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Hahaha...yeah, we ENFPs can be very headstrong as young 'uns. My mum will tell you: the first 6 years of my life were basically a screaming match between me and her (every morning, every night, with every thing she asked me to do). As a single mother working full time, I'm surprised she didn't drive us both off a cliff at some point. :crazy:

Anyway, as far as giving you advice concerning your son, I would say the best thing to do would be to not nag or preach. I'm not saying you do (I don't know what you do), but you're probably not going to get anywhere with either approach. When you say "no" say it in a way that makes it personal. Try to make things as personal as possible. We operate with Fi, not Fe, meaning we can sometimes overlook other people's needs, not because we don't care about others, but just because they don't introduce their needs into our worlds. We're very empathetic, but you gotta give us a hint of what to be empathetic about. Don't guilt your son, but be honest and straightforward about your feelings with him.

Another thing I suggest is to give him options. Don't tell him exactly what to do, he's only gonna want to do the exact opposite. Give him constructive, but flexible choices. Also, don't present them to him like "you have this choice, this choice and this choice, now choose." Let him come up with the options on his own, but guide them into your framework. Be open to what he wants to do and don't shut those suggestions down, just find out how you guys can compromise. He won't feel trapped and tantrum-y and you won't feel like you are being any less his mother.

About the last minute thing and the following tantrum, just sit him down next time it happens and explain to him that you would love to accommodate his desires, but if he wants something to happen, he's going to learn how to come and ask for it a good while before it can happen. Tell him that this is how things work in the world in general, not just with you. Let him know that you don't like telling him "no" and that that "no" could very well be a "yes" if he would just tell you in advance so you guys to work together to make it a reality. I can't stress enough putting the "let's do this together" spin on things. You guys are a team. For the team to work well, you gotta look out for each other. Reinvent your relationship with him.

With this, the bedtime and teeth thing will hopefully work itself out. Let him know you don't ask him to brush his teeth because you're a horrible monster set out to make his life unfun, let him know why it's important for him to do it. Let him know that you are the one who has to pay for his dental work and that it's expensive to fill cavities and that wouldn't he rather that money go towards a trip to the amusement park or a video game at Christmas or something. He can handle the big grownup talk about money and how it works...it will be a good chance for him to learn about responsibility. The best thing you can do for an ENFP is give us responsibility and support us as we take on those responsibility.

If you know anything about functions, you might know that we operate with Fi (while you, as an ESFJ work with Fe). Fi is all about personal values. However, for us, Fi comes secondary to Ne. That means it's not as developed as Ne. It's how we make decisions, not how we perceive the world. Often in our younger years (or when we are unhealthy) it can be neglected and pushed aside. More often than not, at your sons age, it's because he hasn't really had enough time to develop it. He needs to time to find out what it is that he considers moral, what it is he's passionate about, how he can harness his unique way of looking at the world into something that both helps him and those who he loves. That's what developing Fi is all about. How do you do this as his mother? Encourage him to go out and find those things. Open up the world to him through activities. Show him how volunteering could be something really fun and rewarding. That way he can really find out what it is that's important to him. It gives him a place in this world and a sense of purpose. This is good for ENFPs as we can get lost in the web of our world perception and lose touch with ourselves and what's important to us.

I know this is an awful lot. I really hope some of it helps a bit and I really hope that things improve between you and your son. I'm rooting for you!!! :proud:
 
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