My name is Kara.
I am an INFJ.
It’s taken over 2 decades to fully understand myself and I realized that in cracking the code of my personality, I had the key to understanding both my greatest parenting strengths and my utter weaknesses.
Understanding myself through my personality traits has not only helped me relate to others better and know myself in stressful situations, but it has helped me raise my children. In fact Myers Briggs Parenting Personalities can help us all understand our strengths and our weaknesses as we raise our children.
While I have done my best to study each personality and highlight how they might be as parents, we are all different and the profile may not be 100% spot on. (Though I hope it is). It’s all just for fun to explore how we can improve our parenting and even see our strengths.
Myers Briggs Parenting Personalities
I am obsessed with the 16 Myers Briggs Personality types. In studying them myself and seeing those around me raise children I started seeing traits and characteristics among them. While these profiles are just for fun and based on MBTI Personalities, these Myers Briggs Parenting personalities and approaches are all my own and are not in association with the test. If you do not know your type, my favorite free online Myers Briggs inspired personality test is on Similar Minds.
And if you’re really interested in MBTI & parenting, check out my Extremely Good Parenting podcast. We have an episode coming soon all about Myers Briggs & Parenting.
ISTJ – The Dutiful Parent
The Good: These parents offer their kids consistency, routine, and organization. They have high goals for their kids and try to put actionable steps in place to help get their children to those goals, even putting the child’s needs above their own. They love creating traditions for the family and work hard to make a memorable childhood for their kids. These moms and dads are detail oriented and have a plan for every occasion.
The Bad: As parents, ISTJs can get frustrated by the change that becoming a parent brings. They typically do not like the messes their kids make and don’t handle deviation from their routine. Sometimes the initial phase of having a baby is the hardest for ISTJs because routine, logic, and order are all thrown out the window. As children grow, these parents struggle with sometimes having expectations that are too high. They can easily get upset when a child disobeys, even taking it personally.
ISTP – The Hands-Free Parent
The Good: These parents are very interested in understanding their kids. They want to know why a child is doing something, and while their kids are babies will know each milestone and what their baby should be accomplishing. They live in the moment, making memories with their kids, not worrying about who their kids will become, rather they spend time enjoying them for who they are.
The Bad: They often do not provide structure to their children and do not see a need to instill values or discipline in their kids, letting them come into their own skin. While they like going on adventures with their kids, they are typically hands-off when it comes to the daily and mundane once their children are older.
ISFJ – The Nurturing Parent
The Good: These are the practical, hands-on, and dependable parents. With babies and toddlers, these parents are some of the busiest, trying to tend to every need. They empathize with their kids in their emotional and physical pains, wanting to take on the burdens for themselves if possible. They want to raise their kids to be productive members of society and communicate well with their kids.
The Bad: These parents can sometimes feel overwhelmed and under appreciated by all that they do for their kids whether by a spouse or the children. They struggle when their kids repeat mistakes and are indecisive, sometimes wanting to do everything for their kids.
ISFP – The Artistic Parent
The Good: When their children are born, these parents fall deeply in love with their kids, seeing only beauty and perfection in this new life. They enjoy the moment and are flexible and open to change; they are dedicated to their kids in every season of life. They are warm-hearted and giving, wanting to fulfill the needs of their children.
The Bad: May be frazzled as a new parent because so much needs to be done and is going on. As kids get older, these parents may choose to not discipline because of their dislike of conflict. They struggle with their kids interrupting, whining, or begging even if it’s just a thought process & not a conversation.
INFJ – The Visionary Parent
The Good: Wants to raise children independent children who have a high moral value and will be productive members of society. This parent is very observant to the needs of their children, even seeing the differences between multiple kids. This parent dreams of what their child will become and tries to nurture their child’s strengths.
The Bad: They can be intense and sometimes harsh because of their high behavioral expectations. They are sometimes too accommodating in terms of trying to meet the needs of even the subtle differences in their kids. They do not accept parenting criticism well and have a hard time adapting to the loud.
INFP – The Idealist Parent
The Good: These parents try to instill values in their children. They’re compassionate and concerned for the well-being of their kids. They are very adaptable, and roll with the punches that parenting brings. They are responsive and encouraging in both childhood triumphs and difficulties, and enjoy making memories as their children grow.
The Bad: While they’re strict on values, they’re not the first to be disciplinarians. They struggle with making important decisions in regards to their family, not wanting to make a mistake or negatively impact the future of their kids in any way.
INTJ – The Scientific Parent
The Good: They are great planners a parents. They have goals for their kids and sure-fire ways for their kids to achieve them. They are great motivators and leaders for their kids, pushing their children to go above and beyond and inspire their children to think they can, even when they say they can’t.
The Bad: Many times they expect too much form their children and too soon. They don’t allow for things to happen naturally, rather they push for things to happen on their own agenda and can get frustrated when it doesn’t pan out that way.
INTP – The Thinking Parent
The Good: These parents value knowledge, pushing their children to excel in education and higher-thinking extra-curricular activities. They tend to not follow what is popular, but rather parent their children in their own way that they determine as being the best fit for the family, even if it’s inconvenient or beyond the normal.
The Bad: They desire do things correctly and can get frustrated both at themselves or at others when things don’t go as planned. (Like when putting together their kid’s toy didn’t go perfectly). They also tend to avoid negative situations with their children because of the overwhelming emotional experience and tantrums from a child can push them over the edge.
ESTP – The Go-Getting Parent
The Good: They are adaptable and go with the flow, which is so important in parenting. They live in the moment so they’re absorbing every little thing their child does and completely understands that tomorrow is a new day and that yesterday isn’t a reflection of what will happen today.
The Bad: They can sometimes be impatient or even struggle to keep their cool with their kids because as parents they’re always on the go, spontaneous, and goal-oriented. This short attention span can sometimes make their children feel frustrated and misunderstood. They sometimes also don’t provide rules or structure as their kids need because even they disregard rules to get stuff done.
ESTJ – The Guardian Parent
The Good: Most likely to be the “peaceful parent” the guardian parent also is very traditional and practical. They tend to see the motives behind what their child does and seem to be clairvoyant. They’re organized and work hard for their kids, wanting help provide for their future.
The Bad: It’s difficult for the ESTJ parent to relax. They’re constantly trying to control the situation, protect their kids, or be in charge. They don’t handle bossy children very well and they are also most likely to be a helicopter parent in school. They tend to be inflexible which make major changes and transitions through childhood harder on this type of parent.
ESFP – The Fun-Loving Parent
The Good: They want to create a fun and magical childhood for their kids! They love new experiences and seeing their children get to enjoy them as well. They’re observant and are there to help their kids at any given moment.
The Bad: The ESFP parent is extremely sensitive and also hates conflict. Being at odds with their children tears them apart and they can sometimes remove themselves from negative situations with their kids instead of teaching them a lesson or helping them through it. Because they’re not typically planners or very focused themselves, their children don’t have as much structure in their lives.
ESFJ – The Caring Parent
The Good: These parents are extremely affectionate and warm-hearted. They will always provide for their children over themselves and seek to raise loving, sweet, and caring kids. They love to create meaningful traditions with their families. They have a strong sense of responsibility when it comes to their families and raising their kids right.
The Bad: Many of their decisions are based on a need for validation. They are concerned about their social status, and sometimes even use their kids as a means to convey their own importance. Because they’re highly traditional, they’re also not very flexible and tend to not see change or anything their child does that’s out-of-the-ordinary as acceptable. They may even get very embarrassed by their children in some social situations.
ENFP – The Inspirational Parent
The Good: They are the parent that is most likely to mention that they could never imagine life without their kid. They embrace every moment and are excited for their kids and the endeavors they have. They encourage their children to dream big and think outside of the box. They communicate well with their kids, and are great at working through difficulties.
The Bad: While the ENFP parent has lots of ideas for their kids, they have trouble following through and can easily get stressed out. They are also typically the ones who would call the doctor for a runny nose or scratch.
ENFJ – The Giving Parent
The Good: The ENFJ parent is one who is exceptionally concerned for their child’s feelings and is always digging deeper into their kid’s emotions. They seek to understand their kids and are trying to do good for their kids and family. They’re great parents in that they also provide for the needs of the individual child and are less likely to lump everyone’s needs as one. They’re more likely to help explain a situation to a child vs. dole out the “because I said so” card.
The Bad: They can spend too much time trying to meet the individual needs of everyone in the family, such as making a different meal for each child’s preference. They can bend over-backwards to meet needs, but then feel unneeded or unfulfilled. They also struggle making hard decisions for their kids for fear of making the wrong one.
ENTP – The Innovative Parent
The Good: These parents think on their feet and have great answers for tough parenting problems. They do what they can to make things happen for their kids. They’re excited to try new foods, new places, and new adventures with their families. They teach their kids to be problem-solvers, because it’s their best skill!
The Bad: They argue every last detail and refuse to negotiate with their kids. They tend to want to be the “greatest dad in the world” or the perfect “pinterest mom”, forgetting that not everything has to be perfect. They also can be intolerant of their kids’ ideas, dismissing them as impractical or say a school project could be fine-tuned. They’re the parent that’s most likely to intervene instead of letting a child do something themselves or learn from the experience.
ENTJ – The Structured Parent
The Good: These parents are assertive and efficient. They run their households with ease, getting everything done. They keep their kids on a routine and schedule, and provide for the needs of their kids. They challenge their kids, expecting them to think critically. They want their kids to be well-rounded and intelligent.
The Bad: ENTJs are not very emotional and can come off as very cold. This seems oppressive to children. Coupled with their strict tendencies, they have high expectations of their kids. Many times children of ENTJs feel like they can’t be perfect enough or can never be good enough for their parent. Emotional conflicts are difficult for this type of parent and can discount the feelings of their child easily. They also tend to resort to fear based parenting in difficult moments with their kids.
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Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!