Portrait of the Introverted Sensing Child (ISJ)

(Introverted Sensing Judging)


ISJ Traits

  1. Quiet and thoughtful
  2. Very practical and realistic
  3. They need stability and routine
  4. May be very private - rarely sharing their feelings and thoughts
  5. They want to know the rules, and expect everyone to follow them
  6. They are unsettled by change
  7. They're constantly seeking information about things
  8. Cautious and reserved about meeting new people
  9. Don't like to be the center of attention
  10. They are very selective and choosy
  11. They're very aware and protective of their bodies
  12. They're extremely literal
  13. Seem older than they are
  14. Usually good with money
  15. Conservative and traditional
  16. Have strong opinions about things, and don't like to compromise
  17. They are neat and clean
  18. They enjoy participating in sports and team activities

Potential Strengths

  1. They generally respect authority figures and don't give a lot of trouble
  2. They usually like school and do well there
  3. Have excellent memory for details and facts
  4. Organized and efficient
  5. Strong appreciation for aesthetic beauty
  6. Patient
  7. Loyal
  8. They're very hard-working
  9. They're very dependable and responsible

Potential Weaknesses

  1. They can be set in their ways, and have trouble adapting to new situations
  2. They fear and resist change
  3. Need a lot of time to get used to a new idea or environment before they are OK with it
  4. Quick to reject things that they don't have direct experience with
  5. Need to have the rules explicitly defined or they will be lost
  6. May become upset when the rules are not followed
  7. They're unable to extrapolate things from one situation into another
  8. Distrustful of new people and situations
  9. They may have difficulty opening up and sharing their feelings
  10. They're very controlling, and need to always be in control of their situation

ISJ Learning Style

ISJ children observe everything. They are constantly gathering facts and storing them away in their brains for future reference. They use this store of facts to pull information out when they are presented with a problem or new situation. They are unsettled when they are presented with situations or problems and don't have any facts in their personal "database" to apply to find a solution. If their information storehouse doesn't have any helpful information, they don't know how to think about the situation or solve the problem, and feel incapable of facing the new situation. To minimize this problem, any new thoughts should be framed within the context of known data for the ISJ. All known facts about the new situation should be presented clearly to the ISJ. If the new situation is similar to something that is already within the experience of the ISJ, that should be pointed out, i.e. "Division is just like Multiplication, which we already know. The rules are just switched around."

ISJ children want to know exactly what is expected of them. The goal for any particular assignment should be made crystal clear. ISJ children do not have the ability to resolve ambiguity on their own. Assignments that are open-ended and require a lot of creativity will be unsettling and perhaps frightening to the ISJ.

ISJ children learn best by example and hands-on experience. They will have difficulty learning how to do something by description or theory. They like to have their tasks defined as steps in a plan. They do not work best when given a general goal and left alone to do it their own way. They need to understand exactly what to do, and learn this best by actually seeing it done or doing it themselves. Describing how it should work in theory will leave the ISJ confused and perhaps fearful about what they are supposed to do.

ISJ children like to perform tasks as if they were following specific steps in a plan. When they are given tasks that they cannot put into a plan, or cannot pre-define what steps to take to achieve their goal, they are likely to be completely lost as to how to complete the assignment.

ISJ children do not have good access to their Intuitive function at this age. Accordingly, they cannot read between the lines in any situation, and cannot extrapolate any hidden meaning from words or situations. They will have real difficulty identifying and understanding any kind of symbolism or metaphors. They cannot extrapolate known rules from one situation into another similar situation. They need to have as many facts as possible about any assignment and goal to be able to do their best work.

ISJs are hard workers and usually excellent students. They respect their teachers and authority figures in general. They are responsible about doing their homework, and try very hard to do a good job.

Teachers and other adults should give the ISJ time to absorb facts and ideas before you expect them to be able to talk about the ideas, or answer any questions. The ISJ child needs more time than most to incorporate new ideas into their tremendous "storehouse" of ideas. Once they have learned something, it is retained essentially forever, and is at the ISJ's disposal for future use.

ISJ Special Needs

More so than any other personality type, ISJs need routine and consistency in their lives. The ISJ who doesn't have stable roots will be very afraid approaching any new situation. Since almost all experiences are new for children, this could be a very big problem for your child! The ISJ child needs to feel secure and safe, and their feeling of security comes in large part from having a stable home environment, where they know what to expect and expectations for their own behavior are clearly defined.

ISJs respect schedules and rules, and are upset when others don't. If they are supposed to be somewhere at 3:00, they want to be there absolutely no later than 3:00! They can become very distraught over the parent who delivers them there at 3:15 or even 3:05. So, for the sake of your ISJ child, be on time!

ISJs are very in tune with their bodies, and very aware of their bodily needs. They want regular sleep and meals, and will become unsettled quickly if they suffer in want of sleep or food. They will usually go to bed cheerfully without fussing. Parents of an ISJ should make sure that the ISJ can keep a consistent schedule for food and sleep.

ISJ children have a strong need to belong and feel like part of a community. Parents should encourage involvement in group activities, such as sports teams, church groups, or musical groups. The ISJ child will find these group activities highly rewarding, and will in all likelihood carry this "community involvement" habit into adulthood.

ISJ children need to have rules spelled out very clearly. They cannot extrapolate rules from one situation into another, and need to have guidelines clearly defined in order to understand what is expected of them.

ISJ children are recharged by spending time alone. They need time alone to sift through all of the facts that they gather during the day. Parents should respect this need, and recognize that it is healthy for their children to spend some time alone.

ISJs don't do well being introduced to new things, such as new foods or new places. Parents can ease the introduction of new things by comparing the new thing to something that the child already knows, or by giving them lots of facts about the new experience. Parents can expect that the ISJ will need time to absorb a new situation before they're comfortable with it.

Young ISJs will greatly appreciate the chance to show you what they know. Let them show you their favorite toys or projects and let them tell you all about them. They will open up and become excited, and appreciate the fact that you are interested in what interests them.

The "Missing" Letter

Adult personality types contain four letters, while for kids aged 7-12 we use three letter types. What happened to the missing letter? It's there, we just can't usually determine what it is until after a child is in their teens. Sometimes it becomes apparent when a child is around thirteen years old, sometimes as late as eighteen years old. ISJ kids will grow up to be either ISTJ "Duty Fulfillers" or ISFJ "Nurturers". At this stage in their development, it's not obvious whether they complement their Sensing function with Thinking or Feeling. You may have a sense which one the ISJ prefers, but we often have to wait until a person is well into their teens before we can determine their adult personality type.

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