As an introverted, melancholic parent, I sometimes wonder if I am creating a melancholic child. My son thinks I am never happy. Which is not true but that being said, I rarely laugh, I rarely smile, I talk less, think more and listen to music that I am sure would drive some to depression. And now that I am pregnant, I am tired often. He’ll remark that, “today was a rough day” or that he needs to rest day and night. Sure, he needs his time to draw, and play with his Lego alone in his room but I also know that he is an extrovert at heart. He loves to be with friends and could play with friends all day long but the environment that I have created in our home is a solemn one. It is quiet. We don’t have dance parties in the kitchen and few people come around. I need solitude. I need silence. So how do you balance the needs of your child with your own needs? I wouldn’t say I am grumpy and, in fact am rarely angry at the kids but as it is with adults, my tone is, more often than not, flat and I am sure the trials of the last three years can be heard in my voice and seen in my spirit. The truth is, that
some most adults find me offensive so why wouldn’t
a child of the same nature? But it is not what I say but how I say it. I am
curt and yet never with malicious intent. It is a personal policy not to make
attacks on ones’ character and yet, often, what I say is taken as just that. It
is something I work on daily and comes with being Green, or an INTJ or whatever
other personality type you want to give it. But what if…what if my child is
Blue?! Or Sensing…which he totally is - Jakob is one of the most sensitive
children I know. Not in the bawling his eyes out at every thing kind of way,
but in a compassionate way and in the way that he takes reprimand with a
crushed humbled spirit as opposed to fear, hostility or defensiveness. The thing is, what I value in myself, is not necessarily what I know to be best - if that were the case, I am pretty sure I wouldn't have married Ben (an equally melancholic musician).
“As parents, INTJ's main goal is to raise their children to be intelligent, autonomous and independent. They want their kids to think for themselves and make their own decisions, and so are likely to give them room to grow, and to challenge their decisions and thoughts at key points in their lives.
The INTJ is not naturally likely to be an overly supportive or loving parental figure. Since their own need for expressions of love and affirmation is relatively low, they may have difficulty seeing that need in their children who have Feeling preferences. If they do see this sensitivity, they may not recognize or value the importance of feeding it. In such situations, there will be a distance between the INTJ and the child. This is a problem area for the INTJ, who should consciously remember to be aware of others' emotional needs.”
I talk a lot about Ella in this space, but Jakob is unto his own. It’s true – I worry less about him. I don’t worry that he isn’t making friends at school, or struggling to learn. He is at that age when he is just beginning to be able to articulate the complicated emotions that he feels but his lack of understanding often causes confusion.
Yesterday, he was in tears because “everything had changed”. He bounced between talking about what had happened at school and life at home and it was hard to figure out what exactly he was feeling or if he was just exhausted and needing a release. We came to the conclusion that he longed for summer vacation when he didn’t have to work so hard, like in school but then today, he expressed that maybe things changed because of baby.
“But baby won’t come until later,” I said.
“But you’re always tired now.”
This could be true.
But it could also be that he isn’t used to having his quiet melancholic mother around so much because I used to work all the time.
I recognize his sensitivity but to be honest, at this point, I worry that may mishandle it. I have no firm answers. I remind myself to give hugs, to empathize and to show mercy. And every day pray for the love of God that I don’t mess up my children too badly.