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I find parenting to be endlessly fascinating. And challenging. It’s a never-ending, always-changing growth opportunity for me as much as Nathan.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about some ways that my personality affects my parenting. There are aspects of my personality – not necessarily weaknesses, just matter of fact elements – that make certain parts of parenting difficult and draining. I think everyone has these, but they will differ greatly depending on each parent and each child.

If you read through information about INFPs as parents it says things like:

INFPs do not like conflict situations.


[INFPs] will let the children have their own voice and place in the family.

I see these, and other statements about my parenting style, to absolutely ring true. And I want to be this way. There isn’t any other way I can imagine living my life or loving my family. But sometimes these ways of living rub places raw, especially where my personality rubs up against my child’s personality and developmental stage.

My quest for family harmony and for my child to feel listened to comes full-stop to a dead end when it means having to listen to a child whine and complain and hit and scream because they would rather listen to Nickel Creek than Mumford & Sons on a short ride between errands- not that we’ve ever encountered this situation…ahem. I suddenly realized last week that there are things I cannot harmonize for an almost three-year-old, willful, opinionated little boy. I can do my best, but sometimes there is no available compromise. In the micro situation there will be lack of harmony for the sake of greater harmony in the bigger picture which should look like an older child or an adult who can take disappointment without pitching a fit.

I am no pushover, and was not always giving in, but I really was feeling some emotional distress and fatigue on the days when toddler tantrums outnumbered toddler satisfaction. I hope that my new realization will help me weather this age more peacefully, if not with a more peaceful child.