed back at the "control" and authoritarian / rule heavy hand. That said, I would think with an INTP dad and ENFP mom he's in great company and that probably isn't an issue. Just keep supporting his ideas and let him gain his own experiences good and bad. Let him fail and pick himself back up, it's the only way. He needs those experiences and life feedback.

    I would think in the end learning how to be around your ES*J child will be much more of a struggle than the ENTP child. For the ES*J, just be consistent and fair, don't be too demanding and overly-critical. Make sure they have some downtime and get hugs and words of affection and caring. Ask sometimes how they're feeling or what they're thinking. Be the person they want to run to not the person they need to please.

    I'm sure you're doing a great job as a mom and the fact that you're even thinking about these questions shows how much you care! Working and balancing kids and being a mom and the house and all else is huge. OF COURSE you are tired!!! I think most parents are exhausted! In the end it's really simple though, just give them lots of love and food and shelter and they'll remember having a great childhood whether you go the extra mile on activities and events or not.

    Hope that helps a bit! You got this!
    SummerRoads thanked this post.


     

Similar Threads

  1. [ENFJ] To Be or Not to be that is the question!
    By Thought Dr in forum ENFJ Forum - The Givers
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-03-2018, 10:34 AM
  2. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 09-19-2018, 01:05 PM
  3. Ideas, ideas and ideas. Which one?
    By forom11 in forum INTP Forum - The Thinkers
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 09-18-2015, 05:58 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:25 PM.
Information provided on the site is meant to complement and not replace any advice or information from a health professional.
© 2014 PersonalityCafe
 

SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0