Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mothering Styles: INTP

A quiz based on the Meyers-Briggs Personality test specially designed to asses mothering styles showed in my Facebook newsfeed the other day. The results are very accurate for me and give me some insights into what comes naturally for me and helps to assuage some of the guilt I feel in certain circumstances.

Now if only there was accompanying findings on which styles are most effective and if certain styles are effective at gaining the results they are seeking to get from their kids.

One interesting thing though is that I make a concerted effort to maintain interdependence and community as values for my children and I often find it in conflict with my natural tendency to encourage independence and autonomy. I hope that my children display both sides of it and get a good balance passed on to them.

The 'Love of Learning' Mother
INTP (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving)

Intellectually curious and patient, the INTP mother relishes those times with a child when they are learning something interesting together. Whether they're at the zoo or computer terminal, she sparks to answering his or her "whys" with in-depth responses or new knowledge.

The INTP mother is also objective and introspective. She listens to and discusses children's ideas and questions as she would those of a peer, fostering self-esteem and confidence. Open and non-directive, she allows children the freedom to do for themselves and quietly encourages them to believe they can do it.

Independence, autonomy, intellectual development, and self-reliance are probably the INTP's highest priorities for her children. An avid reader, she naturally imparts an appreciation and love of reading as well.

Drawn to all types of learning, the INTP may also value her mothering experience for all the new insights about life it provides her.


Fostering her child's intellectual development. The INTP mother has respect for her child's mind, thinking, and reasoning, regardless of his or her age. Her goal is to shape her children's intellectual development, taking seriously their thoughts, ideas, and questions. She enjoys watching how they absorb and use new information.

Teaching. Desiring to meet her children's need to learn and know, the INTP mother is born to teach. She instills a love of learning by finding ways to build on a child's natural curiosity. Beyond tirelessly answering a multitude of questions, she enjoys leading him or her to new books, real-life experiences, or hands-on activities.

Encouraging independence. The INTP mother gives her children the space they need to develop independence. Although it might be easier for her to carry out a particular task herself, she can back off and let them try to do things for themselves so they will begin to master the task. She lets her children test themselves and has high aspirations for their competency, but she seldom pushes.

Calmness. The INTP mother is usually tolerant and calm, not highly critical of children's mistakes—she may see them as learning experiences! She seldom gets upset if they do something that displeases her. Her children may find her a model of patience, kindness, and fairness.


Noise and confusion of family life. The INTP can become easily exhausted by children's non-stop chatter, constant activity, lack of self-control, and their never-ending demands for her to look, listen, and respond. She may retreat, physically and emotionally.

Routines. The INTP mother is likely to struggle when a family member needs to meet a schedule. Getting young children dressed, fed, and out the door for school on time or keeping them on task for bathing, teeth brushing, and bed times can seem like overwhelming tasks.

Singular focus. When she is focused on reading, thinking, or work, the INTP's children may feel as though they can't break through her concentration. She may worry that she seems distant and detached.


The INTP mother can benefit from setting aside regular times when she can turn inward and lose herself in reading, thought, or work. Energized by time alone to think, her "mind time" is a necessity, not a luxury. To do her best mothering, the INTP may need to get up early, stay up late, or use children's nap time to read, daydream, or gaze out the window in thought.

Believing she is different from other mothers, the INTP may feel uncomfortable if she compares herself to more traditional mothers. If she can learn to trust in her own unique strengths and enjoy her relationship with her children (rather than compare hers to other mothers'), she can boost her mothering confidence and take greater pleasure in day-to-day living.


Rixa said...

Hmmm, I just took it and the results were totally off for how I see myself! (Mine came in as the "how to" mother, see Not at all how I'd describe myself or the things that I am good at or struggle with.

Jenne said...

I can see that description matching what I know about you, especially this section: "Upbeat and matter-of-fact, the ESTJ mother is intent on her children having the best. She puts her skills and talents to work to this end, from planning trips that supplement their studies to raising funds for new playground equipment." That's the sense I get from reading your blog updates of your family.

Have you had a chance to read the other styles? Is there one that you feel like describes you better?

This page has the full list:

Jennifer said...

I don't understand how to progress the quiz. It only gives me one page and no way to move to the next page?

Jenne said...

I found it tricky too. At the bottom of each quiz section, the button to advance is on the right. I almost gave up on it but I was really interested to read the result. I really like the Meyers-Briggs style.

Jennifer said...

It just didn't work on Firefox, I had to use Safari to get the button to show up.

I got ISTJ The 'Responsibility' Mother. I agree with some of it, but it makes me sound way more rigid and strict and organized than I actually think I am.

INTJ said...

My mom is an INTP. :D Best mom ever.