Personality and Kids

"Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique.
In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you."
-- Pablo Casals

Every human being is unique, and has a different way of looking at and interacting with the world. Children have different talents that develop as they grow and practice. If a child's natural talents and ways of thinking are suppressed or corrected repeatedly by an adult who has great influence over them, that child will likely develop self-doubt and may have a long, difficult road to travel in order to become a self-confident adult. As well-meaning grown-ups, we do best when we recognize and acknowledge that everyone is not the same, and that our children's strengths may differ from our own. We can and should recognize children's different styles of learning and interacting, and promote the best possible development of their natural strengths and weaknesses.

One very powerful way to encourage the optimal development of a child is to use the model of Psychological Type to better understand the child and ourselves. In order to fully benefit from this system, it's important for adults to understand their own personality type, as well as that of their children. We need to not only understand why our children act in certain ways, but also to understand why we have certain expectations of their behavior. It's equally important to remember not to box children into categories that may limit their development. Discovering your child's personality type will help you to understand them better, and to create environments for them that enhance their natural strengths. It should not be seen as a absolute predictor of behavior, or as a description of a child's limitations. There is no "best" or "worst" personality type. Individuals of all types have their own special gifts for the world.

This model is not intended for children with severe handicaps or challenges. There has not been sufficient research done to be able to understand how these special children fit into the Carl Jung's or Isabel Briggs Myers' personality types. This model works for children who are developing in a more or less normal fashion.

As children grow and learn and develop, their personalities take shape and begin to obviously influence their behaviors and attitudes. By the age 13, a child's baseline personality can be considered fairly set, and we can usually identify which of the sixteen "adult" personality types a teenager fits into. Prior to age 13, the child's auxiliary function is usually not developed sufficiently to be recognized. Accordingly, we can identify 3 out of 4 of the personality preferences for children aged 7-12. For younger children, we can identify 2 out of 4 of the preferences.

The children's aged 7-12 personality categories that we recognize coincide with the original personality types identified by Carl Jung, before the types were expanded upon by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. They are as follows:

  1. Extraverted Sensing (ESP) - the future Performers and Doers
  2. Introverted Sensing (ISJ) - the future Nurturers and Duty Fulfillers
  3. Extraverted Intuition (ENP) - the future Inspirers and Visionaries
  4. Introverted Intuition (INJ) - the future Protectors and Scientists
  5. Extraverted Feelers (EFJ) - the future Givers and Caregivers
  6. Introverted Feelers (IFP) - the future Idealists and Artists
  7. Extraverted Thinkers (ETJ) - the future Executives and Guardians
  8. Introverted Thinkers (ITP) - the future Mechanics and Thinkers

For very young children (aged 2-6), we recognize the following types:

  1. Extraverted Perceivers (EP)
  2. Introverted Perceivers (IP)
  3. Extraverted Judgers (EJ)
  4. Introverted Judgers (IJ)

Which category does your child fit into? The Personality Questionnaire for Kids has been designed to determine a child's personality type. It is designed as an exercise for a parent (or close caregiver) and child to take together.

Now it's time to Take the Test and find out your child's personality type.

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MBTI® and MYERS-BRIGGS TYPE INDICATOR® are registered trademarks and MYERS-BRIGGS™ is a trademark of Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc., the publisher of the MBTI instrument. BSM Consulting is not affiliated with and is not a licensee of Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc.