What Your Personality Type Says About Your Parenting Skills

Everyone parents differently, which makes things both very interesting and very frustrating at times. Conflicting ideas, opinions, and personalities are what make the world so special, but we're also not immune to rolling our eyes at things (and people) from time to time (OK, fine, multiple times a day). But how do you even know your personality type, and even more, how that directly affects your parenting style?

The famous and well-respected Meyers & Briggs Foundation identified 16 prominent personality types. Many schools and employers use it to help facilitate teamwork, but it's also been studied to see how it relates to parenting. While you may identify with one personality type, don't be surprised if your parenting techniques bring you to a completely different category. For example, I'm an ENFP, which is free-spirited by nature, but my parenting needs are much more rigid. Find your personality type ahead, and see if it's close to the way you parent.

  1. INFJ – The Guardian
    INFJ parents always want their children to do the right thing. These parents may lack structure and have a hard time implementing discipline, but they truly want their children to grow up to be compassionate adults. Their expectations may be high, which can cause tension, but they want their kids to always be the best versions of themselves.
  2. ENFJ - The Giver
    ENFJs are very focused on their child's happiness and trying to understand where their child is coming from with their feelings. They want each individual child to feel loved and comfortable in their own way and don't have a hard time showing that. This worry-filled parent can also have a hard time making decisions for their children, as they don't want to steer them in the wrong direction.
  3. INFP – The Idealist
    INFPs are interested in passing lessons down to their children. They want their children to grow up in a caring atmosphere and easily adapt to the ebbs and flows of parenting. While they tend to be passive when it comes to discipline, they want their children to grow up to be honest adults with a solid moral compass.
  4. ENFPs — The Energizer
    ENFPs enjoy creating a positive and creative environment for their children to grow as individuals. At the same time, this creative mind can make their parenting seem scatterbrained. This may be difficult for children to follow at times, but overall, ENFPs are very affectionate, loving, and encouraging. No dream is too big for their kids.
  5. INTJ – The Academic
    INTJs are typically not the most affectionate with their children. They strive to help their children become independent thinkers and problem solvers, but can expect too much at times. They are planners and have high standards for their children, but love them unconditionally.
  6. ENTJ — The Authoritarian
    ENTJs are often seen as being the authoritarian parents — sometimes coming across as a little cold or harsh. They set the bar high for their children and have strict and consistent schedules for them to follow, but will also give them the tools they need to succeed. They strongly want to pass down the love of learning to their kids.
  7. INTP – The Thinker
    INTPs usually have a difficult time showing emotion to their children and don't handle intense situations well. They want their children to embrace their individuality by encouraging them to use their voices, even if that means going very much against the grain. INFPs value structure and can get easily frustrated if things don't go as planned.
  8. ENTP – The Innovator
    ENTPs want their children to learn through their daily experiences and are also ready to learn from their children in return. These parents love spontaneity, which could translate to inconsistency for their children. While ENTP parents can be very attentive, they also want the last word.
  9. ISTJ — The Organizer
    The ISTJ parent teaches their children that they have to work very hard in order to get anywhere in life. They're practical and don't usually sugarcoat things, but they really value family traditions and loyalty.
  10. ESTJ – The Leader
    ESTJs strive to be someone that their kids can look up to. They live efficient lives and want their children to do the same. This can sometimes come across as harsh, but overall, they are devoted parents, always wanting to do what's right for their little ones.
  11. ISFJ – The Natural
    ISFJs are eager to be the best parents they can be. Sometimes they are too focused on other people's opinions and whether or not their child's individualism will fit in with society, but they ultimately just want their child to be happy and successful.
  12. ESFJ – The Nurturer
    ESFJs are joyful parents who also create solid structures within the family home. They protect their children, but sometimes have difficulty in seeing their own mistakes or mishaps. They always want their children to feel their affection and make sure they show it on a regular basis.
  13. ISTPs – The Relaxer
    ISTPs are very laid-back parents and often let their children be themselves, while being themselves, too. They enjoy spending quality time with their kids and creating a fun, relaxed environment for them to grow. They typically rely on their spouse to instill any rules in the home.
  14. ESTP – The Runner
    ESTPs are on-the-go parents who seize the day and all of the teaching moments that come within it. They do not adhere to strict rules or routines and sometimes have short tempers, but love to show their kids they care.
  15. ISFP – The Accepter
    ISFPs are very gentle and accepting of their children, despite their mistakes and quirks. Sometimes they lack discipline or structure, but they always encourage their children to be exactly who they are. They are very supportive and encouraging.
  16. ESFP – The Partier
    ESFPs are fun and easygoing. They love to throw parties and shower their kids with gifts and love. However, they often go back-and-forth between being strict in discipline and carefree, which can be hard for their children to follow.