If there is anything that makes ENFPs great parents, it’s the sense of wonder they have for all things new and beautiful, a sense that they will be able to share with their children every day as they learn and grow. Throughout their children’s lives, ENFPs provide a combination of almost overwhelming love and support, and an unstructured environment revolving around freedom and creativity. This in no way means that people with the ENFP personality type will simply leave their children to their own devices without guidance – rather, ENFP parents want to share in their children’s perspective, share in a world without bounds.
ENFP parents are playful and warm, and love to see their children excited, playing in and experimenting with the world around them. It is likely that ENFP parents will encourage this play and growth by suggesting activities and lessons.
ENFPs will embrace and encourage productive interests as they arise, sweeping away dolls and dinosaurs when interests shift to the oceans, and sweeping away the fish when tastes change again, to the stars.
While they often enough recognize the value of structure and predictability, ENFP parents are unlikely to have the heart (or as they may see it, the lack of heart) to establish these limitations themselves. They may need to depend on their partners to provide some necessary guidelines and discipline from time to time, but ENFP parents will always have the advantage of their open-minded and empathetic nature, making them not just parents, but friends who their children feel comfortable confiding in. They needn’t always depend on their children broaching the subject either, as ENFPs have a natural skill in spotting emotional disharmony or physical discomfort in others.
Go On, Spread Your Wings
As their children approach the teenage years, all this emotion and attention can start to cloy, and their children may seek a more private independence. This can be a challenge for people with the ENFP personality type – they have strong emotions, and invest those emotions heavily in the things and people they care about. While they may not be big on using proven ideas, ENFPs do like to see whether or not their ideas work, and this applies to their thoughts on parenting, too. As their adolescent children withdraw, they leave an unsolved mystery that can last for years, leaving their ENFP parents wondering if their ideas on raising their children actually work, actually result in happy, independent and creative adults.
Luckily for them, so long as they raise their children with a sense of productive independence, rather than an aimless, against-the-grain antipathy, ENFPs will find that their children have developed a strong sense of self and self-worth, going confidently out into the big, wide world at their own pace and in their own style, knowing that they have both themselves and their ENFP parents to depend on.