Introversion and parenting | INFJ Forum

Introversion and parenting

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Gaze, Jun 24, 2015.

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  1. Gaze

    Gaze My word . . . hmm
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    What's your experience as an introverted parent, parental figure, or caregiver? How do you think your experiences differ from an extroverted parent?

    Found this article which inspired this question. Very interesting.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/23/surviving-as-an-introverted-mother_n_7648442.html

     
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  2. Tin Man

    Tin Man "a respectable amount of screaming"

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    This is something I've thought quite a lot about. I need a lot of alone time, and the idea of taking care of something that needs almost constant care and interaction is unnerving. My brother and his wife are both extroverts, but you can see how exhausted they are taking care of just a single baby. It makes me wonder exactly how I could manage it when they enjoy being around people all day.

    And I know if I don't have enough time to myself I'll end up getting annoyed and angry, and maybe be a pretty crappy parent.
     
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  3. drummergirlbk

    drummergirlbk Community Member

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    Thinking about becoming a parent makes me very unsettled. Like [MENTION=5667]Jacobi[/MENTION] said I also have a very high need for alone time and I fear that a child would take away that time that keeps me sane. Also when I am around other people I have a very high need for intellectual interaction, and hearing something scream and cry because they can't feed them self just won't cut it for me. It's quite scary for me to think about at this point in my life to be quite honest. I might would consider it after I finished grad school, but at the same time I'm not sure if I would want to come home after a long day of teaching to a little kid running around and making a mess of everything.

    What makes it even more difficult for me is that it seems that my entire family has been pushing me to get married and have kids right away while my grandparents are still living. But I know I couldn't handle that anytime soon. I hate people in general, but people who can't have an intelligent conversation, much less little people who can't handle intelligent conversations, I really can't stand. The whole children just scares the hell out of me to the point where I've had a couple of panic attacks that have stemmed from a screaming baby. I don't know how to handle the situation. Much more knowing that the same screaming child would end up growing up and needing emotional support through that which I would be nearly completely incapable of providing is unsettling as well. My family and other people who know me ask why I don't like kids, but most of them don't understand MBTI so I can't yell at them "I'm a fucking INTJ and I hate people intruding on my fucking life". Being female really doesn't help, either since society expect you to be a warm, nurturing motherly person, and I'm just not like that at all.
     
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  4. Tin Man

    Tin Man "a respectable amount of screaming"

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    I've had very similar reactions to being around crying children. I have no idea how to react and just want to get the hell out of there. At least if I do have kids I can pull the distant father card. Whereas mothers are expected to be nurturing and emotionally expressive.
     
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  5. Misadventure

    Misadventure butt fros and asian purrs

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    Both my husband and I are introverts with 3 kids, and we manage just fine. Our house is far more peaceful than mine or his extraverted upbringing ever was.

    When it comes to crying babies, I think that's people in general. A baby's cry is supposed to be annoying to alert he parents to tend to their needs. HOWEVER, it's those parents that "tune-out" that crying and let everyone else suffer the ear-bleeding sound that drives me crazy! I was not that sort of parent when my kids were babies. If in a public place, I'd immediately go somewhere quiet to soothe my child. Fuck any one who believes in that "self-soothing" shit. And to be honest, it's most extraverts that let their babies cry like everyone around enjoys it or something. An introverted parent is far more in tune with noise pollution than an extraverted.

    Anyway, I don't think being an intro vs an extra has any effect on the desire for children. That is something that is up to everyone personally. Some people dig it, some people don't.

    I wouldn't change a thing. I love my children and would honestly have more if our income allowed it.
     
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  6. La Sagna

    La Sagna Trying to become a butterfly

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    When my kids were young it felt more like they were an extension of myself. Perhaps because I was young when I had them (19 and 23) and I never really had an independent self before that. I loved being a mom of young kids. It came naturally to me, even though they both had challenging personalities and so does their dad. It is challenging, but it's a challenge I enjoyed. It's hard when they grow up. When they're young you can't wait to have time to yourself and when they grow up you miss having time with them. When they were young I was the centre of their world, like I was their God. When they grow up you just become a tool to get what they want.
     
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  7. drummergirlbk

    drummergirlbk Community Member

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    This is another thing that bothers me about having kids. I cannot stand the thought of someone only wanting to be around me for stuff.
     
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  8. OP
    Gaze

    Gaze My word . . . hmm
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    Beginning to sound as if being introvert especially a T is almost equal to disliking children or not wanting children, which is false and unfair. I don't believe introverts including Ts are less capable of being great parents or caregivers. It's what you are willing to do or give to that child that matters. Putting aside personal feelings or needs is tough, but it's one of the key necessities of parenting but it's something most learn on the job. I am not sure it's something anyone can fully prepare for ahead of time. When someone becomes a parent, they learn along the way how to deal with this new person and how to respond. Making our minds up ahead of time about who we are going to be and how good we are or aren't going to be as parents seems a little harsh. What I like about the original article is the typical mother of course loves her children and wants to be a good parent, but she needs time alone to recoup, maybe more so than an extroverted parent. This doesn't mean she loves her children any less. As an introvert, she will more likely experience her children differently than an extroverted parent but it doesn't have to be in a negative way. Maybe she will enjoy more quieter activities with her children than more physically active endeavors, or she would prefer talking with them about something important or meaningful than many moments of continued activity or attention. And depending on the personality of the children, she will likely adapt her response to each child.
     
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  9. La Sagna

    La Sagna Trying to become a butterfly

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    Lol, it's just a natural progression. You probably did it to your parents too. I have found it hard at times but if they are raised right they still care about you and will still be there if you need them, and then when they have kids of their own they learn to really appreciate you. It's still worth it.
     
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  10. La Sagna

    La Sagna Trying to become a butterfly

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    I find it funny when people who don't have kids speculate about how they would feel. I have yet to meet someone who speculated that way and felt anywhere close to what they thought they would when they did have kids. You cannot imagine what it's like. Don't have kids if you don't want them but don't use made-up scenarios and fears to stop you because they don't resemble at all what it will be like. A lot depends on your partner, your personal situation, your support system, the personality of your kids...

    One thing I will say is that it is really important to not think that your life has to be just about your kids. It is ok and actually better if you make sure to not think that everything has to be about your kids once you have them.
     
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  11. Sriracha

    Sriracha Not here.
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    As an introverted parent, I agree with the story. I think it mostly coincides with having babies and toddlers as they are entirely dependent on you for EVERYTHING. It is very exhausting. As an introverted parent of older boys it is far easier. I think one strength that introverts project to their kids is the ability to entertain themselves. Yes I played with my kids when they were younger, but as they grew older I encouraged them to feel comfortable playing alone or I would arrange a play date with another child.

    Parenting an introverted child (my INTP) is a piece of cake (although he has his own unique issues): he has very few friends, and maybe sees them once or twice a week for just a few hours. The extroverted child is more challenging in this respect (ENFP) as I have kids knocking on my door daily asking to play with him. I know I just have to deal with it, but for Pete's Sake STOP THE INSANITY. As an ISFJ, having multiple kids over (messing up my house and eating my food) really makes me batty. I love my own children, but I am not a lover of all children ... and I think this stems from being an introvert.
     
  12. Free

    Free probably just a "like" bot
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    I was thrust into parenthood with my nephew. He is presenting as a typical ESFP with his need for the spotlight, dare-devil tendencies, and blatant disregard of rules. (all said endearingly :p). His friends constantly knock on the door, and if I allow them the play inside (which I do), the whirlwind of mess they leave behind can threaten to drive me insane. He has a need for constant attention and will actually feel slighted and betrayed if not showered with affection. Coupled with my dad who has Alzheimer's, it is an exhausting existence for an introvert. My stress levels increase far more quickly than I can reduce them. I love them dearly, and honestly adore children, but the toll it takes on me mentally is astounding. It is rare to find time to myself to unwind, or even a moment or two that is genuinely peaceful.

    I am learning more and more each day that what [MENTION=9809]La Sagna[/MENTION] says is so right, not everything revolves around your children. You are not there to entertain them 24/7. And like [MENTION=4423]Sriracha[/MENTION] mentioned, I also believe an introverted parent can better encourage a child to play alone and to be more independent.

    It is so important to be able to have those moments to yourself as an introvert. It will keep you sane, and thus those that depend on you will be better off. Sometimes it’s just a matter of logistics in getting alone time, sometimes it isn’t possible at all. But when it is, I take advantage of it fully. A sane me, even if only at half sanity, ensures everyone else’s happiness.
     
  13. Scientia

    Scientia A true lady

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    I disliked children until I had one. I fell in love with him. I had another and love both of them more than my own life. I still needed downtime to recharge.
     
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