One of my greatest accomplishments as an INTP is being a parent. It has been my most challenging, but it has also been the most rewarding. Having children was never on my to-do list. Some people plan that as far back as when they were children. I never did. I thought having kids would restrict my freedom.
When you become a parent, you’re not given a set of instructions that tells you what to do and what not to do. You kind of just take what your parents did that you liked, add your own touch, and then discard the rest. Sometimes you fail.
I’m not going to give you tips on how to be a better parent as an INTP because, shit, I’m still trying to figure it out. But what I am going to do is celebrate the fact that I, as an INTP, am proud of the parent I have become. I could not imagine being any other type of mother. And what type of mother am I? Here are four examples that I think define INTPs, in general, and me specifically, as parents.
- I encourage freedom of thought in my kids and allow them to speak their mind. To others it might seem like they’re disrespecting me, but I want them to be able to form their own opinions and object to anything they may not agree with. I don’t want to raise robots that only follow conventions and norms. I want my kids to be able to stand up for themselves as true individuals.
- When my kids do something that is upsetting, instead of getting emotional, I reason it out. This helps me to make better judgement calls as to punishments.
- I am not obsessed with material pursuits. I teach my kids the value of simplicity, and that looking deeper into life and delving into philosophy will help guide them in their adult years.
- I am not over-protective of my kids in the sense that I try to shield my kids from the world. I want them to grow and become healthy adults, and that requires that they have the freedom to make mistakes. Otherwise, how else will they develop the resolve to deal with the consequences of their actions.
So am I claiming to being the best parent in the world? Not at all. Am I claiming that INTPs are better parents? Not at all. I have made plenty of mistakes. But I hope that this article acts as a clarion call to all of those INTPs out there who have never thought about having kids, or who don’t believe that parenthood is an option because their little idiosyncrasies don’t appear to gel with what society deems as proper parenting material, i.e. the Guardians of the world. I’m here to tell you that, with hard work and determination, it’s entirely possible for INTPs to be fantastic parents. And like all things Rational, we do it our own way.