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The 'Tuned In' Mother
INFP (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving)


"Inside our children, I believe, is a truth that tells them what's best for them. I am always listening for that truth."

Aware, astute, and understanding, the INFP mother is sensitive to her child's needs, feelings, and perceptions. By observing and listening to the cues of the whole child, she is "tuned in" and naturally develops an intuitive feel for what he or she needs. Responsive and helpful as well, she tends patiently to those needs as they arise.

The INFP mother is comfortable letting her children follow their own course of development and make their own choices. She offers encouragement and uses her insights to head off trouble and difficult issues.

The INFP mother takes vicarious pleasure giving her children good experiences and watching them enjoy childhood. She's happiest creating pleasant, memorable times for the whole family.

Tips
Rather than constantly doing, the INFP mother may function at her best when she has large blocks of unstructured time—time to deal with the unexpected, time to pursue creative projects, and time to think things through. Always giving to others, she can benefit from giving to herself as well—time to take an afternoon nap, read, walk, bike, or watch a movie or play.
Naturally tuned in to what others think and feel, the INFP mother needs to practice tuning in to her own wisdom (and trusting it!) when making decisions on behalf of her children. Because the INFP often represents a minority point of view, she may have learned to discount her own intuition about her child when facing a teacher, physician, or administrator. The INFP mother can empower herself as a parent by confidently acting on her tuned-in understanding of her child, even when others don't see it her way… and by giving herself room to make mistakes and learn from them.


Strengths
Cultivating a one-on-one relationship with each child. Accepting and gentle, the INFP mother places a high value on having a close relationship with each child. In cultivating that relationship, she readily makes time available for each child one-on-one.
Interacting with her children. The INFP mother spends time playing with her children side by side when they are young-making yarn dolls or clay figures, playing catch, or reading books together. As they get older, she finds other ways to engage them and interact with them.
"Tuning in" to feelings. The INFP mother pays especially close attention to her children's feelings, really listening, trying to understand, and finding appropriate ways to respond. She is also comfortable sharing her own feelings with her children, inviting them to listen and understand her feelings as well as their own.
Building happy childhood memories. The INFP mother is dedicated to creating good times for her children, making sure they experience a wide variety of fun activities traditionally associated with a happy childhood: picnics, pets, Winnie the Pooh, Girl Scouts, a day at the beach, fireflies, ice cream cones… opportunities that will soon pass and never come again.


Struggles
Focus. "Tuned in" to feelings and responsive to everyone's viewpoint, the INFP mother may feel overwhelmed if everyone is needing something from her at the same time or when different points of view are being expressed. To whom should she listen? And whom should she "tune out"?
Decision making. The INFP mother works hard at sorting through various options to decide what's right for her children, and she tends to deal with each situation as it arises. At the time, she may feel disadvantaged by her ability to see all sides and may wonder if she is doing the right thing. Her reluctance to formulate black-and-white "rules" and policy statements for her children can leave her feeling permissive and guilty.
Societal expectations. The INFP mother struggles to balance society's expectations for order, organization, and schedules with her need (and desire) to turn to a child's need of the moment. Keeping a household running may seem at odds with the job of raising children. Her motto may be, "Pardon our mess, child development in process."
 
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