Need your advice.
Summary: ENFP mum wants to help her sincere ESTJ teen child achieve her highest potential. Seeks your advice on how to go about doing so.
Background: ENFP mum, INTP dad and ESTJ child. Academically forward family. Child with great big dreams of getting 'recognition in the world, some day'. Very balanced, mature child, however.
Warning: Long context below.
My child - going into her teens - I suspect, is an ESTJ. She is very responsible (has always been), mature with what she says and doesn't say, has great discernment around what to share with people (how much and with whom and when), knows to be diplomatic when necessary (to get the job done) and loves the people in her life (though she isn't quick to share much at all about her personal space). She values the family structure, has a fairly linear sort of cause-->effect connections in her thinking, can handle complex operational tasks systematically, has the greatest respect for time and for institutions, respects other people who are worthy of it.
Many wonderful ESTJ qualities.
BUT, she is not a fighter-to-the-top sort of competitive girl. She sets herself high standards, and works systematically towards meeting them, but doesn't have that drive to cross the i's, dot the t's and do the last 10% polishing to go from a 90% level of preparation to a rock solid 100% level. To her, time is so important that if it is spent too much on polishing, it feels like a waste. Plus, the monotony of books-based work bores her, I think. (She never complains, so I don't know for sure. But it seems like that to me.)
Unless, of course, "the teacher said that polishing was an important step" prior to going for a test or doing a project. Then, she gives her 105%, if there is such a thing! Her teachers love her to bits!
But where the ask/demand doesn't come from outside, her achievements are always 5% to 10% short of her potential. This burns me as a parent, because I know that she wishes to be right up there at the top and was working towards it the whole time. After multiple instances of settling at a 90-95th percentile range, she now believes that this is all she is capable of being. WHICH IS JUST NOT TRUE! I know I am not overestimating her, because when I have sat with her to ensure the polishing is done, the results are truly reflective of her real potential. But she argues in her mind that her best results only happen when mum helps. Which, of course, isn't helpful at her age. I no longer think it is good for me to actively help her with her studying (she is a teen!), so I don't really help her much unless I feel that she is in danger of destroying her own self-confidence. In topics that are her weak areas, I help her early by reminding her that she needs to put timetables in place and working with her to ensure that she doesn't let the 'boring subjects' slip. Once put on track, she does the work. If I feel she isn't comprehending something correctly, I step in and help. I am happy to help with the learning. But I don't want to help with the goal-chasing itself - those standards are for her to set and work towards.
I am an ENFP. My husband is an INTP. Between us parents, I use my Te a lot lot better than he does, to provide structure and organization and a sense of reliability to her. But you can imagine. How good can an ENFP's structure be? Only mediocre... so I always feel that I am not giving her the right environment to bloom. I am very conscious of how important it is for her that we are reliable and am constantly fighting my own instincts, and doing things more systematically. Honestly, it is only working about 30% of the time when it comes to the 'small things'. But I NEVER LET HER DOWN in anything important.
To support her ESTJ nature:
I give her responsibilities bigger than what most parents give their children and trust her with far bigger things than other parents do. This makes her feel good and she has told me as much. She totally keeps up her end in these matters.
But when it comes to books-based education, I would like her to somehow put the finishing touches without balking.
In general, she does things fast and reliably. If an authority figure wanted her to do it perfectly and explicitly said so, she will work on the perfection bits too. Otherwise, her default behaviour is to do efficient work within a given amount of time and not work towards perfection itself. Is this typical of ESTJ children? My adult-ESTJ friends are such perfectionists!!! How does that happen?
As ESTJs, what suggestion would you have for this mother? I so want to help this sincere, wonderful child be the best that she can be! I so want her to find areas that she will be a natural at, so that she can excel in them effortlessly! Recognition is important to her, I know. But she sometimes has a 90% attitude towards excellence... so her results show exactly that. How can I help her believe in herself more powerfully and find the intrinsic motivation to manifest her best self? Right now, she is settling for too little...
(Please don't judge me as a "Tiger Mom". I am only seeking to help my child be her best. I am not interested in her achievements for my own sake... neither do I love her any more or any less because of her results in academic efforts. I respect her individuality. I want to do the right steps to help her be her best self. Please help me.)