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Hello ENFPers! I have been reading all the articles about ENFP children, all ring true for my 7 yo son. The problem? School. Help me to understand him better, discipline him appropriately and be a better parent please. :D Perhaps this post may help ENFP children understand the struggles of their parents as well.

He is my "happy child." I can always count on hearing his laughter or silly joke. I can always count on him to be affectionate. Before I typed him as an ENFP, his imagination and "tall tales" as a young child made me raise my eyebrows a few times. I call him "a friend to all." He is my sweet sweet boy. Am I a strict parent? I suppose that depends on someone else's interpretation. Some rules I do not waiver and some rules are flexible/situational. You have to realize that unless I am consistent in my rules, my kids will walk on me like a doormat. He is the only extrovert in the house ... mom, dad and brother being introverts ... but I don't expect him to behave like an introvert (we have activities for him.) I can only imagine what it is like for him to be with people who enjoy keeping to themselves, but he does not drain our energy. There is never a dull moment with him around, and it's most often that bit of sunshine we all love and need in our daily lives.

Now for the other side. I can count on asking him to do something 10 times (on my time, not his or it will never get done ... already tried that.) There are times where he puts me (and his brother and father) on the brink of "losing it" b/c what we ask/say goes in one ear and out the other ... unless he "wants" to hear it. (Does it really just poof?)

I believe he is bored in his class (1st grade and only 3 weeks left of school.) On average (about once a week), his behavior in class is less than desirable (usually sent home with a note.) The #1 reason is talking. Talking, talking, talking. #2 Now and then is inability to sit still during reading time (on the rug.) He is having no trouble in academics. His report card's only flaw is in regards to behavior.

I understand that this is just part of who he is, but at the same time he does need to learn impluse control in order to not be disruptive in class. I have tried various disciplinary styles, such as taking away priviledges. Postive reinforcement (giving stars on his good days which he can cash in once he collects enough.) Nothing seems to get through to him. Now the punishment is chores. I think it seems to be working (the playroom is always a wreck, I used to clean it up about once or twice a month.) I believe I am fair and also forgiving. It is not difficult to earn back my trust.

So my question is this: Is his behavior normal for him in class? Can you relate? What kind of punishment WORKED for you at his age? Can you describe something your parents did that affected you in a positive or negative way? Any other suggestions?

TIA!
 

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I agree that some things do probably need to be addressed, and other things you may have to bend on.

As a child at home myself (though for not much longer), I find that it's just easier when my dad follows me when I have to get something done. My problem is my thoughts run a million miles a second and if I don't complete an order (clean downstairs, get something from car, wash windows) the second he tells me to do so... it will get forgotten. It's not cause I don't care, it's just my brain is unable to create task lists and adhere to those. Also, reminders help a ton. The more I hear something, the more I remember it and can get myself into that mindset.

I've also found when I'm able to start doing chores on a habitual basis, the need for my dad to be around disappears. We usually only butt heads now because we have different ideas of when something should be cleaned or finished... and of course I'm much more relaxed.

In school I had the same problem. He probably is bored and that's good you are catching that now. I read in class so I wouldn't be as much of a distraction, but I ran into the issue of not paying attention at all once we did start learning new material. My third grade teacher did it best; she put me in an advanced spelling program because I had a love for spelling words. I found putting that extra focus and drive into a talent really made the rest of school much easier to bear. Encourage him to maybe put effort on extra credit options as well as he gets older... sometimes I just got bored because I didn't like learning on somebody else's schedule. Extraverted intuition likes to seek on its own, and by teaching him to do his own projects it will also help him learn to prioritize.

Also, make sure to get him to get the habit of organizing his desk and locker. I don't know if they care in first grade so much (even so I don't recall) but it ended up being a huge problem for me.
 

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I hate to say it..... but you need to use emotion.... Let him know and show him that it makes you feel sad when he doesn't clean or behave in school. But when he DOES do well, over exaggerate your happiness! My nephew is the same as your son (he's 7). Also, give him a lot of physical activities to do, that will wear his energy reserves down a bit so he'll be more subdued. Schools today don't tailor to a child's' learning style too much so he WILL still get a little distracted, but he may even still be listening at the same time.... Ne affords us the ability to pay attention to more than one thing at a time. Keep up the affection, but use the emotion to persuade him to comply. It will move him to clean and behave a little more... not saying it's full proof, but I know what worked when I was a kid.... My mom's a ENFJ.
 

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Ahah I can relate to everything you just posted!

School always bore me to death because it was just routines, routines and more routines. I did not see any point in learning because everything was just so predictable so all I did was talk to my friends to cure my boredom. If you can somehow get your son interested in school he would probably stop being so bored.
To this day I still can't sit still in class -___- (I am 17) In my opinion, I think your son is very alike to me in the way that we don't care about the boring subjects. When it comes to something I actually like doing, I will always exceed in it. Find out what he likes? I don't know, my strength was never being a "well rounded" person who exceeded in everything. I always had something that I loved and was good at. The rest... meh I sucked at it because I have no motivation to do well in something I have no interest in.

Oh yeah and chores. My mom always had to tell me to do things multiple times because it DOES just go in one ear and come out of the other. I....................... hate chores. As long as I can find where my things are, I'm good. I know it's a bad thing but I tend to keep things that I don't even need. It's not that I am lazy, I just think that sometime in the future I might need it.
Watch over your son as he does his assignments because he will drift off to another place ahah. I actually felt pressure when I had somebody watching over me and I actually get things done. When you tell him to do a chore, assist him in doing it, but don't do everything for him.

My mom gave me no freedom whatsoever and hated the fact that I wasn't the studious student. She hated the fact that I liked what I liked and it made me angry and sad more than anything. She would never listen to my side of the story. The only punishments that worked was a short and sweet lecture telling me what I did was wrong and why it was wrong. Like... logical explanations you know xD I actually listened to adults who didn't yell at me for every single mistakes.. I couldn't get myself to respect such adults so I never bothered to listen to them.
When he does something wrong, say it nicely, but also with an authoritative tone. Show him that you are serious and warn him before punishing him. :p
Oh yes and when he does something correct or achieves something, show him how happy you are. Be affectionate with words!
Hope this helped!
 

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@Shale - I was just about to mention what @The King Of Dreams just did. The problem your child is having in school is most likely the school's fault. Something that may help him in school is if you help him become disciplined. I know I for one had major trouble with that, and I still do. ENFPs aren't really known for their natural tendency towards discipline. :p So I think you're doing the right thing by having those boundaries and rules set.

Anyway, back on track: figure out his learning style. That will help him greatly. Schools make it very hard for kids, especially young energetic boys, to focus. Especially since a lot of school is geared towards visual learners (you know, sitting down in silence, worksheets, chalkboards, flashcards, etc -- all visual things). If he is auditory or kinesthetic, that will be giving him a harder time. It makes it oodles harder for me, still. Once you figure that out, you can help him learn to learn things in a way that suites him. It makes it easier to focus. Funner, too, because your brain is more willing to accept information. It isn't helpful, really, to learn something in a way where it is harder for your brain to accept. For instance, my sister can learn easily just by staring at a textbook. I absolutely cannot learn that way. I must pace, snap fingers, move, say things out loud, etc. Erm, I'm probably sounding ADHD right now, but I assure you I am not. ^^

Some people also can't focus on one thing for a long period of time. Like me. XD I'm one of those odd multi-taskers. If I'm studying, I have to focus on one thing for a short amount of time, move on to something else, and then come back. Scheduling is the bane of my existence. It has to be a loose schedule.

Something that helped me was that my mother tailored education for me. She looked at my interests and how I learned and nurtured that, instead of trying to mold me to the "standardized" version of the way a student learns. Whether or not you home school him, or put him in public school, or whatever you choose, I think it's important to do that - note how he learns and pay attention to his interests. When I was struggling with math, for instance, my mom helped me by actually making me sing the multiplication tables. She got cubes and let me see and touch things. When I had trouble writing she took cornmeal, put it on a cookie sheet, and let me trace letters with my finger.

I don't know if that helps. ^^
 

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Hello ENFPers! I have been reading all the articles about ENFP children, all ring true for my 7 yo son. The problem? School. Help me to understand him better, discipline him appropriately and be a better parent please. :D Perhaps this post may help ENFP children understand the struggles of their parents as well.

He is my "happy child." I can always count on hearing his laughter or silly joke. I can always count on him to be affectionate. Before I typed him as an ENFP, his imagination and "tall tales" as a young child made me raise my eyebrows a few times. I call him "a friend to all." He is my sweet sweet boy. Am I a strict parent? I suppose that depends on someone else's interpretation. Some rules I do not waiver and some rules are flexible/situational. You have to realize that unless I am consistent in my rules, my kids will walk on me like a doormat. He is the only extrovert in the house ... mom, dad and brother being introverts ... but I don't expect him to behave like an introvert (we have activities for him.) I can only imagine what it is like for him to be with people who enjoy keeping to themselves, but he does not drain our energy. There is never a dull moment with him around, and it's most often that bit of sunshine we all love and need in our daily lives.

Now for the other side. I can count on asking him to do something 10 times (on my time, not his or it will never get done ... already tried that.) There are times where he puts me (and his brother and father) on the brink of "losing it" b/c what we ask/say goes in one ear and out the other ... unless he "wants" to hear it. (Does it really just poof?)

I believe he is bored in his class (1st grade and only 3 weeks left of school.) On average (about once a week), his behavior in class is less than desirable (usually sent home with a note.) The #1 reason is talking. Talking, talking, talking. #2 Now and then is inability to sit still during reading time (on the rug.) He is having no trouble in academics. His report card's only flaw is in regards to behavior.

I understand that this is just part of who he is, but at the same time he does need to learn impluse control in order to not be disruptive in class. I have tried various disciplinary styles, such as taking away priviledges. Postive reinforcement (giving stars on his good days which he can cash in once he collects enough.) Nothing seems to get through to him. Now the punishment is chores. I think it seems to be working (the playroom is always a wreck, I used to clean it up about once or twice a month.) I believe I am fair and also forgiving. It is not difficult to earn back my trust.

So my question is this: Is his behavior normal for him in class? Can you relate? What kind of punishment WORKED for you at his age? Can you describe something your parents did that affected you in a positive or negative way? Any other suggestions?

TIA!
I am an adult in a Master's degree program. Im a 38 year old adult and married to a 46 (soon to be 47 year old man) and I *STILL* have trouble with my impulse control while talking while in class. I have to really bite my tongue. You have no idea how many ideas pop into this crazy mind of mine and I just want to share, share, share, share, share. Even, my 11 year old daughter tells me "Mom, calm down".

If we went back and looked at my report cards it says "daydreams a lot", "talks too much", and as an older teenager "flirts too much with the boy behind her". OOPS! It was sort of before the ADHD fad and my mother was sure I was hyper-active and put me on a "special diet". The Fiendgold Diet, if I recall which she said helped.

The ironic thing is that I actually enjoy learning. I love school. I enjoy challenges as long as it is something I enjoy. I can be hyper vigilant and hyper focused if it is something that I truly feel passionate about. I have had to learn how to control myself. I make a lot of lists. I know what I have to do to study and make myself focus, which is no easy task. @Finaille had some great advice.

I think his behavior is normal but he is going to have to learn to incorporate himself in a world that doesn't adjust to him. I had to learn to adjust myself and that not everyone adjusts for me. Im not sure my parents punished me for those things. Someone mentioned before that using "emotion" is what will work and I have to say that my parents are pretty good at guilt trips and pretty much they worked. The positive thing about my parents is that they always believed in me even when I probably didn't need to be believed in. They were encouraging in things that I was good at and the things that I didn't excel at .... well, I went to summer school for. My Dad made me pay for summer school once. A few times he took away my "boom box" hahahaha! I can't believe I just said the word "boom box".

Other than that...I think routine is important. As scatter brained as I am if I know that I have a routine then I feel more in control. I even make my bed every single day because it is incorporated into my routine. I force myself into a routine until it becomes a natural habit.

Edit: I had a funny picture to share but I have to figure out how to make it smaller. sigh.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you guys so much for the insight! You have no idea how much I appreciate it! My husband's brother is an ENFP as well. Understanding his behavior helps to gain insight, but I didn't know him when he was a child (other than the funny stories that are told about him.) The funny part is where a couple of you mentioned having ADHD tendencies, he mentioned on several occasions he probably had it. I remember reading his MBTI trait to him. He was floored and ecstatic that he is actually normal. lol

I don't necessarily "want" to punish my son for being who he is, but at the same time I don't want him thinking it is ok to be disruptive in class. I do adore his teacher, my older son also had her. She has a very quiet and encouraging demeanor. She's the kind of elementary school teacher parents want. I do know she is stretched thin (like most teachers), having one parapro in a class of 30 kids ... that's a lot of kids to keep under control. I do believe regardless of MBTI, we all learn self control. It may be difficult to do at times, but you know when to do it (like walking past the ice cream sandwiches while grocery shopping.)

He and his brother are given a lot of freedom to do as they please. He sings nonstop and is inclined towards learning music ... which we plan to foster. Being an INFJ parent comes with it's pros and cons. While I encourage growth into being who/what ever he wants to be, there is that other realm of fitting in to the norms/mores of society (don't I know it myself, ugh) :D

Thank you guys so much (I still welcome more comments, input)!
 

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@Shale - Oh, that's brilliant! Instrument-wise, the piano is great and "easier" to start with. It's not "easier" as you stay with it, but for getting into music, it's a great "intro" instrument. I mean, even if he's just going to sing or play the guitar or whatever, getting into music is going to be awesome for him. It gives you an interesting hobby. It has certainly taught me discipline - well, to be more disciplined than I am. XD It's also a good idea to find a really good teacher. The piano teacher I've been with for many years now has become my second mother, really. :)

That's my get-into-music speech. O_O

As for the classroom thing... he'll just have to learn. ^^ It makes it easier that he has a good teacher, though.
 

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I think it may be a bit early to type him, honestly. I'm working with kindergartners now, and the behavior you describe (rampant imagination, tall tales, way too talkative, squirmy, forgetful), applies to the majority of them. The opposite is the exception. I know he's a bit older, but not by much.

Whatever his type is, it sounds like you're a great parent and should continue with your instincts to set limits behavior wise. He needs to know that his behavior affects the group or individuals who are trying to listen/work, not to mention his own ability to do both. We give behavioral stickers at the end of the day. The kids seem to care if they get one since they accumulate towards a selection of a little reward/toy trinket. That's not ideal, but it works. I'd go more for an activity or special privilege prize if I designed it.

I don't think I was really very disruptive as a kid. And my 15 year old son is definitely a Ne dom (likely ENFP) and his teachers often say that he likes to talk and make jokes, but knows when to stop. We all vary in our traits and impulse control though. He's way disorganized and doesn't stay on top of things without constant reminders and an occasional loss of privileges. I know that he really struggles with organization so I try to help him with systems, but that has to fall on him more and more as he gets older since I'm not his permanent personal assistant.

But whatever issues you're having now you should try to address and nip in the bud. Yes, make sure he's challenged and appreciated for who he is, but also cooperative, responsible and respectful.
 

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@Shale - Oh, that's brilliant! Instrument-wise, the piano is great and "easier" to start with. It's not "easier" as you stay with it, but for getting into music, it's a great "intro" instrument. I mean, even if he's just going to sing or play the guitar or whatever, getting into music is going to be awesome for him. It gives you an interesting hobby. It has certainly taught me discipline - well, to be more disciplined than I am. XD It's also a good idea to find a really good teacher. The piano teacher I've been with for many years now has become my second mother, really. :)

That's my get-into-music speech. O_O

As for the classroom thing... he'll just have to learn. ^^ It makes it easier that he has a good teacher, though.
That is a great idea! I took piano lessons for 7 years and I think it helped me stay focused on something that I liked to do. It taught me that I can accomplish just about whatever I can set out to do. I don't think my parents had to push me much, it was just something I really enjoyed.

I did forget to mention that I used to get detention for talking and then I would get detention in detention for talking while in detention. LOL!
 

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idk much about getting chores done and I am 22 yrs old. I can only tell you what didnt work for me.

My mom used to make it seem as if "I am not keeping my end of the bargain" by not following her rules, and eventually after saying this many times I started to wonder exactly when we set up a contract?

Arguing (I mean the swearing, ghetto, god-awful type) didnt work... I just grew to hate and fear her. Cant stress the hate enough...

It is important to get him in the habit of cleaning for real though. Make it an almost daily routine, save yourself from future stress. (boy parenting is really so strategic eh?)


With regards to school... LOL I feel anarchist, but I think i am right so anyway...

There is no true problem with your son, the true problem lies in the school system. Real learning to me is going in with ????, exploring and coming out with "Ahhaaah"'s or deeper ???... This cookie-cutter, memorizing game is very primitive thinking imo.

But since we cant really change the world, lets bend and mould ourselves to fit in.

I think ENFP children like me would learn a lot better in small groups... no more than 8 people. Almost like home-schooling. Idk if you have the opportunity to try that, I am just throwing it out there.

What does the teacher suggest for him?? She cant just be complaining and not coming up with solutions since she is the one experiencing the behaviour first hand. Maybe you can ask her what she thinks can be done.

I think if the teacher should give him extra responsibilities him will be distracted in a good way. In grade 1 and 4 I would help by drawing on the board, marking test papers, helping with projects... other stuff. It was more work to be a teachers helper but I am sure they did it to keep me from distracting others.

In grade 10-11 biology I sat at the teachers desk away from everyone. Yes for the whole two years. Here I distracted the class only by asking questions. Many questions... In the end I found out this helped other ppl understand and remember thing so I guess it wasnt so bad.

What ever you do, dont let anyone give him meds for adhd or any crap like that.
 

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So, as far as I understand – the problem is about talking. About talking loud at school as he comes home with those notes that teacher has written. I can not understand one thing though – is he talking in a way it only distracts teacher and other people in the class, or is he is talking in the manner of being disrespectful while not listening to teacher and not giving any respect at all?

Personally, I was a very quiet kid in a class. I just had too much respect for the authority and did not want to interrupt others with my talking. I quietly chatted with my girlfriends though but it never interfered my classmates, at least I do not remember any situation like that.

Anyways, I do not think there should be any punishment or so for talking. Like... you can not really tame him because of being bored. It seems he has plenty of energy, but.... does he has any interests to put his energy into? If not, then... that might be a problem here. :- )
 

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I use to get in trouble during Primary School a lot.. I almost get expelled once or twice.. But in Highschool my entire world was turned on its head and I became the good-guy who's grades were doing well, etc. Looking back, I found that my teachers made a lot of brash judgements on me as an ENFP child.. I can relate to a number of these posts. One of the things suggested was that ENFP have MILLIONS of thoughts going through the mind at once, thus, unless a process is actually attended too and it isn't immediate on the mind, it will usually be forgotten about..

I am also starting to wonder whether ENFP have different love languages in comparison to other types.. For example, when I was with my parents, they were very much "Service" oriented, and this is something I never really was able to attain naturally.. My parents were always pulling their hair out because I didn't quite jump when they told me too - mainly because I was so busy with my MILLION thoughts that I just forgot about it a minute later. It wasn't because I loved them any less - although when telling them this they doubted it completely (because of their love language) - it's just that, ENFP tend to live in a second world within their minds.

It can be a bit tough from time to time relating to other types for this reason... Eh... So many things.. I felt a bit misunderstood growing up.. Obviously I balanced out (in my own time and in my own effort) and these things aren't so much of a problem now. All I know is that my parents needed a lot of patience dealing with me as a child... And looking back, I can understand why.. I wasn't a bad child, I just wasn't.........stereotypical - shall we say..

Haha.. :tongue:

Any other ENFP get that growing up??
 
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Not only was I an ENFP child, but I am also raising an ENFP son. Your description of your son sounds exactly like mine was. Those posters who have answered that the problem is the school's are not far off the mark. My boy aced all academics, but got easily 3 or more marks per week for miscellaneous "behavioral" issues - crazy things like standing when the rest of the class was sitting, staring off into space when he finished an exam in mere moments and had time to kill, etc... (mostly nit picky things, IMO)

When he finally got in with a teacher who understood what was going on: he was absorbing every detail that the teacher presented, despite seeming to tune out. He was also BORED. Since he got the first teacher who understood this, he has been "Belle of the Ball" because all of the teachers since have adored his brilliance (he sure helps their standardized test averages) and his quirkiness.

Regarding how to "make him exercise impulse control", my advice is do NOT "make" him. I always have known what impulse control is and so has my son (now 12 years old). We simply do not care to embrace it - it can feel stifling to us and frankly, stupid. I did have a lot of discussion my son about crossing the line into disruption of others, but urge him to be his own person, while being fully willing to accept any consequences of his "coloring outside of the lines".

As far as discipline goes, you were on the right track - removal of privledges, once I found which currency mattered to him, along with discussing my reasoning WHY ("Because I say so" will NEVER fly for an ENFP) helped him to better decide for himslef what battles were worth fighting. Computer, TV/DVD, and video games still work as currency with my him.

BTW, he is now in the top 2 smartest kids in the county and absolutely adored by every teacher he has. He is going to be fine and will probably contribute to society as a free thinker.

If I was not ENFP, I might find his eccentricity stressful. As a fellow ENFP, I revel in it. Fortunately many ENFPs are intelligent as children. They typically wont burn any bridges that count, but can make those who value conformity and not making waves very nervous (my mom comes to mind). So far, my son is turning out OK. I feel as if I am OK, though I am still "weird" by most social conventions. :)

ENFPs: often smart, frequently strange, but seldom bored - at least that's how it rolls in my family.
 

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Not only was I an ENFP child, but I am also raising an ENFP son. Your description of your son sounds exactly like mine was. Those posters who have answered that the problem is the school's are not far off the mark. My boy aced all academics, but got easily 3 or more marks per week for miscellaneous "behavioral" issues - crazy things like standing when the rest of the class was sitting, staring off into space when he finished an exam in mere moments and had time to kill, etc... (mostly nit picky things, IMO)

When he finally got in with a teacher who understood what was going on: he was absorbing every detail that the teacher presented, despite seeming to tune out. He was also BORED. Since he got the first teacher who understood this, he has been "Belle of the Ball" because all of the teachers since have adored his brilliance (he sure helps their standardized test averages) and his quirkiness.

Regarding how to "make him exercise impulse control", my advice is do NOT "make" him. I always have known what impulse control is and so has my son (now 12 years old). We simply do not care to embrace it - it can feel stifling to us and frankly, stupid. I did have a lot of discussion my son about crossing the line into disruption of others, but urge him to be his own person, while being fully willing to accept any consequences of his "coloring outside of the lines".

As far as discipline goes, you were on the right track - removal of privledges, once I found which currency mattered to him, along with discussing my reasoning WHY ("Because I say so" will NEVER fly for an ENFP) helped him to better decide for himslef what battles were worth fighting. Computer, TV/DVD, and video games still work as currency with my him.

BTW, he is now in the top 2 smartest kids in the county and absolutely adored by every teacher he has. He is going to be fine and will probably contribute to society as a free thinker.

If I was not ENFP, I might find his eccentricity stressful. As a fellow ENFP, I revel in it. Fortunately many ENFPs are intelligent as children. They typically wont burn any bridges that count, but can make those who value conformity and not making waves very nervous (my mom comes to mind). So far, my son is turning out OK. I feel as if I am OK, though I am still "weird" by most social conventions. :)

ENFPs: often smart, frequently strange, but seldom bored - at least that's how it rolls in my family.
That's great advice. I have a niece and nephew that I believe are Ne and Ni doms. I appeal to their personality as much as possible so that they KNOW there is someone who understands them.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
@Coccinellidae Usually the talking is social. Like during a lesson plan he is talking to the kid seated next to him creating a distraction (for the child next to him and the teacher.) He has improved about 95% since the beginning of the year for talking out of turn (without raising his hand.) The social talking comes and goes in waves (it makes sense he would be bored and not engaged in something stimulating.)

@The Roving ENFP "ENFP tend to live in a second world within their minds." BAHAHAHA, yes I agree! As far as the million thoughts at one time, yes this is my son. Like yesterday for instance, we are driving home from an activity. I was bombarded by several questions that were not related in any way. I've just learned to answer each of them, rather than ask what is going on in his head (b/c of inconsistency.) Friday night I took him out to dinner (us time). I followed his lead rather than my own agenda since it was his evening. I enjoy being around him and his energy. I thank you for your comment.

@Zster Thanks so much for your input, especially:
"Regarding how to "make him exercise impulse control", my advice is do NOT "make" him. I always have known what impulse control is and so has my son (now 12 years old). We simply do not care to embrace it - it can feel stifling to us and frankly, stupid. I did have a lot of discussion my son about crossing the line into disruption of others, but urge him to be his own person, while being fully willing to accept any consequences of his "coloring outside of the lines".
I will take special note of this. I understand the feeling of being stifled myself, especially when I feel someone is hovering over me. It's basically the same thing ... controlled. I didn't put 2 and 2 together until you pointed that out in your statement. Thanks!!

They typically wont burn any bridges that count, but can make those who value conformity and not making waves very nervous (my mom comes to mind).
I see this with my ENFP brother-in-law especially ... considering he is military. It always surprised my husband that he went in the military just from his personality ... non conformist. He has created waves, and he has changed guard units. I don't mind the waves with ENFPs, I do it myself ... it makes life interesting. The difference is that it will come out in the ENFP extroversion, and I tend to be a bit more selective with whom I can be my normal strange oddball self.
 

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Not only was I an ENFP child, but I am also raising an ENFP son. Your description of your son sounds exactly like mine was. Those posters who have answered that the problem is the school's are not far off the mark. My boy aced all academics, but got easily 3 or more marks per week for miscellaneous "behavioral" issues - crazy things like standing when the rest of the class was sitting, staring off into space when he finished an exam in mere moments and had time to kill, etc... (mostly nit picky things, IMO)

When he finally got in with a teacher who understood what was going on: he was absorbing every detail that the teacher presented, despite seeming to tune out. He was also BORED. Since he got the first teacher who understood this, he has been "Belle of the Ball" because all of the teachers since have adored his brilliance (he sure helps their standardized test averages) and his quirkiness.

Regarding how to "make him exercise impulse control", my advice is do NOT "make" him. I always have known what impulse control is and so has my son (now 12 years old). We simply do not care to embrace it - it can feel stifling to us and frankly, stupid. I did have a lot of discussion my son about crossing the line into disruption of others, but urge him to be his own person, while being fully willing to accept any consequences of his "coloring outside of the lines".

As far as discipline goes, you were on the right track - removal of privledges, once I found which currency mattered to him, along with discussing my reasoning WHY ("Because I say so" will NEVER fly for an ENFP) helped him to better decide for himslef what battles were worth fighting. Computer, TV/DVD, and video games still work as currency with my him.

BTW, he is now in the top 2 smartest kids in the county and absolutely adored by every teacher he has. He is going to be fine and will probably contribute to society as a free thinker.

If I was not ENFP, I might find his eccentricity stressful. As a fellow ENFP, I revel in it. Fortunately many ENFPs are intelligent as children. They typically wont burn any bridges that count, but can make those who value conformity and not making waves very nervous (my mom comes to mind). So far, my son is turning out OK. I feel as if I am OK, though I am still "weird" by most social conventions. :)

ENFPs: often smart, frequently strange, but seldom bored - at least that's how it rolls in my family.
*rocks my socks...

Geeez you got an enfp kid, wow yal must be real close. awesome post
 

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Hello ENFPers! I have been reading all the articles about ENFP children, all ring true for my 7 yo son. The problem? School. Help me to understand him better, discipline him appropriately and be a better parent please. :D Perhaps this post may help ENFP children understand the struggles of their parents as well.

He is my "happy child." I can always count on hearing his laughter or silly joke. I can always count on him to be affectionate. Before I typed him as an ENFP, his imagination and "tall tales" as a young child made me raise my eyebrows a few times. I call him "a friend to all." He is my sweet sweet boy. Am I a strict parent? I suppose that depends on someone else's interpretation. Some rules I do not waiver and some rules are flexible/situational. You have to realize that unless I am consistent in my rules, my kids will walk on me like a doormat. He is the only extrovert in the house ... mom, dad and brother being introverts ... but I don't expect him to behave like an introvert (we have activities for him.) I can only imagine what it is like for him to be with people who enjoy keeping to themselves, but he does not drain our energy. There is never a dull moment with him around, and it's most often that bit of sunshine we all love and need in our daily lives.

Now for the other side. I can count on asking him to do something 10 times (on my time, not his or it will never get done ... already tried that.) There are times where he puts me (and his brother and father) on the brink of "losing it" b/c what we ask/say goes in one ear and out the other ... unless he "wants" to hear it. (Does it really just poof?)

I believe he is bored in his class (1st grade and only 3 weeks left of school.) On average (about once a week), his behavior in class is less than desirable (usually sent home with a note.) The #1 reason is talking. Talking, talking, talking. #2 Now and then is inability to sit still during reading time (on the rug.) He is having no trouble in academics. His report card's only flaw is in regards to behavior.

I understand that this is just part of who he is, but at the same time he does need to learn impluse control in order to not be disruptive in class. I have tried various disciplinary styles, such as taking away priviledges. Postive reinforcement (giving stars on his good days which he can cash in once he collects enough.) Nothing seems to get through to him. Now the punishment is chores. I think it seems to be working (the playroom is always a wreck, I used to clean it up about once or twice a month.) I believe I am fair and also forgiving. It is not difficult to earn back my trust.

So my question is this: Is his behavior normal for him in class? Can you relate? What kind of punishment WORKED for you at his age? Can you describe something your parents did that affected you in a positive or negative way? Any other suggestions?

TIA!
I can understand this situation a little.
I'm 18, and just graduating.. And my mom is an INFJ.
Honestly, the public school system is crap.. It turns bright minds into mushiness, with a side of social incompetence.
My parents were both public schooled, both were active in Band, theatre, whatever else.
Both of my parents agreed that home schooling is what they wanted for their kids.
I'm ADHD and Dyslexic.. And even with those "problems", I still scored 130 on the IQ test (almost 40 points lower than mom, but oh well. :)
I spend far less time doing school, and honestly, I probably resemble an unschooler in certain aspects.
Although I have books that mom hands me, a large portion of what I learn, I learn on my own.

As an ENFP, these are my suggestions if you decide towards homeschooling:
1.Test his learning types.. Preferably the Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligences test.
This test will let you know where his learning gifts are.
I've always been good with my hands, but also with good ears for pitch.
I have good visuospatial skills (I used to be great at pool), but I did TERRIBLY at Geometry, purely because I couldn't understand the written explanations on what they wanted you to do with each function.
Also, it will allow you to encourage him in ways that could be fruitful towards a career.
I'm a musician.. I started playing by ear when I was young. Now I sing, play the guitar, bass, keyboard, djembe, cajon, hank drum, glockenspiel, duduk, etc. I would probably be considered a failure of a student at a public school, but mom's a bit more flexible with me, so I have gotten away with some stuff that public schools wouldn't.

2. Always present learning in ways that sound interesting.
At home school; when I was younger, we'd watch historically based movies.
I would remember half the script of whatever Disney movie came out, so it was MUCH easier for me to retain movie stories, rather than written stories.
I LOVE learning new things.. I just hate the format some people push.

3. Encourage him towards things he's likely to enjoy.
If you do home school him, there is no reason why he can't give presentations (acting), etc.
Public schools are socialized education.. Meaning everyone has to learn everything the same way.
I can write an award winning essay about something close to me (I won a $100 Speaker system.. First essay I ever wrote), but I am terrible at writing essays about historical stuff. However, I could verbally express everything well enough to get a shining A+.

It's quite common for ENFPs to go onto careers in Acting, Music, Invention, Journalism, Art, etc.

4. Test him for ADD/ADHD and Dyslexia.
I know this may sound ridiculous, but here's why.
ENFPs are creative minds.. Creative minds are heavily focused on the right brain.
Dyslexia and ADD/ADHD are heavily right brained "disorders".
I didn't find out I was Dyslexic until I was 17.. I suspected starting at 3rd grade.
I didn't know enough about it to talk to mom about it, until I was past my Junior year.
If he is Dyslexic, don't worry.. He's in good company! Da Vinci was Dyslexic, but managed to dabble in art, music, invention, and so much more.
It's not a curse.. Unless you are public schooled.
Otherwise, it's not bad! It just means your brain has a slightly different architecture.
It means that you have certain disadvantages, sure.. But you also have quite a few advantages/gifts that come along with it.. Unless you are quite severely Dyslexic.

5. Be sure to let him be his true extroverted self, even if he is educated at home.. Take him to parks, church (if you are a Christian).. I was homescholed, and I tested as a 95% extroverted guy!

6. Learning aids.. When I am at church, and it's a long message, I am almost always doing SOMETHING.
If you give a kinaesthetic learner, some silly putty, they are stimulated in that way. That opens the door to them being able to focus in other areas.
My retention rate for youth group messages skyrocketed when I was drawing anime characters during youth.
Drawing can use Kinaesthetic and Visuo-spatial together, meaning I am not distracted by my need to keep myself occupied in those areas.. Thus, allowing me to listen better. Anything that focuses you on one specific thing, focuses you in everything.. I can't be daydreaming like I do half of the day, when I am doing something like art.. It keeps me grounded.

I hope there is at least SOMETHING here that is salvageable.
 

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I hate to say it..... but you need to use emotion.... Let him know and show him that it makes you feel sad when he doesn't clean or behave in school. But when he DOES do well, over exaggerate your happiness! My nephew is the same as your son (he's 7). Also, give him a lot of physical activities to do, that will wear his energy reserves down a bit so he'll be more subdued. Schools today don't tailor to a child's' learning style too much so he WILL still get a little distracted, but he may even still be listening at the same time.... Ne affords us the ability to pay attention to more than one thing at a time. Keep up the affection, but use the emotion to persuade him to comply. It will move him to clean and behave a little more... not saying it's full proof, but I know what worked when I was a kid.... My mom's a ENFJ.
that won't work.
that worked on you because you are enneagram 9. this kid seems like a clear type 7 to me. emotional suggestion does not work on 7s the way it does 9s.

@Shale
keep up the reward and punishment, but it's also important to explain why things must be done as often as possible. for instance, I used to be really loud/disruptive in school until a teacher explained to me that they have to get through a certain amount of material each year or they risk losing their job. once I found this out and realized the (a little) more than just a controlling bitch, it made me more cooperative. he will learn impulse control in time, but, frankly, it takes awhile. like I said, keep up the reward, punishment and explaining things clearly, but it will take time.
 
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