How do INTJs approach parenting? INTJs often take the task of parenting very seriously. We will use strategy, logic, and reason when raising a child. Here are a few thoughts and experiences from an INTJs perspective, although this may not apply to every INTJ.
INTJ Parenting Style
First, it may be helpful to address the following question: “Do INTJs like children?” I would venture to say that most INTJs like the concept of children, and can even enjoy them in short bursts. However, most INTJs will not enjoy the company of children for long periods. The INTJ will likely become exhausted by the constant noise, tantrums, irrational behavior, and inability to communicate on a deep level.
Consider these quotes from C.S. Lewis, a well-known but now deceased INTJ:
“I myself do not enjoy the society of small children . . . I recognize this as a defect in myself—just as a man may have to recognize that he is tone deaf or color blind” (The Abolition of Man, chapter 1).
“I theoretically hold that one ought to like children, but am shy with them in practice” (The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 2, written to Arthur Greeves on 12/7/1935).
I watched a movie a few months ago titled Shadowlands. This was a movie depicting C.S. Lewis’ life during the time he married Joy Davidman. In the movie, you could sense the awkwardness of him trying to comfort Joy’s son after she passed away (spoiler alert, sorry). I feel that many INTJs feel a sense of awkwardness around children, particularly if they are not their own.
Therefore, most INTJs probably dislike being around other children for long. If we’re around them too long, we may feel like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Kindergarten Cop when he said, “I have a headache.” Some kid then suggested, “maybe it’s a tumor.” Arnold, in his thick accent, then says, “It’s not a tumor!”
INTJ Parenting Observations
However, being around children is a bit different when you have your own. I enjoy my own son’s company, even though it can be exhausting at times. Here are some observations from raising my own son as an INTJ:
- While I don’t have any hard data, I would suspect that most INTJs will have no children or a small number of children. Lewis had no children of his own, as did Newton. Ayn Rand had no children. My wife’s grandmother is INTJ, and she had only two. Alan Greenspan had no children. Another INTJ by the name of Thom Rainer had three. Karl Marx had seven children, but only three survived into adulthood. While some INTJs have larger families, it seems that most prefer smaller families or no children.
- I’d prefer to have only one child (maybe two). My wife, the ISFJ, would prefer an army of children (and she could handle it just fine, but I couldn’t). One reason that I only want one child is that I want to be very involved in my son’s life. Having too many children will essentially prevent that. My father left at a young age and never had anything else to do with me. I was raised by my mother and four older sisters, with no male influence and no mentor in life. I found that tough. I want my son to have a father in his life to mentor him.
- My ISFJ wife is a super caretaker. She takes care of baths, feeding, diaper changes, etc. I’m happy to help with those things when needed, but she does 99% of it. I dislike doing them, though.
- INTJs may struggle with showing emotion or affection, especially if they are not close to their children. I’m very affectionate to my son. I love to rough him up, laugh, play jokes, tell him I love him, etc. It’s awkward for me to be that way with other people, but I enjoy doing that with him.
- I do find the baby and toddler phase very difficult. I dislike not being able to talk or reason with my son. It’s constant 24/7 climbing, crying, etc. It is the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done in my entire life, but he’s an enormous source of joy in my life. I love my son, and I consider him a great blessing. Perhaps it has been more difficult for me since I work from home and rarely have a true break from it.
- I would venture to say that most INTJs will enjoy parenting more as their children age and can hold an adult conversation. I really look forward to when my son is a teenager so that I can teach him everything I know.
- It has been difficult losing sleep for two years straight. Yes, two years! I’m not even joking. This is an ongoing problem, despite using every technique from “cry-it-out” to whatever.
- According to PersonalityPage.com’s article on relationships, the author wrote: “As parents, INTJ’s main goal is to raise their children to be intelligent, autonomous and independent.” I agree with that 100%.
- I have most of my son’s future planned out (up until he’s an adult). My wife and I plan to homeschool our son. I want him to have the best education he can, period. If something happens and we can’t homeschool, I would then opt for a good private school. I also am going to help him get a degree if he wants to go that route, and I’ll help him do CLEP exams and get a degree as efficiently as possible. I want him to strive for excellence and be ready to face the world.
- It’s important for me help him in his career. I don’t want to choose a career for him. Rather, I want to observe his own natural talents and interests, and then help him get books, lessons, and whatever so that he can excel in that. I feel that personality theory will help in identifying potential careers.
- I want to train him to be independent from an early age. I plan to make lists of chores and give him an allowance. I want to teach him to keep a checkbook and learn how to manage and spend his own money.
- I am going to raise him in the Christian faith and teach him to think critically and logically about it and other worldviews.
- I want to teach him how the world works and how to live efficiently. How to do his own laundry, but stuff online, etc.
- INTJs may struggle with having a drama queen child or an extreme “feeler” or emotional type.
- I would say that I’m strict about some things but very lenient about others. I want him to have fun, take vacations, etc. I’ll be very selective about his friends and activities.
Conclusion on Parenting for INTJs
INTJs can make excellent parents. They tend to be devoted, caring, and concerned about the welfare and future of their children. INTJs want their children to be independent, focused, and stable. Many INTJs seem to prefer smaller families, but there are exceptions to this. INTJs also care very deeply for their children, but they may have difficulty in showing these emotions.