INTP Parenthood

Penley (2006) has pointed out that INTP parents are notable for their exceptional patience.  They tend to treat children like little adults whose thoughts and ideas should be taken seriously.  An INTP will not brush a child's question off or give them a half answer--they want the child to actually understand what is going on.  INTPs will often expose their children to advanced concepts or books at an early age. 

Keirsey (1998) wrote that all Rational parents tend to be rather stern, and they do not spare their offspring from the consequences of their poor choices.  INTPs are no exception; they may have few rules for their children (INTPs don't like rules), but this doesn't mean that the children will run rampant.  Keirsey also noted that Rationals, unlike other temperaments, aren't so much given to lectures, scoldings, and groundings so much as simply stating, "Okay then.  You've lost that privilege for awhile," and then depriving the child of the opportunity to affect/enjoy/control that part of their environment.  By such impersonal, logic-based and minimally punitive measures they teach their children that bad behavior isn't about "me being angry at you and trying to make you feel bad to show you the error of your ways" so much as "you making an illogical choice that results in the loss of your pleasure."  The idea is to teach the child that poor choices always imply logical negative consequences.  The Rational parent tries to demonstrate that making a bad choice is like throwing a rock up in the air and letting it fall down and hit oneself in the face.  It isn't that the rock hates you, or thinks you have done wrong; no, the rock has neither feelings nor any sense of justice.  Rather, the rock is merely obeying the amoral, implacable laws of physics.  Many people break rules, but few people try to break the laws of physics.  The logic-oriented Rationals instinctively realize this, and tend to have better success with discipline than other types.

Keirsey has also noted that NTP parents are the least likely types to attempt to Pygmalion their children into little images of themselves.  They may be uncertain of how to handle their children, however.  Myers et al. (1998) found that "children" were a high source of stress for INTPs.