How Your Personality Impacts Your Parenting Style

Let’s face it. Parenting is hard stuff. Most of us envision what our parenting style will be only to wonder “Why did I do it like that?”  In the spirit of a little self-knowledge goes a long way, we found this article that shares insights of a study that examined how your personality type may impact how you parent.  The study was based on the venerable Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which has been in use for over seventy years. Before you read further, bear in mind that no personality test is 100% accurate and that there is no “right” parenting style. We all have our strengths and growth areas.

The MBTI is based on four contrasting dimensions and the premise that most of us lean to one side or the other:

Extroversion (E) or Introversion (I): How do you gain and replenish personal energy?

Sensing (S) or Intuition (N):  Where do you find and process information?

Thinking (T) or Feeling (F): Which do you rely more on?

Judging (J) or Perceiving (P): What determines the way you lead your life?

If you’ve taken the Myers Briggs, you may remember the four-letter designation for your personality type. If you don’t know your Myers-Briggs personality type and are curious, here’s a free assessment.

The key takeaways? Here are a few to ponder:

  • Of all personality types, INFP or more introverted individuals were most likely to see the role of a stay-at-home parent more positively.
  • Extraverts, in general, had a more positive sense of their parenting skills. Introverts rated themselves significantly lower.
  • When it came to having children, feelers expressed a preference for having more, while thinkers were more cautious.

The bottom line? Each of us, regardless of our parenting style or personality type, brings different strengths to the parenting equation. Just know you aren’t alone. As the study shared, “most parents report that one of the best ways to cope with the struggles of parenting is to hear from other parents going through the same challenges.”

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