The Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) can provide valuable insights into every aspect of life, from decision making to corporate leadership—even parenting!
When parents understand their own MBTI® Type, they gain the ability to anticipate their own tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses.
They can use their knowledge to communicate more effectively, resolve conflicts quickly, and ultimately build stronger relationships with their children.
This article explores how The MBTI® can shape how parents parent!
Different Personality Types Have Different Parenting Tendencies
While there are no hard and fast rules, one’s MBTI® personality type can influence how parents’ approach everything from extracurricular activities to family traditions.
For example, within the E-I, S-N, T-F, J-P dichotomy spectrum, Extraverted parents often want their kids to pursue social activities, such as team sports. They also tend to emphasize civic involvement both for themselves and their children and are more likely to promote volunteering and to be more active in their children’s school lives.
On the other hand, Introverted parents might guide their children towards individual activities such as music or crafts and are likely to emphasize individual academic achievement.
Similarly, Sensing parents often emphasize traditions and rituals, like holidays or eating meals at the kitchen table, while Intuitive parents may be more flexible, based on their own family’s preferences.
Interestingly, according to a study by Truity.com, a parent’s MBTI® personality type even influences the average number of children they might have (2.04 for Intuitive parents versus 2.16 for Sensing parents) and whether they want children at all (28.7% of Thinkers do not want children, compared to 15.1% of Feelers).
Different Personality Types Approach Parenting Challenges Differently
Parents’ personality type shapes how they make decisions, resolve conflicts, and overcome difficulties.
For example, a Thinking or Judging personality type is likely to resolve parenting challenges by reading about the best or research-proven solution, while a more Sensing or Feeling type is more likely to use their instincts or draw on others’ lived experiences.
Different types may also approach authority differently.
Sensing and Feeling types tend to be more relaxed and embrace a more egalitarian family structure, where children’s opinions are just as valuable as those of their parents and conflicts are resolved through discussion or negotiation.
On the other hand, Judgment or Thinking-focused parents might prefer a more rigid family structure, where the parents are “in charge” and children do as they are told.
Different Personality Types Rate Their Own Parenting Differently
In general, Extraverted parents tend to be more confident in their parenting skills—overall, they are happier with their own parenting skills, are more satisfied with their relationships with their children, and are more likely to think their children would consider them a good parent.
More Introverted types, especially those who are more rational and independent, often have a harder time feeling satisfied with their parenting experience. They are also often more self-critical, leading to lower satisfaction scores.
Of course, these trends are flexible. Extraverted parents can still raise musically talented children, and Intuitive parents can still value family traditions.
However, understanding these general tendencies can provide valuable insights as parents navigate the most important relationships of all—their relationships with their children.