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.
I was just thinking about parenting earlier this week. I too did not plan on or desire children. I was pretty surprised then to find myself looking at the four of them, with a 16 year age difference from oldest to youngest, one day about a decade ago. I thought, besides the basic mechanics of it, how in the world did this happen? I am ever so grateful for them now but it took everything in me to do what I considered an even 1/2 way decent job. It was so anti-everything of who I am, like having (my kids LOVE interacting with their kids!!) to interact 24/7, if they needed or wanted to. Or having to make food, healthy food no less, on a (somewhat) regular schedule. Or, focusing when they were telling me a long story about an insect, ha. They always knew the moment I zoned out and I knew it hurt them so I tried so hard not to let it happen. It still did. Still does. I now have more choice over when I see them and I always try to prepare mentally, get everything out of my head as much as possible so I can focus and enjoy them. So glad for them, they are my best friends today and I’m proud of them but, I believe it is in spite of me, not because of me. Also, I think your 4 points above are quite accurate.