Planner or a winger
"I can give them some structure that will help them to feel really safe in the world."
That was a prudent comment made by my guest this week on the podcast. If we understand how our children are wired, we can love them well by helping them move in their own Modus Operandi.
(pop here for the podcast)
Let me give you an example. Josh is always asking "What are we doing today? What are we doing at the weekend? What are we having for dinner? What are we doing for Christmas (in September). Josh is a J
What's a J?
It's one of the profiles on Myers Briggs.
Myers Briggs gives us clues as to how people think and feel. And clues help us to love people well, be compassionate and understand ourselves.
There are four categories in Myers Briggs. Within each category there is a simple spectrum.
In Podcast 11 we looked at the spectrum of Extrovert vs Introvert. You might sit anywhere along the line of E to I. And depending on where you sit, different things will energise and drain you.
This week we’re looking at another category; P and J.
Ps are in the moment people, where as Js are good at looking ahead, they're planners
Ps love to gather information, Js love to make a decision.
That's not their only defining factor, but it is one that has helped me enormously in understanding and meeting the needs of our children and my husband (great place to have harmony).
If you're not a planner. If you're spontaneous and you just love to go with the flow, the question 'what are we doing on Saturday,' could be an irritating one for you. Perhaps you want to make that decision on Saturday. However, for the child who is nearer the J end of the spectrum, knowing the answer to that question gives them inner peace.
Let me give you the opposite example, what if you are not so much of a spontaneous person and in fact you're the planner (like me). It could be that you want to put some things in the diary (imagine we're in a time when people actually went out!), you want to work out what you're doing next summer or for Christmas, or plan ahead in terms of buying food or gifts. And then what if your partner just couldn't get on board? What if they just kept saying, "let's see how we feel. Let's take it as it comes!" That could drive you nutty. You might wonder if they even have the ability to think ahead, to commit!
You, your partner and your kids will be in one of these categories - either in a very defined way or at least somewhere along the spectrum. And so it can help you to know what's behind it and what else comes with the territory...
J (that stands for judger, but not judgemental)
A 'J' is a planner, they like to make lists, diarise things, they often think everyone should function like this.
And why do they function like this? Because having their exterior world sorted out gives them inner peace.
P (that stands for perceiver, not perceptive)
A 'P' Doesn't want to be tied down, they want to wing-it a bit more. They like to keep gathering information, they're researchers. Something might come to light tomorrow to totally change their decisions.
My (P) husband is looking at a car for us to buy. He rolls it around in his head, he's been to visit a breakers yard just to look around them and sit in them (because you can't go to a showroom), he's researched them on line, we've had at least 5 conversations. Just as I think we're narrowing it down another contender comes in from left field.
Now that I know this is his M.O. I don't see this as indecisive, difficult, ignoring my desire to get on with it or any of the other annoying attributes I used to attach to this journey of buying...well...anything. I see it as part of his process. I enjoy the journey, I don't engage with all of the journey, I encourage him, I don't mind what seems to be total mindset changes along the way. I know he'll get there and when he does he'll feel satisfied, un-rushed and stimulated by the whole experience.
There are times however, when a 'P' has to bend and shape to the M.O. of a 'J' too. You can't spend that long deciding over a menu and also, a 'J' needs some things in the diary to commit to.
Understanding how a J or a P work brings harmony to the family.
There are hundreds of wonderful examples of where partners and parents have sown peace into family situations by understanding what brings peace. I know for us it was an epiphany, even though we were living with the outworking of it every day. It just made such sense when it was explained.
I've learned so much more about Js and Ps on the podcast this week. I so recommend you pop across and listen. Finding out little ways to bring inner peace to our children by understanding them is such a deterrent to anxiety.
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If you enjoy finding emotional hacks to family life,
if you love the idea of emotionally intelligent children,
I think you’ll love my book
Parenting for life
Its full of simple insights into how our children’s minds work and how to give them emotional security for this crazy world they’re heading into.
You can find it here