Sunday, October 12, 2014

Personality Types for Children

I have always been fascinated by personality typing.
I love to participate in personality-typing tests and have done so numerous times between college, work, and very brief time seeing a psychologist when I was dealing with severe insomnia from my extremely toxic job environment (another story for another time.)
So when Elena from the blog The Art of Making a Baby posted about personality types for children, I was ecstatic.  She begins by referencing a book she read called "Nurture by Nature," which I immediately rented from our local library
(because I'm old-fashioned and refuse to read books electronically)
The book primarily uses the famous Myers-Briggs personality-typing, but applies it to children via an extensive system of descriptions and examples.  The book highlights both the positives and challenges of each personality type, and focuses on how parents' can "nurture" their child based on their personality-type.
(World's best book review, huh?  Yeah I know)
Most children's personalities really develop around ages 2-4.
Aaron, on the other hand, is 18 months.
I tried to pinpoint his personality type, but ended up just duplicating mine.
So in the end, I think Aaron is too young.
The only aspect I can definitely say is that Aaron is an Extrovert (like his mama).
But as for the rest, I think time will have to tell.

(Aaron at 11 months.  I felt the need to include a photo even though this has nothing to do with Personality Typing.  Just look at those BLUE EYES... ok, back to the subject)
In the meantime, I was able to confirm my type.
Every time I've taken Myers-Briggs, whether a psychologist test or a crappy online fake quiz, I get a different answers... except I'm always Extrovert.
I'm like 99% Extrovert.
I know we're all shocked.
However, in reading the book, and seeing it from children's examples, rather than adult, I was able to reflect on my childhood and easily pinpoint where I stand.
Btw, I'm not even going to attempt to describe Myers-Briggs. 
I would surely butcher it.
So instead, I direct you to:
Back to me...
E - Extrovert
No shit.  This needs no explanation.  I thrive on interactions with others.
Ironically, both my parents are Introverts, which explains why I spent the majority of my childhood escaping from the house to play with friends.
Interestingly, my mother-in-law is also an Extrovert with a capital E,
while my husband is an Introvert.  Funny how that works.
S - Sensing
Realistic and practical.
(Me 100%)
Want clear, step-by-step instructions.
(Vague instructions?  I will give up before I start.)
Like examples and models to follow.
(IKEA, I love you)
And there's more, some that kind of fit me,
but I've highlighted the major ones that define me.
I certainly do have some Intuitive, as I was extremely creative as a child, with a wild imagination.  But in the end, facts and the here-and-now are significantly more important than what could be.
I believe when I took this from the Psychologist, I was like a 60/40
(60 Sensing and 40 Intuitive)
or something along those lines.
F - Feeling
I struggled with this one.
I don't see myself as a "feeler" which is why my score on this one changes so often.
But the turning point was, in reading this book, I stopped looking at me "now"
and refocused back what to when I was a child.
Here's where I struggle.
The Thinking type (the alter of Feeling) is categorized as:
honestly and clear
and objective.
Yup, sounds like me!
Feelers on the other hand, are often described as:
sensitive and empathetic
(me.... sensitive?  HAHAHA)
Want harmony
(All hold hands and sing?  Nah...)
Express themselves with tact
(dies laughing)
But this is where the book took me back to my childhood.
As a child I WAS sensitive.
I WAS empathetic.
I WAS extremely tactful.
So what happened?
Public School happened!
(Unless you ask my mom, pretty sure she thinks that's true)
Feelers are very much so driven by the opinions of those around them.
And I'm secretly a crazy people-pleaser.
I resist my people-pleaser tendencies.
Just like I resist my packrat tendencies.
But they always remain.  They never fully go away.
Feelers place a high value on relationships, and are more likely to make connections with teachers who are warm and inviting than those who are just good at their job.
Safe to say, I grossly butchered this section here.
The end story is that I am a Feeler.
And although I resist it,
because I think Feelers are total pushovers,
I really am one.
Like it or not.
(I don't like it.)
J - Judging.
No, this does not mean I am judgmental.
(Although I actually am highly judgmental.  It's a major flaw of mine.)
Like order and structure
(You should see my Wedding Day Schedule.)
Make decisions quickly and easily
(Take too long and I'll make the damn decision for you)
Like to make and stick to a plan.
(I literally plan every aspect of my life. Literally.)
State opinions frankly.
(Um... this blog. Right here.)
So yeah, that's me.
Now what?
Well, now I am going to buy the Nurture by Nature book
and hang onto it for another year or so.
So I can try to type Aaron.
Of course, by "typing" Aaron, I certainly don't want to force him into a box.
No, you see, my greatest fear is that I parent wrong.
I think every parent's fear is parenting wrong.
(Except, you know, bad parents.  Like heroine addicts.
... Although I bet most heroine addicts WANT to be good parents.
... But seriously, where the hell was I going with this?)
Not that this book is going to "teach" me how to parent.
But if I grasp just one tiny itty bitty smidgen of a helpful hint...
Then it will be worth it.

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