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I'm an INFJ and my wife is ISFJ, and we have an ESFP daughter that we need some advice with.

She's barely old enough to have her personality type, but we're pretty confident she's an ESFP. She seems to fit every single trope and meme of the type... so even if we're wrong, I feel like this is still the best place to come for advice.

She's incredibly happy, playful and loves to be around her family, but as introverts her mom and I sometimes struggle to find the energy to sustain quality time with her. My wife also finds it really hard to be patient with her, because she can be pretty scatterbrained and isn't great about making mom feel like she's appreciated. I get along with her much better, but I sometimes find myself mentally exhausted long before she's ready to do something else.

My concern is that I don't want her to feel like we don't love her as much as we could, or that we don't want her around, and I think she may sometimes feel that way because of the way we get frustrated with her being scatterbrained or when we go low on energy and feel grouchy. I also worry about her grades, which have been slipping as she gets bored in school. She's incredibly smart, but lacks focus.

So do any of you guys have any tips to share? I really want to find a way to deal with her in a way that doesn't try to change who she is, but still helps her to excel in her strengths, and constructively deal with her weaknesses.
 
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I'll be watching this thread with baited breath. I hope you get some good responses, though ESFP forum is a cricket-chirpy kind of place. My two kids are introverts, praise Jesus, and I still struggle mightily to give them the attention and quality time they need. :sad: If I had extraverted kids.....sigh....I would almost certainly be failing them as a parent.
 
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It's just sort of something you'll have to learn to deal with. It's not something you can just decide not to deal with. If your wife has an issue with dealing with her scatterbrainedness, it never goes away. It didn't for me.

My dad is an ISTJ and he tolerates me. You can imagine how that relationship is.

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Discussion Starter #6
It's just sort of something you'll have to learn to deal with. It's not something you can just decide not to deal with. If your wife has an issue with dealing with her scatterbrainedness, it never goes away. It didn't for me.

My dad is an ISTJ and he tolerates me. You can imagine how that relationship is.

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Yeah and that's the thing... I'm not looking to change her or to have it just "go away" but what I do want to do is find that happy medium where I'm giving her what she needs in terms of support as well as discipline. I don't want to punish her for those things that are normal for her, but I also don't want to go 'hands off' and neglect those things she can improve on.
 

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Yeah and that's the thing... I'm not looking to change her or to have it just "go away" but what I do want to do is find that happy medium where I'm giving her what she needs in terms of support as well as discipline. I don't want to punish her for those things that are normal for her, but I also don't want to go 'hands off' and neglect those things she can improve on.
If she does something wrong, discipline her. If it's anything else, let her be herself. Don't focus on improving her now, let her just be herself ALWAYS. If she's barely old enough to even have a personality type, why are you trying to "improve her"...

Note: I'm not a parent, I'm 22 so take my advice with a grain of salt...

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If she does something wrong, discipline her. If it's anything else, let her be herself. Don't focus on improving her now, let her just be herself ALWAYS. If she's barely old enough to even have a personality type, why are you trying to "improve her"...

Note: I'm not a parent, I'm 22 so take my advice with a grain of salt...

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Your point is taken... but just to be clear. I'm not trying to improve her as a person, I'm doing my due diligence as a parent and helping her to improve in those areas where it's warranted. (Like grades, for instance.)

I've been a parent for 26 years, but she's my first extroverted child, so it's a very different dynamic from what I've had before, and I don't want my own lack of knowledge to be a cause of pain for her.
 
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Yeah and that's the thing... I'm not looking to change her or to have it just "go away" but what I do want to do is find that happy medium where I'm giving her what she needs in terms of support as well as discipline. I don't want to punish her for those things that are normal for her, but I also don't want to go 'hands off' and neglect those things she can improve on.
This is what I want to do for my son..... he's an INFJ, and I still don't know what I'm doing! :frustrating:
 
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Your point is taken... but just to be clear. I'm not trying to improve her as a person, I'm doing my due diligence as a parent and helping her to improve in those areas where it's warranted. (Like grades, for instance.)

I've been a parent for 26 years, but she's my first extroverted child, so it's a very different dynamic from what I've had before, and I don't want my own lack of knowledge to be a cause of pain for her.
I understand. It's a hard question. What you can do is teach her strategies for studying and stuff like that, I guess

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I suggest that to raise an ESFP child you need to:

1. Let her lives her life to the fullest while looking for their safety.

2. Let her engage physically if she is curious about something. We learn better if we engage on our own and figure out our own way.

3. Please never confine us, let us be free to explore.

4. In school, please bear in mind that we'll never do well. I mean it. But that doesn't mean we are bad student or stupid. Our brand of intelligence lies in our ability to spot connection and immediately realize the potential to impact the immediate surrounding. If something matters, we learn fast, if not we just let it go.

5. Help her engage in Ni. My Ni is strong (so as Te) thanks to my fellow NTJs and NFJs. And mostly thanks to my rather hostile family environment, but that's not the point. You could help her grows much faster by help her engage in Te and Ni, in healthy way.

That's the generalized advice but if there is some more specific information like her preference, her behavior, I might be able to give you more input. :)

Also, I don't think the Se-Ni will be any problem. I'm Ni-inferior but my best friends are all intuitives, INTJ, INFJ, ENTP. We are fine with abstract conversation it's just that we're more interested and feeling at ease in actual implementations than conversation for its own sake.
 

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I suggest that to raise an ESFP child you need to:

1. Let her lives her life to the fullest while looking for their safety.

2. Let her engage physically if she is curious about something. We learn better if we engage on our own and figure out our own way.

3. Please never confine us, let us be free to explore.

4. In school, please bear in mind that we'll never do well. I mean it. But that doesn't mean we are bad student or stupid. Our brand of intelligence lies in our ability to spot connection and immediately realize the potential to impact the immediate surrounding. If something matters, we learn fast, if not we just let it go.

5. Help her engage in Ni. My Ni is strong (so as Te) thanks to my fellow NTJs and NFJs. And mostly thanks to my rather hostile family environment, but that's not the point. You could help her grows much faster by help her engage in Te and Ni, in healthy way.

That's the generalized advice but if there is some more specific information like her preference, her behavior, I might be able to give you more input. :)

Also, I don't think the Se-Ni will be any problem. I'm Ni-inferior but my best friends are all intuitives, INTJ, INFJ, ENTP. We are fine with abstract conversation it's just that we're more interested and feeling at ease in actual implementations than conversation for its own sake.
A+ advice

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Discussion Starter #13
I suggest that to raise an ESFP child you need to:

1. Let her lives her life to the fullest while looking for their safety.
Yeah I try to do this... and it's definitely a high-energy challenge. A couple weeks ago I came to meet her at the bus stop just 'cause, and when she saw me she darted across the street without looking... (Having never done that before, I didn't know which side of the road the buss let her off on) Fortunately the driver of the oncoming car WAS looking and stopped even as I was waving my daughter to stop. I want her to look out for her OWN safety 'cause I'm not always around. Any suggestions?

2. Let her engage physically if she is curious about something. We learn better if we engage on our own and figure out our own way.
I'm the same way, so that one's easy enough.

3. Please never confine us, let us be free to explore.
This too. Glad I'm doing a couple of things right...

4. In school, please bear in mind that we'll never do well. I mean it. But that doesn't mean we are bad student or stupid. Our brand of intelligence lies in our ability to spot connection and immediately realize the potential to impact the immediate surrounding. If something matters, we learn fast, if not we just let it go.
She's always had good grades until very recently... And the reason for the bad grades was not turning in her homework and classwork. She does the work, just doesn't trouble herself to turn it in...

5. Help her engage in Ni. My Ni is strong (so as Te) thanks to my fellow NTJs and NFJs. And mostly thanks to my rather hostile family environment, but that's not the point. You could help her grows much faster by help her engage in Te and Ni, in healthy way.
I'm still relatively new to the MBTI world so I'm not sure what this means... Would you be willing to elaborate?

That's the generalized advice but if there is some more specific information like her preference, her behavior, I might be able to give you more input. :)

Also, I don't think the Se-Ni will be any problem. I'm Ni-inferior but my best friends are all intuitives, INTJ, INFJ, ENTP. We are fine with abstract conversation it's just that we're more interested and feeling at ease in actual implementations than conversation for its own sake.
I guess the biggest issue we're having right now is my wife and I both get frustrated having to deal with the same problems again and again, like our daughter gets a bit domineering when playing with her younger brother, or she tends to get easily distracted when doing chores. Maybe that last one can't be helped, but I really hope we can get her to play more fair.
 
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Schools are generally not well prepared to deal with xSxPs to be honest. I've known ESxPs that perform well in school though. It can help to be able to walk around while working. ESxP's brains stop working when they're forced to sit still. They need to move around. Try to find ways to learn from experimentation and engaging with things. Schools are often based around the ISTJ needs, so an ESFP might struggle working with the same things. There are schools that can deal with this though and maybe finding the right school could help. Maybe talk to the teacher about engaging her in a way that fits her learning style?

Otherwise try to use the Fi values that she has. Work together in finding ways that she can do the things that she finds important while still getting the right things done.

Accept that as IxxJs we're control freaks but ExxPs need to explore and be free. Any kind of structure will be resisted, even when your child knows it's the right thing. Lots of ExxPs actively resist the structure that they themselves try to put on themselves. Maybe it's possible to find a balance of some kind.

That's really all I can help you with. I'm a teacher, not an ESFP and not a parent so my experience is pretty limited.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Schools are generally not well prepared to deal with xSxPs to be honest. I've known ESxPs that perform well in school though. It can help to be able to walk around while working. ESxP's brains stop working when they're forced to sit still. They need to move around. Try to find ways to learn from experimentation and engaging with things. Schools are often based around the ISTJ needs, so an ESFP might struggle working with the same things. There are schools that can deal with this though and maybe finding the right school could help. Maybe talk to the teacher about engaging her in a way that fits her learning style?

Otherwise try to use the Fi values that she has. Work together in finding ways that she can do the things that she finds important while still getting the right things done.

Accept that as IxxJs we're control freaks but ExxPs need to explore and be free. Any kind of structure will be resisted, even when your child knows it's the right thing. Lots of ExxPs actively resist the structure that they themselves try to put on themselves. Maybe it's possible to find a balance of some kind.

That's really all I can help you with. I'm a teacher, not an ESFP and not a parent so my experience is pretty limited.
This is really good food for thought, and something I can base a conversation with her on. Thanks very much.
 
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It's just sort of something you'll have to learn to deal with. It's not something you can just decide not to deal with. If your wife has an issue with dealing with her scatterbrainedness, it never goes away. It didn't for me.

My dad is an ISTJ and he tolerates me. You can imagine how that relationship is.

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You don't get cured from being a scatterbrain. I don't even trust my memory. I write notes for important things on my phone or on a memo pad. Paste them on the fridge or places where I can see them.
 

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Schools are generally not well prepared to deal with xSxPs to be honest. I've known ESxPs that perform well in school though. It can help to be able to walk around while working. ESxP's brains stop working when they're forced to sit still. They need to move around. Try to find ways to learn from experimentation and engaging with things. Schools are often based around the ISTJ needs, so an ESFP might struggle working with the same things. There are schools that can deal with this though and maybe finding the right school could help. Maybe talk to the teacher about engaging her in a way that fits her learning style?




Otherwise try to use the Fi values that she has. Work together in finding ways that she can do the things that she finds important while still getting the right things done.

Accept that as IxxJs we're control freaks but ExxPs need to explore and be free. Any kind of structure will be resisted, even when your child knows it's the right thing. Lots of ExxPs actively resist the structure that they themselves try to put on themselves. Maybe it's possible to find a balance of some kind.

That's really all I can help you with. I'm a teacher, not an ESFP and not a parent so my experience is pretty limited.
Perhaps a Montessori style might work for her.
 

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Constantly criticizing her for being herself is only going to psychologically damage her, so stop it.

Re: school, I'm going to be frank, here. Unless a kid is dumb enough to be only a couple of semantic notches above the level that older education textbooks called 'the educable retarded', they're going to be bored in school. What it pleases us to call 'education' at the K-12 level in this culture is mostly a long, involved process of learning how to tolerate mind-numbing boredom... or learning how to quietly do other things at your desk while the teacher rambles on and on about shit you learned three or four years ago and not get caught, which was how I survived it.

1) She will likely be scatterbrained until she's middle-aged. This is just who she is, so accept it. As to the "consequences later in life" of her being who she is, the biggest goal in life is not to be King Shit of Turd Mountain. It's not even to be A Respected Pillar of the Community. It's to be happy.

Sacrificing the latter in the name of either of the former is a fool's game, and in this way a young ESFP is actually wiser than many a TJ.

2) She will need a much more hands-on, practicality-oriented environment to not be bored as hell in school. (Either that or a serious case of lead-poisoning with the concomitant drop in IQ, but I wouldn't recommend that.)

3) She's an extrovert, and as such, will likely always seem overly loud, talkative, and socially needy by your standards. Get her involved in some kind of social club or extracurricular activity, so she's not always burning up what little bandwidth you and your wife have for activity and chatter, and you coming to resent her for it.
 

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It can help to be able to walk around while working. ESxP's brains stop working when they're forced to sit still. They need to move around.
Never thought about that, but it's true
 
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