Online course: Understand your child’s personality type

Understand Your Child’s Personality Type and Become a Better Parent -Featuring Two Special Guests

This course includes four days of video sessions and email-based course materials. You can purchase this webinar for anytime, on-demand access. The cost is $195.

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My son buys new clothes almost every week. He is happy at the Gap or at the thrift shop. He just likes trying on new things. I would never wear yellow pants—I hate shopping. He is neither of those things. So I started thinking that I had created a monster: Materialistic! Shallow! Questionable taste!

Then I learned about his type—ESFP—and I read over and over again that it’s the nature of that type to want lots of outfits to choose from because clothing is an essential form of expression for this type. And it made sense to me that I wouldn’t understand him more instinctively because my type (ENTJ) is largely uninterested in the daily rituals of clothing. ENTJs focus on visionary, long-term thinking.

After I started learning about my son’s type in relation to my own type, I was shocked that we don’t learn this sooner so we can all be better parents.

Actually, I would have liked to know about personality type when I was a kid because then I could have given everyone a road map for how to deal with me: “Hey! You! I’m an ENTJ, which means that I don’t do anything just for fun. I want a goal and I want to be an achiever!”

You can tell a child’s personality type as young as three years old, and personality type remains largely unchanged throughout life. So much of parenting can feel like a struggle, but in fact, any child can excel if you ask that child to be the best version of who they are, and you will understand better who they are the better you understand their type.

For example:

SP‘s like to learn by moving around and doing things with their bodies, so they are most likely to be diagnosed with ADHD since teachers need the SPs (and all the other kids) to sit still.

INTJs are so good at self-directed learning that if you leave them alone as kids they will manage their own childhoods pretty effectively. If you ask an INTJ what would have made their childhood better, most will say if people trusted them more and left them alone to manage themselves.

ENFPs are most likely not to finish college because school caters to black and white thinking and ENFPs hate black and white thinking. But ENFPs are incredible at coming to terms with gray areas, so they prefer, even need, to live in that world while they go through their education.

ISTJs love worksheets, they love order, and they will do best in a homeschool environment with clear expectations and set routines.

ESFPs need to be around people. They don’t care, really, what they are doing, as long as there are groups of people and talking while it is happening.

INFPs need lots of alone time. Going to school for eight hours a day means they would have to spend the rest of the day alone to recuperate from all the demands of socializing and external stimuli.

Can you see, now, how important it is to know your kid’s type? When you understand type you can see the good in your child’s behavior much more easily, and conflict goes way down. For example:

An ENTP might not change clothes all week. It’s not being irresponsible so much as being preoccupied with ideas. An ENTP has so many ideas they can’t focus on anything else.

So I’m doing a course about how to understand your child’s personality type, and I’m especially excited because there are two personality type experts joining me for the course—the two best selling authors of books about personality type for parents and children.

Learn to tell your child’s personality type. 

Paul Tieger is the god of personality type for children. He published the book Nurture by Nature to help parents determine their child’s personality type. Then, once you know the type, Tieger has a system for understanding how better to parent that child. He’ll walk you through the systems he has developed, and what I’ve found from working with him in the past is that he can teach you to become an expert in your child’s type in just one hour.

Understand what your child needs and how to provide it.

Each child needs a different type of parenting. Once you know what your child needs, parenting becomes so much easier, and childhood is so much more fulfilling. The goal of homeschooling is to help each child grow into their best self. Knowing what will feel fulfilling to that particular child will help you immeasurably to steer your child through adolescence and into adulthood. This session will show you how to develop daily schedules that will feel good to your children (and to you!) and you’ll also learn how to create long-term strategies to provide options to your kids that are relevant to their type.

Be the best parent for your child.

Each parent has a personality type that may or may not mesh with their child’s personality type. Jane Penley is an expert on how each parenting type works best with each child type. She will show each of us how to use the most effective methods for navigating the combination of our type and our child’s type. Each parenting personality type has its own strengths and weaknesses. First we need to understand those, and then we can understand how to apply our strengths to help our children based on their particular types.

Bonus: This session will give you a good understanding how pairs of personality types work together. You can use this knowledge too for you and your spouse, for one sibling with another, and to anyone who you’d like to communicate with better. Personality type is sort of a like a bottle of Windex—we clean our vision so we see the people in our lives more clearly than ever before.

I hope you’ll join me for this course. I’m so excited about the topic, and the experts who are joining us are really the top in the field. More than that, though, the format of the courses allows for online chat as the courses are happening, and you guys have created such an incredible community here that I know the chat portion of the course will be fun because you’ll all be there.

Sign up now!

19 replies
  1. Daniel Baskin
    Daniel Baskin says:

    I could imagine taking this course just to psychoanalyze everything that went wrong in my childhood relationship with my parents.

    • ruo
      ruo says:

      Hi Daniel,

      That was the first thing I did when I took Penelope’s first MB course. Analyze my patchy parental relationships.

      It made so much sense why my “P” clashed with my mother’s J so much. I would never organize my room, and do homework at random times of the day (i.e. 7.30am or 11pm to get started), which made me perfectly happy and passed school with ease. When I tried to follow her methods, it was suffocating to follow a ‘set schedule’ (6-9pm everyday) to study and it increased my anxiety. I ended up performing more poorly.

      Then, my father as a very strong “F” in his MB, I have T. He’s the type that could never be alone and needs people to entertain. It drove me crazy as a child that I couldn’t be left alone in the household. He would ask me why I am hurting him everyday. Everyday, I felt like I was walking on eggshells that my existence as his daughter was hurting him.

      I grew up thinking I was an inadequate child that I couldn’t fulfill their needs as a person. I was not enough to be the child of their dreams. Why did I inherit their worser traits and not their better ones? It was pretty traumatizing. I felt I could’ve tried harder to be like them so I can make them happy parents.

      Now i just want my future kids to be however they want to go about their ways. I don’t want them to be guilty for being themselves. The pain of all that became okay when I can neutralize it. MB helped explain a lot of it to me. I no longer carry that heavy invisible burden on my back everyday.

  2. YesMyKidsAreSocialized
    YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

    Cool. I am an INTJ married to enfp. Kid one is intp, kid two is e/infp, kid three is estj. We are all loud and intense. id be interested in taking this course. What would I need to know/do beforehand to make sure the course is successful?

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      You don’t have to do anything to prepare for the course. Just show up! The course will present lots of tools and ideas, so you can learn the four-hours worth of information or you can use the resources we provide to dig deeper. Either way, though, prior preparation is not necessary.


      • Deb Meyers
        Deb Meyers says:

        value in taking this if last kid is 18 and living at home while going to community college ? I am INFP and she is NOT. I really need to understand how to live with her in a way that encourages us both.

  3. Karelys
    Karelys says:

    When my husband does things that make me angry (normally is stuff that overlooks “important details” or completely kills efficiency) I handle it either two ways:
    1. I think “it’s his personality type. It makes sense that he’d assume this is the best way to do it.”
    2. Get really angry and yell. Then apologize and explain how I envisioned stuff and why I was so hurt/broke/annoyed that his vision didn’t match mine.

    Now, before you think I am so evolved and matured I have to tell you that I barely started doing this not long ago.

    And just less than half hour ago I said to him “wait, I apologize. I can now see how because of your personality type you don’t think these things are essential and they are like cardinal sins to me.”

    I thought he’d be wowed by me. Instead he went to his video game because that’s the one thing he can’t do when the kids are done with naps and he can do anything else when kids are awake and need attention.

    Completely foreign to me but okay.

  4. Julie
    Julie says:

    I wonder how learning disabilities and diagnoses play into personality. Is this addressed? It seems like it would be a confounding factor.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      You can tell your child’s type very early – probably around age 3 you can get three out of four letters reliably.

      The earlier you know your child’s type the better you can figure out best approaches for parent-child interaction. And ENTP needs strict consequences for broken rules. Whereas an ISFP is likely to have genuinely made a mistake if a rule is broken, so strict consequences might be less important than empathy.

      Also, the earlier you know a child’s type, the better you can help steer your child.

      For example, my youngest son was three grades ahead in math in kindergarten, but knowing his type made me think it was a dead end to encourage the math. And I was right.

      Now that he’s nine I see that just because he is better than a lot of kids at math doesn’t mean he’d be interested in sitting alone thinking about the same problem for months at a time. Also it doesn’t mean he’d feel comfortable with the other kids who are good at math.

      He likes people, he likes entertaining, and having fun, he is goofy and outgoing, and chatty and kinetic all the things that don’t happen on the math team.


  5. Ashley
    Ashley says:

    This sounds like a great course but I’m concerned that reliability concerns of the Myers-Briggs aren’t being taken into account, especially for youth whose personalities are not as “set” as adults are.

    Also what about other measures of personality such as Kolb, Dunn learning styles, RIASEC, multiple intelligences, emotional intelligence, 4mat, etc?

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Personalities are separate from IQ. There are dumb and smart versions of each type.

      For those of you who are worried about accuracies, you can be your own best quality assurance system. If a description of your child rings true, it will be helpful. If it doesn’t ring true it won’t be helpful.

      This is the same with adults. If you read a description of a type and it’s exactly what your spouse does, then you feel a relief that someone understands. You don’t need to be told whether the description is scientifically reliable or not. It just rings true to you.

      Then, if you have a description that rings true to you, you can try the tips for dealing with that type of person. Either the tips work or they don’t. If they don’t work, don’t use them.

      You can test everything for yourself. So there’s no need to worry that someone is giving you bad information. You’ll know because it won’t help.


  6. Gena
    Gena says:

    I am very interested in the course, but in the back of my mind I am thinking “Shouldn’t we just all be open minded and realize that each individual child is different, show understanding and parent with love?” Seems all the personality tests help with is tell us: it’s OK your child is this way because of his/her personality. But if that is my baseline as a homeschooling parent, I observe, learn about their personality and adjust my approach to each one, what else will I learn from the course?

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      We each have blind spots because of who we are. For example, if you are a person who is very intuitive and sensitive then it won’t even occur to you to put someone’s feelings aside and just do what logic dictates for the sake of logic. Yet some people think this way – it’s the way they expect the world to work. And the world of feeling and responding to feelings and being in touch with peoples’ needs – that’s all totally irrelevant to some people.

      There’s not a good or bad way to do things. But different people have radically different approaches and it’s hard to see everyone’s perspective without a little training.

      One reason that the Fortune 500 uses personality type so often is that it’s nearly impossible to intuitively understand everyone’s perspective. Each of us has certain blind spots — ways of thinking that are totally different than ours – that we can’t imagine until someone explains them to us.

      The most effective homeschooling takes into account that the parent is likely to have to learn a bit about at least one of their kids because their personality is so different than the parents.


  7. Dorie
    Dorie says:

    Penelope, is there a benefit to taking this course if our kids are younger? Or is there less beneficial information for right now if our kids are under five?

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      The revelations that I had about my ESFP son came when he was 3 1/2. It was earth shattering to me to finally understand what was driving him.

      So of course I think people should take this course as early as possible in their parenting life.

      Also, the course shows parents their own biases and blind spots inherent in their personality. And the course will teach parents how to use the strengths of their personality to overcome gaps between their kids and themselves.


    • MBL
      MBL says:


      You have “lifetime” access to the videos. Assuming Quistic sticks around :), you can always go back and re-watch them and continue to fine tune your assessment.

      Also, I highly recommend Nurture by Nature and MotherStyles. Both are excellent.

  8. Lucy Chen
    Lucy Chen says:

    The only things I’m sure about my two kids (son turning 5 next Feb, and daughter turning 3 next Jan) are: 1) my son is an “I”; 2) my daughter is a “F”. I’m very unsure about the other letters.

    So I just signed up, Penelope, and I’m looking forward to this! Thank you.

Comments are closed.