The Importance of Knowing Your Child’s Personality

A few months ago, while nursing Lexi to sleep, I was on a Facebook Gentle Parenting group reading someone’s post about their daughter. I think she was refering to her daughter being an extrovert and her being an introvert and the difficulty surrounding her parenting due to that.

After reading her post, something clicked in my mind. The way she was describing her daughter seemed very much like Lexi: high excitement, high energy, non-stop movement unless she is doing something that requires her attention, constantly needing attention, not playing on her own.

I had always thought Alexis was high needs in the best possible way when she was little but some things just didn’t jive. She wasn’t sensitive in a way high needs children tend to be, she just needed a lot of attention and was very specific in what she liked (which was not being constrained)

This new idea suddenly made sense.

Lexi isn’t  high needs, she is an EXTROVERT. I can see her normal high level of energy best when she is sick. When she is sick or very tired, she will actually sit still, or play on her own (when she is not attached to my boob which is most of the time when sick) or will ask to go to sleep or will fall asleep in random places like a stroller. She will calmly stay where I put her (like a stroller for example) and not try to get out. She will fall asleep quickly. She will display all the characteristics of an easy child when she has no energy. What does that say? That says that when she is healthy, she doesn’t do the “convenient for parents things“, because she is energetic, she is driven, she is determined, she cares, she is involved, she demands attention. But why?

I still didn’t have a clear understanding of how being extroverted influences her personality, only a feeling that I just come upon something life changing.

So I continued to research the whole extroversion versus introversion thing and I bumped into an interesting book called “Nurture by Nature“, that goes over 16 personality types (Myers Briggs adapted to children) and explains your child’s personality and how it interacts with the outside world. Up until then  I didn’t have a solid backing on my theory of her being extrovert and all the behaviors stemming from it. However this book completely opened my eyes and just absolutely blew my mind, it verified all my thoughts about her being an extrovert and what makes her a high-energy child and has completely changed how I see her, myself and other people. It made so much sense and was so helpful that it should be mandatory reading for new parents.

Extroversion, among a few other personality traits explained everything:  the inability to sit still, the hatred of car seats or anything that confines her, her need to be constantly engaged and doing something, lack of interest in playing alone, little sleep and a big breastfeeding attachment.

PERSONALITYTYPE

Typing Your Children’s Personalities.

So I decided to look into it more, pick up some more books on what extroverts needed in case I was missing something.

I am honestly still in shock as I type this from how precisely I was able to determine our personalities and how SPOT ON  the descriptions were for both me, Lexi and Andrew.

Not only does the book let you type your child’s personality and read about it, but it gives suggestions as to how to treat them, so that they would grow up with their weak points as strengths and their strong points not taking over them completely.

Most people who grew up in America have at least heard of Myers Briggs, but rarely applied that to children, but children, just like adults, have their own personalities from day 1.

It turns out that aside from the obvious Extrovert/Introvert, there are 3 other scales of characteristics.  And each person has their INBORN type that they can’t change, though it can be developed differently depending on their upbringing and their effort.
For example a Feeling type (sensitive emotional), if not reinforced and reassured constantly, can grow up into a person, who is not in control of their emotions and is completely inadequate in his reactions, lack self-esteem or angry and hateful. However if properly nurtured, they can also be highly compassionate, loving people who know how to recognize and deal with their highly emotional nature.

So here are the four sliding scales of personalities:

Extrovert (E) – Introvert (I)
Sensing (S) -Intuitive (N)
Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)
Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)

We all fall into one of the four categories, it’s inborn and cannot be changed, it can be stronger or weaker, but our natural preference is always leaning towards one or the other, with a few people being towards the middle.

I am going to go over each category and then show you how precise the typing can be with Lexi’s example. The key to determining each category is not the behavior of that person but INNER DRIVE. Not what they learned to do, but what brings them energy and what comes naturally if no behavior modifications are made.

Extrovert – a person who enjoys and is energized by people around him and gets drained when alone.
Introvert – a person who prefers being alone and is drained by being surrounded by people.

Sensing – living in now, tactile, liking things around them, exploring.
Intuitive – Dreaming, wishing, living in the possibilities and in the future, full of ideas, highly creative and imaginative.

Thinking – very logical, bases decisions on facts, does not let emotions get involved, straight shooter.
Feeling – highly emotional, compassionate, loving, bases decisions on matters of the heart, does not always act logically, let their emotions rule their decisions.

Judging – likes order, plans everything, enjoys making decisions, rules, likes to finish projects, be proactive and productive, rigid.
Perceiving – spontaneous, prefers flexibility, likes to start projects, rarely finishes anything, does not adhere to time limits, does not like making decisions.

Each one of us has a natural tendency to be either of the two on the 4 spectrums. Where we land is what determines how we live life,  how we see the world, interact with people, what weaknesses and strengths we have and how we react to events in our lives.

Typing a two year old normally isn’t easy, because they haven’t fully developed many of the actions described, however the book brings up a lot of examples and has a really good system using process of elimination that will most likely ensure that you can type your kid as early as 2-3.

After thoroughly reading each characteristic, I came up with two of them that was a definite for Lexi:

Extrovert and Feeling.

As an extrovert, Lexi LOVES being around people, she gets bored very quickly when staying home which is why most of our activities are outside of home. We do lots of classes because early on I noticed how much she thrived going to
classes and being around people. At the playgrounds she seeks out kids a few years old than her and follows them trying to talk and play with them. She does not tolerate being alone as it drains her energy. She wants to play with one of us at all times (which is why my number one complaint has always been not being able to do ANYTHING, cook, clean, work, when she is awake). She lights up when people pay attention to her and often comes up to strangers and gets their attention. She goes a bit crazy when there is a lot of attention surrounding her and goes into overdrive, showing off.

The feeling characteristic has been the most important for me to learn about, because I am the opposite. I am thinking and I do not understand highly emotional people. Lexi displays a lot of compassion towards other people and animals,
she is very loving, soft and sweet. She also reacts very stronly to negative emotions ( read Gentle parenting post as an example of how she reacts to raised voices), she can sense when my husband and I are arguing and gets upset instantly.
She needs a lot of comfort, emotional support and always listens intently when I talk about her emotions. She asks to be made feel better when she is feeling bad. This characteristics is most likely the reason why she is so attached to breastfeeding and really needs the comfort and closeness of it.

Her dad is also Feeling ( Andrew and Lexi have the same type if I typed her correctly), and that has been very difficult for me to live with, because I am of a belief that an adult should have control of their emotions (I don’t expect the
same of kids, of course). Our biggest contentions with each other usually stem from the fact that I am rational and confident in love and decision making and Andrew, as a feeling person, needs a lot of reassurance,
acts mostly using his emotions and gets hurt really easily. Now that we both understand why these things are an issue, it is going to be an interesting road to change in behavior.

The other two are a little bit more difficult to type because they qualify more advanced actions that two year olds usually do not posess, however I am pretty sure I got them right for Lexi:

Intuitive and Perceiving

I was most doubtful about whether she is Intuitive or Sensing, because as a 2 year old she likes to do both: get down and dirty, be hands on, play with everything, as well as day dream, come up with stories, be imaginative, draw. But
comparing the two full personalities with the other characteristics tied in, there was no doubt that Intuitive is the right description of her. (and now that she is 2.5, I can see that she is MAJORLY Intuitive )

Her Intuitive features have recently come to light with the advent of pretend games and better dexterity. Her most favorite thing to do is to draw, she loves playing superheros, and constantly comes up with stories and plays
with whatever toys she has putting them in different situations and talking to them. She is drawn to creative activities more than tactile, though she likes to get hands on as well.

As a Perceiving child, she is very flexible and dislikes routines (which OMG now makes so much sense), everything is open ended for her. She starts a million games and doesn’t finish them before starting a new one, she is spontaneous for a 2 year old and absolutely loves when we just decide to go somewhere spur of the moment. She has absolutely NO problems with change of plans, lack of routine and, in fact, thrives in that kind of exciting environment. It also explains her apparent lack of need for a routine. When we travel and spice things up, she is the most happy since she was 6 months old. Her sleep “schedule” never got disturbed with changes in routine or travel ( in fact, nothing influences her sleep schedule at all, except how much we exhaust her with activities lol)

So here is her type description (in short as it applies to her age), which ABSOLUTELY VALIDATES AND REAFFIRMS EVERYTHING I KNEW ABOUT HER, I just didn’t know WHY.

 

ENFP- Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving

Title: “A great Idea? I’ve got a Million of them”
Tag Line: “It’s pointless telling her something can’t be done. For her, where there is a will, there’s a way”

Once the personality is typed, the book goes over their descriptions and help with parenting this type for each age range: birth to 4, 5-10, teens and adult possibilities. Here is a short description of Lexi’s personality for her age:

Birth to Age 4

“Perhaps the most outstanding characteristic common to all young ENFPs is their high energy level. They are almost always  full of exuberance and excitement about people and new experiences. Preschool ENFPs instantly notice anything novel  (…) and are eager to explore and play with new toys. Rarely hesitant or reserved (…), they are very energized by being with other people and become more wound up, the more people they interact with.

ENFPs are usually very eager to see, touch, and experience the world. (…) they like to be out of the house and tend to become bored and cranky on the days they have to stay home. (…) ENFPs are usually able to express themselves well
even before they start to talk. While they tend to be loud and demanding babies, they are also delightful and exciting (…) While they prefer to be upright and able to see their environments, they also like to be snuggled and are very
affectionate. Even very young ENFPs are nearly always described as creative and imaginative. (…) it’s a true hallmark of ENFPs. Most are big talkers, very curious and full of questions (…) From toddler years, art is usually a favorite
activity. [they] also enjoy music, dancing and putting on spontaneous performances for family and friends.

In addition to their high energy level and active imagination, preschool ENFPs are deeply caring and sensitive children. ENFPs are particularly aware of their parents’ feelings and tend to become anxious if they sense that their parents
are worried or frightened. They have a strong need for harmony and do not like to upset others.

Raising ENFPs

While ENFPs are interesting, exciting and stimulating children, they are also exhausting. They never seem to slow down, rest or stop talking. Their parents are often worn out by midday ( We laughed at this part because we both can attest
to this), because ENFPs always choose to be with someone, parents rarely get a much needed break to recharge themselves before the next round of adventures. (…). We love our ENFPs natural enthusiasm and know they are happiest when allowed to explore their surroundings to their hearts content.

As adults, if having their personality properly nurtured, they grow into clever, responsive, warm, imaginative people. When encouraged, they can be ingenious problem solvers, loving and accepting, independent, confident originals with a
multitude of talents and a resilience to overcome obstacles.”

AMAZING, RIGHT?

IMG_2401

Each type doesn’t come without its weaknesses and I am grateful to this book for giving me the heads up on how to help Lexi become the best person she can be based on her personality.
ENFPs can have trouble finishing projects, or doing boring tasks alone (like homework), they do not like remembering facts, but prefer to speculate. This will prove difficult in school, so it’s important to teach them how to properly
manage their time closer to school age, as well as keep them company with boring tasks that drain her energy.

Her feeling nature will mean she will be sensitive to criticism and negativity, so it is our job as parents to help her deal with those feelings and teach her how to control them, as well as give enough reassurance to create self-confidence that
will make her resilient to the cruel world.

This understanding of my daughter’s type and my type will also give me a better toolkit on how to best interact with her. I was already parenting Lexi the way I should have for her personality by using my personal beliefs, child development knowledge and gentle parenting ( you can’t go wrong with gentle parenting for any type), however this opened my eyes to her needs even more and now I can parent even more consciously, knowing her limitations and needs. It’s important to me to know WHY I am doing certain things (Thinking), rather than just go off of a feeling, and this has really given me the explanation I craved and further refined the importance of being even more understanding and encouraging with Lexi, given that she is a Feeling personality.

My personal type is ENTJ. I am an Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging (though my last characteristic is very mild, as I do not like routines, like spontaneity and challenge or don’t accept rules unless they make sense to mewhich are Perceiving characteristics, I still think probably my Judging side is more natural than perceiving since I do thrive on to-do lists and productivity and go crazy when things aren’t in order and love planning and preparing).

My personality makes it difficult for me to understand people who use emotions as their base for decision, who get hurt easily and take things personally, those who don’t finish what they started and don’t make plans and preparations. So understanding, that it isn’t lack of maturity, self-discipline, drive or self-control that makes Feeling people lose control of their emotions or  Perceiving people never finishing their projects and put things off till the last second  (like I thought before), but their inborn preferences that have not been “optimized”, will help me be a better parent and a better partner.

It’s more of an issue with my husband as I hold adults to very high standards while believing in letting children explore and learn whichever way they like. These personality types can certainly make or break a relationship and would be important for work, personal relationships, marriage success, parenting. It would simply help people understand each other. Because based on just my experience alone, recognizing these types has made me realize that most of disagreements my husband and I ever get into have to do with our complete opposite ways of seeing the world and reacting to it (I am a get-her-done’r and he is an idea man who never finishes them (which is why we WERE AWESOME when we worked together as our strengths complimented each other); I am logical, he is emotional).

If you’re interested in reading and typing your child, you can do it by reading this book: Nurture by Nature

{P.s. This isn’t a sponsored post, or a review. It’s a book I personally bought when researching extroversion and loved reading and have no affiliation with the authors, in case that wasn’t clear in the post}

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Verna
    October 6, 2014 at 5:58 AM

    VERY cool! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Verna
      October 8, 2014 at 8:06 AM

      I love the skirt you’re wearing in this post. Do you mind sharing the brand?

      • Reply
        Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
        October 8, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        It’s Garnet Hill but they don’t have it right now. It shows up seasonally. The best freaking skirt ever 🙂

        • Reply
          Verna
          October 8, 2014 at 1:23 PM

          I’ll keep an eye out for it! I love it! The pockets are awesome! Thanks! 😉

  • Reply
    kay
    October 7, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Have you read this http://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2013/mar/19/myers-briggs-test-unscientific.

    It’s interesting to learn about our kids’ scientific personalities, but surely, us parents know them best!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 8, 2014 at 12:56 AM

      LOL The author of that article clearly knows nothing about Myers Briggs or the concept behind it. There are many gross misstatements about the theory that he bases his arguments on.

      The book doesn’t TELL us about our kids, it lets us use our knowledge of their personalities to help understand them better

  • Reply
    Shadia
    October 7, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Interesting post. You don’t think it would be a little too early to determine what your child’s personality will be? I think it’s safe to say that the majority of kids at that age (and even older and younger) tend to be that way. They want to play all day, they’re very friendly, they’re learning to express emotion, throw tantrums to let you know they have a mind of their own, etc. but I don’t believe that has to necessarily be indicative of what type of personality they will have, a child will be and that’s enough for me. Just my opinion. 🙂

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 8, 2014 at 12:55 AM

      After learning a bit more about the personality types I can see the difference in so many kids ( those that I know well) and we have also discussed it with many of my friends. It is so precise on both children and adults that is hard to ignore. I think it just takes one person typing themselves to see that ( properly typing , not taking the test. You have to have a good understanding of how the types work).
      The best example is Lexi’s best friend Alexa, who is an introvert and their behaviors and reactions are completely different, given very similar parenting styles and environment. Yes they both play all day, and are emotional, but it goes WAY beyond a typical toddler behavior. It’s how they react to unknown, to negative events, to unexpected, what preferences they have, . Everything can only be understood in comparisons, and as any mom of a TRULY extroverted child will tell you, strong extroverts are a different breed, just like strong introverts are. And no the majority of kids aren’t the same as Lexi, they are all completely different from her an from each other, each having their own personalities and preferences.

      I guess one needs to know it then and see it in action to believe it.

      • Reply
        Shadia
        October 8, 2014 at 9:53 AM

        Never did I compare ALL kids to Lexi or Lexi to all kids. She’s a beautiful child and of course has a mind of her own. I merely stated that at this age, they do have similarities. If at an early age, our personalities could be determined, the world would be different! We would know exactly what to expect from people as adults and I just don’t believe that’s possible. These studies are out just like they are for adults and still I don’t believe that we can categorize ourselves in any of the personality types. We may have things in common with that type but it doesn’t mean that’s who we are. 🙂

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          October 8, 2014 at 12:23 PM

          Even with similarities (which like you said there are a lot at this stage), you can still clearly see different personalities and preferences. I guess what I am saying without reading about them, it’s hard to see/believe what I am saying, but it is spot on and awesome. It doesn’t square them into a personality, it’s more like an “Aha!” since no one is 100% anything, but it’s the inclinations that you can see in each.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    October 7, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Very interesting post!! My little girl will be 1 at the end of is month. I can see more and more of her personality emerging the older she gets. My baby is very outgoing and loves being around other kids. She has also started throwing little temper tantrums-which lets me know she is very passionate! Lol How old does my baby need to be before I can start charting her personality? Would she need to be talking, or could I start now?

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 8, 2014 at 1:00 AM

      I would read the book so you know what to watch out for in the coming months. I can say that while I am not sure if I would be able to type her personality as early as a 6 months, looking back I see some of the qualities in her very clearly.

      You would certainly be able to determine certain characteristics that you have witnessed and know about her and then continue watching and refining. Then re-read it when she is 2.

      Tantrums don’t necessarily mean a passionate person, but the book might help you learn how to deal with her better. Tantrums usually mean that she is forming a sense of identity and counterwill.

  • Reply
    Irina
    October 7, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    Interesting stuff! I would like to read this book. I have always viewed Myers Briggs on the same plane as horoscopes – entertaining, insightful but way too general and subjective to really be used to make any decisions. (by the same token I know some people who actually make investment decisions based on the planetary movement, so go figure) If you find that this helps you be a better parent, though, I am all for it 🙂

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 8, 2014 at 1:04 AM

      Definitely not. Horoscopes are fun but they are hit or miss and more like religion, as far as I am concerned. Myers Briggs is based on your observations of your child/adult and I have to tell you so far it has been INCREDIBLY consistent. Like crazy stuff…
      If you have the time, read it. I think you might be surprised. Ino that is online doesn’t get to the root of MB, so it’s always interpreted incorrectly (like, their tests are a joke if you don’t know MB). You have to understand the basis of the theory to truly see how it fits. Because we have inborn personalities AND we also have the environments, upbringing as well as personal adjustments we make to our personality through the years, but what drives us is always our inborn characteristics, whether we work hard at modifying our behavior or not.

  • Reply
    Chelsea
    October 8, 2014 at 4:28 AM

    Your post inspired me to take a personality test and I was shocked at how accurate the results were. I am ISFJ and really enjoyed reading about what it had to say.
    I am encouraging my husband to take it so I can learn more about him. I really want to pick this book up right away and get some insight about my daughter. I am wondering if she is too young to know exactly what her personality type is though? She is 13 months. Does it address personality vs. toddler behavior?
    I do know for certain I am an introvert raising an extrovert. Heaven help us!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 8, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      I would stay away from taking the test before you fully understand how the personality types work. The test has a chance of being very accurate but it also picks up a lot of behavior rather than actual personality. And wow Feeling Judging- that’s an interesting combination, I am curious how these two go together 🙂
      LIke I commented before, I am not sure that you will be able to precisely type her at that age, but you could start getting an idea. If you read the excerpt from the book on how Lexi is, you can see that it’s pretty specific and when you read other personality types they have very different qualities, so you can very much tell at 2, so at 1 you will probably have a decent guess as to some characteristics.

      Moreover, the book will help you understand yourself and husband more than even your child. And yes, it certain does touch on the differences on TODDLER behavior specifically, since there are so many similarities at that age.

  • Reply
    MrsFun
    October 8, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    This is interesting to me. I never really thought about my child’s personalty at such a young age. I just found what worked for them and went with it.
    My daughter, now 18 is an introvert, very quiet and shy. At age 3 she was loud, would talk to anyone and loved to be out doing things over being home. Now, she’d rather rent a movie and stay in on a friday night.
    My son who was painfully shy at the age of three(didn’t even talk until after his 3rd birthday), he cried when we would go to a birthday party because he hated loud noises and people touching him, talking to him. Now, at 14 he is a fire cadet, lots of loud noises, loves for the little kids in his life to jump on him and wrestle with him. He finds any excuse to get out of this house and socialize.
    My other two kids, still haven’t figured them out, lol. One is funny and outgoing around people he knows, he’s a mime around strangers. The other is quiet, so quiet, except from age 3-7, he was the king of tantrums. Now he’s almost too level headed for his own good.

    I wonder what a personality test would say about them now compared to if I did one when they were 3. I’m guessing they’d get different results.
    But it’s good to know what makes your child tick and what works for them at every growing stage of their lives.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 8, 2014 at 11:28 PM

      15 years is a lot of time to change, adjust to circumstances and environment. We are fluid and flexible. Our brain and how we react changes to what is around us. The MB concept isn’t about your behavior, it’s about what DRIVES you. Your daughter’s quietness could have been learned, parented, etc. Your son’s courage and extroversion could be something that he does for his job. Obviously, you know your kids better than anyone else, but I wouldn’t discount MB just because your children changed behaviors. Inborn personalities according to MB when parented differently or in different environments manifest differently. I know a couple of introverts (by their own admission), who you would never think are introverts because they have learned to be fun and social. But when push comes to shove, being around people drains them more than being alone.

      It’s good to hear different stories and, whatever MB is, what it did is helped realize a few things that will only benefit our family.

      • Reply
        MrsFun
        October 11, 2014 at 2:53 PM

        That is my point, as we grow we change. So I don’t see using this method on a 3 year an end all to that child’s personality.
        Glad it was helpful for you but I wouldn’t need something so complex to understand my 3 year olds, or 7 year olds, or 13 year olds because every year brings something new. I knew/know my kids personality and what they loved, what worked for them and what didn’t at each stage of their lives without a book. Let’s talk when Lexi is 10 and you have some more experience with parenting. You might understand what I’m saying.

  • Reply
    ME
    October 8, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    What is your take on this article
    http://www.vox.com/2014/7/15/5881947/myers-briggs-personality-test-meaningless
    Which states among a lot of other things. “The Myers-Briggs is useful for one thing: entertainment. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking the test as a fun, interesting activity, like a BuzzFeed quiz. as well as
    “It’s 2014. Thousands of professional psychologists have evaluated the century-old Myers-Briggs, found it to be inaccurate and arbitrary, and devised better systems for evaluating personality. Let’s stop using this outdated measure — which has about as much scientific validity as your astrological sign — and move on to something else.”
    It was especially interesting to me as I had to take the text at my current job which they based certain assignments and projects which certain “personality types” were given. Now reading the article it is pretty clear that is was pretty much a waste of time and resources. Does the article make you rethink the importance you have placed on knowing Lexi or your husbands personality types when thousands of experts state it is completely arbitrary and inaccurate?

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 8, 2014 at 11:41 PM

      Once again, I totally see where the article is coming from, but that’s if you’re talking about a test, rather than an actual analysis of personality and drive (which is where the book I quoted is amazing). I wouldn’t even bother with a test, because without better understanding on how to answer these questions, it wouldn’t be correct, it would just pick up behavior or learned personality. These are not yes or no questions, these are patterns, feelings and observations. This isn’t meant to be taken as a hard line. It’s supposed to be a flexible guide. Like I mentioned I fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between judging and perceiving, but after many hours of thinking and analyzing I have realized that my judging side is more natural, because it has more of a drive. And that has also helped me IMMENSELY. Things that made no sense to me before (events that would make me angry or happy) suddenly started making sense. There was almost a sense of relief with that.

      I never read Myers Briggs themselves, and I’ve looked at tests and questions and I don’t believe them accurate.

      Your article says that most people fall somewhere in between, and that is true, that is what Nurture by Nature validates. I can find an article disproving pretty much ANYTHING, including that breastmilk is better for babies than formula. That doesn’t say anything. And taking MB personalities too seriously is like believing in horoscope. However, everything that I have been able to learn from it has been 100% validated by observation for the three of us.

      (Also this is an aside, but most of my friends typed themselves with my help and we were all shocked on how precise it was. Once again.)

      Either way, anything that makes you take a hard look at yourself, your spouse and your children is a winner in my book. I spent the last 20 years analyzing myself and my behavior and desires in trying to further improve it and further it, so any concepts that propel me forward are a welcome change.

      • Reply
        irina
        October 9, 2014 at 2:49 AM

        LOL – the last 20 years – I think it is a typo? Are you saying you started self analysis at the tender age of 10 or 11? Even for our sensitive and brooding Russian souls it sounds a little early 🙂

        Like I said, I am all for tools that make us better parents, be it personality typing, horoscopes, eating for your blood type or whatever 🙂 The on;y thing that gives me pause here is the fact that the authors are not really experts on children. The husband in this dynamic duo is the Org Behavior specialist, and is experienced in dealing with adults, the lady does not seem to have any psychology education whatsoever and they do work with corporations and law firms (where they are very successful). So, I am not sure how they are qualified to make parenting suggestions.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          October 9, 2014 at 2:12 PM

          Yes, I started improving myself on more basic levels in 2nd grade.
          I understand your reservations about the theory and the book and that’s perfectly fine 🙂

          • Irina
            October 9, 2014 at 2:26 PM

            That’s awesome! I actually think self awareness, analysis and improvement are very important. I thought that my generation was probably the last to even think in those terms in Russia, but seems like younger people have been carrying on the torch 🙂 I am now super curious, and it is probably not a conversations for the comments, but I gotta ask – what do you mean by self improvement in 2nd grade? Was it conscious based on your own thoughts, or based on the prompts of teachers/parents? Was your desire for self betterment related to sports, school work or other skills? What did you parents do to promote this? If this is too much to answer, I understand 🙂

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            October 10, 2014 at 12:12 AM

            My mom was too preoccupied with the shit going on with my sister at that time to pay much attention to what I was doing aside from just taking care of me and supporting me in whatever it was I chose to do. And I was very self-sufficient so I didn’t ask for much attention. I never had the kind of teachers that cared too much beyond the classroom either, so no, I didn’t have any adults in my life to direct me, but based on my personality that is for the better. I didn’t have anyone to shut me down, so to say.

            In the second grade I consciously fought to be in an advanced class (I had to beg my mom to go talk to my teacher to assign me there, because it was by random selection and based on whose parents went to ask and of course my mom wasn’t the kind of person to do it, I came home crying and asking her. She was so shocked that she went even though she later told me she never did such things before, like ask people to do something for her), and it was the turning point for me where I understood the importance of schooling and was actively trying to do really well in school and study things beyond what we were taught. I would pick up my dad’s books about space and study the names of planets and terms. I found an old college anatomy book and was reading it. A year or two later, I would read English dictionary daily opening it in a random place and memorizing the words. Sometime in kindergarden, I had asked my dad to hang a big world map on the wall so that could learn all the countries and capitals ( and I actually did know virtually all of them by age 6). So at that age it was mostly knowledge related. Those are just the examples I remember. I don’t remember much from my childhood before age 7-8.

            It could have started earlier, since I’ve always been a self-starter, but the only memory I have before age 8 is when I was 4 and in day care, my sister dropped me off saying she would pick me up early, right after school. Being 4 I had no sense of time, so I waited for about 15 minutes in the locker room (i remember clearly that it had seemed like eternity) and when she didn’t return after 15 minutes, I had decided that I had to go get her. I put on my sweater and walked out of day care, walked all the way to her school ( maybe 2-3 miles), walked up to the massive wooden door, and tried to open it. Of course I couldn’t, but at that time a teacher came out and was shocked to see such a little girl by the door. She had asked me what I was doing there and I had told her that I was looking for my sister. it turned out to be her home room teacher so she recognized her name and took me to my sister’s class. They let me sit there at the back of the class drawing on the biggest paper I could imagine (I think it was cherchenie, you remember that subject?) and I drew till the end of the class. I don’t remember much after that, only that all the adults were so shocked they kept stiffling laughs while trying to tell me how dangerous what I had done was.

            That’s my story that can pretty much sum up my personality in a nutshell. (off to sleep, sorry for typos and lack of punctuation, it’s too late)

          • Irina
            October 10, 2014 at 1:51 PM

            Thank you for replying! it is quite a story, and very moving, and I think explains a lot about how you learn things. I do remember your kindergarden story 🙂 from the past post (not sure which post exactly). I will probably reply to you via email, because I do not want to post anything too personal on the web (not a privacy freak, but still… which is why blogging is not for me!)

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            October 11, 2014 at 1:29 AM

            Sounds good 🙂

  • Reply
    Elena
    October 15, 2014 at 2:57 AM

    Thank you, Elena! I get so much great ideas from your blog. As you said, it made SO MUCH sense! And I haven’t eve read the book yet, just your post. It’s just my child personality type that makes him the way he is, I won
    t go in the details 🙂 Can’t wait to read the book. Thank you! :-*

  • Reply
    Emily
    February 26, 2015 at 3:46 PM

    A few months late, I wanted to thank you for this post. I immediately read Nurture by Nature and loved it. My son is about to turn 2 and although I can clearly identify him as an extrovert, I’ve had trouble narrowing down the other types. I plan to reread the book in another 6 months to see if I can better identify as he further develops. I recently bought “MotherStyles” which addresses Myers-Briggs in regards to parenting tendencies. I think Nurture by Nature was significantly better than MotherStyles, but I also thought they complimented each other well. Anyway, just wanted to thank you for introducing me to this.

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