Parents: Here’s what stresses you out based on your personality type

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Posted 11 April 2022 by Vanessa, MBTIonline Contributing Writer
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For all its rewarding moments, parenting can also be fraught with periods of reflection and even regret – over the way you reacted, the standards you set, or how well you set your kids up for success. Some days, “am I doing this right?” plays on a loop in the back of your head.

Fortunately, we’ve got a life hack for parents, stepparents, foster parents, caregivers, and anyone else who’s looking after tiny humans. Once you know your MBTI® personality type, it unlocks a new level of parenting skills.

It doesn’t matter whether your kids are little or they’ve left the nest. It’s always helpful to know more about how your communication habits, stress triggers, and values affect your family.

For now, let’s focus on stress triggers. Below are a few parenting-specific things that might stress you out based on your personality type. So, grab some coffee and get ready to say, “woah, that’s SO me…”


ISTJ parents

ISTJ parents value traditional parent-child relationships and tend to be naturally caring. They probably parent in a way that’s similar to how they were raised. Parents with preferences for ISTJ can feel stressed when their kids are being disrespectful or embarrass them in front of others. Here’s what else might trigger an ISTJ parent:


ISFJ parents

Parents with preferences for ISFJ like to shower their kids with affection and thrive when they feel needed. They genuinely enjoy solving their kids’ problems and making them feel safe and secure. ISFJ parents can feel stressed when their kids act out, despite efforts to calm them down. Here’s what else might trigger an ISFJ parent:


INFJ parents

INFJ parents are naturally collaborative and considerate. Their family typically perceives them as outwardly decisive. Parents with preferences for INFJ can feel stressed when they don’t feel appreciated for not making a difference. Here’s what else might trigger an INFJ parent:


INTJ parents

INTJ parents are fans of “parenting hacks” (like this one) and often look for ways to improve themselves for the sake of their kids. Parents with preferences for INTJ can feel stressed when their kids behave irrationally and unpredictably (i.e., tantrums). Here’s what else might trigger an INTJ parent:


ISTP parents

ISTP parents run their household with logic and calm energy. Their kids likely feel at ease around them because they’re such a calming influence. Parents with preferences for ISTP can feel stressed when their kids demand lots of social interaction outside the house. Here’s what else might trigger an ISTP parent:


ISFP parents

ISFP parents are open minded and laid back. They love to encourage kids to be their authentic selves. Parents with preferences for ISFP can feel stressed when they don’t understand their child’s needs or when they’re the target of angry words. Here’s what else might trigger an ISFP parent:


INFP parents

INFP parents are warm and considerate of their kids’ feelings. Similar to INFJs, their families perceive them as outwardly decisive. Parents with preferences for INFP can feel stressed when forced to deal with the more mundane responsibilities of looking after their kids. Here’s what else might trigger an INFP parent:


INTP parents

INTP parents prioritize calm energy, education, and curiosity. They like to solve problems for their kids – and they take pride in showing kids how to solve problems for themselves. Parents with preferences for INTP can feel stressed when their kids have outbursts or behave illogically. Here’s what else might trigger an INTP parent:


ESTP parents

ESTP parents give their kids freedom to make their own decisions. They want their children to learn how to become free thinkers who can take care of themselves. Parents with preferences for ESTP can feel stressed when their kids seem too needy or won’t directly communicate their feelings. Here’s what else might trigger an ESTP parent:


ESFP parents

ESFP parents are easygoing, spontaneous, and genuinely enjoy playing with their kids. They have a zest for life that provides long-lasting memories for the whole family. Parents with preferences for ESFP can feel stressed when their kids commit to play dates or rigorous sports schedules. Here’s what else might trigger an ESFP parent:


ENFP parents

ENFP parents value creativity and forward thinking. They create an open environment where kids feel comfortable sharing their feelings, thoughts, opinions, and dreams. Parents with preferences for ENFP can feel stressed when forced to manage schedules for everyone in the home. Here’s what else might trigger an ENFP parent:


ENTP parents

ENTP parents teach their kids independence and self-reliance. They are caring problem-solvers who help their children, but don’t hold their hand through life. Parents with preferences for ENTP can feel stressed when their advice is ignored or they don’t know how to help. Here’s what else might trigger an ENTP parent:


ESTJ parents

ESTJ parents set high expectations for their kids. They’re devoted, driven, and want their kids to successfully meet their goals in life. Parents with preferences for ESTJ can feel stressed when their kids lose interest in things they previously committed to. Here’s what else might trigger an ESTJ parent:


ESFJ parents

ESFJ parents are natural caretakers. They dutifully pass down values and traditions, and make their kids feel supported as part of the family unit. Parents with preferences for ESFJ can feel stressed when their kids stray from the path set out before them, or form beliefs different from their own. Here’s what else might trigger an ESFJ parent:


ENFJ parents

ENFJ parents are naturally collaborative and considerate. Their family typically perceives them as outwardly decisive. Parents with preferences for ENFJ can feel stressed when forced to stray from the schedule or when their children have a negative attitude. Here’s what else might trigger ENFJ parents:


ENTJ parents

ENTJ parents are pragmatic, calm, and logical. They intentionally foster creativity and curiosity to prepare their kids to excel later in life. Parents with preferences for ENTJ can feel stressed when their children display extreme emotions. Here’s what else might trigger an ENTJ parent:


How can parents better cope with stress triggers?

Your kids might look like carbon copies of you, but their personalities are completely unique. It’s up to you to learn how to flex your preferences, speak their language, and prepare them for a life of self-awareness and success. Because when we understand ourselves, everyone around us benefits.

By the way, the stress triggers listed in this post are just the tip of the iceberg. For more detailed info, read the blog post: What Stresses You Out Based on your Myers-Briggs Type.

Want to read more about how knowing your actual, official Myers-Briggs personality preferences can help you be a better parent? Read more about MBTI personality type and parenting here.