The Development of INTP Children
INTP: Question Authority
'I've never won an argument with her. She's raised the act of hairsplitting to an art form.'
The most important and characteristically developed part of an INTP of any age is a keen sense of logic and fairness. They are highly analytical and draw conclusions based upon the logical consequences of actions. INTPs are also creative and original thinkers, able to see possibilities and patterns all around them. Parenting them requires patience and the willingness to let them explore, follow their natural curiosity, and develop their own unique and often offbeat path. Strongly individualistic and fiercely independent, INTPs need plenty of freedom, challenge, and the opportunity to continually learn new things.
The examples that follow are drawn from stories of real children. But since all people are unique, your INTP may not demonstrate all of the characteristics described or may not demonstrate them with the same degree of intensity. But if your child really is an INTP, most of what you read should sound strikingly familiar.
Birth to Age 4
To many parents of INTPs, it may seem that their baby is really an adult, trapped inside a child's body! A bit remote and totally self-contained, INTP babies are generally calm, placid, and serious. They are usually content to sit and observe the world and the people around them, curious and stimulated by anything new or novel. They are most interested in learning new things and tend to be very autonomous, with a strong craving for mastery that follows them throughout their lives. INTPs are not generally very affectionate, smiley, or demonstrative infants, nor are they usually tearful or weepy children. Naturally detached and generally unemotional, INTPs seem to be always a bit removed from those around them, even their parents. They are eager to do things for themselves, and, even as small children, are typically more stoic, aloof, and impersonal than children of other types.
- When Margaret was three, she announced to her parents that she wanted no more hugs and kisses from them. When they protested, she paused a moment and then compromised: 'OK, you can hug me sometimes, but only when I say so, and only at home.' Sometimes, when she really wanted something her parents had refused her, she would try to bargain with them, offering to hug or kiss them in exchange for giving her what she wanted!
Most INTP toddlers like and need lots of time alone and are quickly tired when they are handled by lots of people. They may even be selective and sensitive to too much external stimulation, which can show up as being highly choosy about foods, smells, and the touch of strangers. INTPs tend to be hesitant about new people, as well, and as toddlers are more apt to stand back from groups and watch the social action for long periods before joining in. And, often as not, INTPs may choose not to join at all. They will not be rushed or pushed into doing anything they do not want to do. They prefer talk and play that is one-on-one rather than in large groups.
- Doug had a large extended family, all of whom lived in the same town. So his family was forever hosting large family gatherings, and all major holidays were celebrated in his house. Even during the child-oriented parties like Easter, Christmas, and birthdays, Doug would begin to droop after too much people contact. When he was a baby, he would begin to fuss or cry if too many people held him. Once he was able to talk, he simply pulled his mother aside and told her he wanted to go to bed.
While most INTPs tend to be reserved and do not freely tell you what they are thinking, their early language is often surprisingly articulate and sophisticated. They may use creative and unusual ways of describing experiences. When three year old Aster's feet fell asleep, she described the tingling pins and needles sensation by saying there were 'sparkles' in her feet. Young INTPs tend to be quiet for long periods of time, thinking things through, and then announce with clarity and confidence an insight they've had or a correlation they have made between unrelated things. Even as preschoolers, they frequently start sentences with, 'So what you're saying is...', showing how easily they can synthesize information into a premise or theory. INTPs are naturally global thinkers and demonstrate plenty of evidence of their ability to make connections easily and accurately. But they will usually share these insights only with their parents or other people they know very well and trust. Publicly, they appear shy and watchful.
- When Peter was only two, he stood in the crib and said, 'Square, circle, square. Square, circle, square.' At first his parents didn't understand what he was saying and wondered if he was asking for a particular toy. Finally they realized he was looking behind them and describing the pattern in the wallpaper.
The frequent questions INTPs ask are often startling ones. INTPs are very curious and interested in understanding why things are as they are. They are usually not satisfied with anything less than clear and complete answers and would really prefer to explore and figure out the mechanical underpinnings of objects and their principles of operation than listen to anyone describe how they work. So many young INTPs like to take things apart – everything from ballpoint pens to clock radios. Often, they would rather take their toys apart and put them back together than play with them in more conventional ways. And INTPs often ask surprising and irreverent questions about concerns and issues way beyond their years.
- Nickie's family called her the 'why' child. She tended to be silent for long periods of time and then suddenly ask questions that seemed to come out of left field. Once, she wanted to know how scientists determined that certain berries were poisonous. She asked, 'How did they find it out? Did they feed them to old women to see if they died?' After church one day when she was four, Nickie asked her mother, 'How do we know there's only one God? Has anyone seen Him?' Pat answers were never sufficient, and no amount of surprise or sometimes even shocked reactions from adults diminished her curiosity or deferred her questioning.
A pattern of silence followed by short periods of high energy and interaction is common among INTPs. Their need for action and social connection is met in bursts that are unpredictable in nature and few and far between. But most INTPs spend much of their lives inside their own heads. They are very internal people and require lots of time and space to think things through and understand the world around them. Clearly, they enjoy their private musings. They love creative toys, building materials, puzzles, and any open-ended activity without rules or restrictions. They frequently have just one good friend and nearly always would rather learn something on their own than learn as part of a group. While they are usually hesitant around new people, they are often fearless about taking on physical challenges. Characteristically, they exude quiet confidence and calmly and casually master new challenges as other, less adventurous children look on.
The Joys and Challenges of Raising Preschool INTPs
Perhaps the biggest challenge of raising preschool INTPs is that they can often be so remote and emotionally distant from their parents and their families. Feeling parents, hungry for expressions of affection and appreciation, may feel rebuffed or ignored by their independent and analytical INTPs. Even young INTPs are not easily offended and seem to have been born with a thick skin, impervious to the opinions or criticisms of others. They tend to be very honest – even blunt – but are typically unaware of the emotional impact their words or actions have on others. They may be confused and irritated at the extent to which other members of their families or their friends personalize things.
- Four year old Justine had frequent arguments with her more Feeling six year old sister, Kimberly. During these arguments, Kimberly's feelings were often hurt and she would accuse Justine of being mean 'on purpose', which infuriated Justine. Their mother watched the dynamics between them and saw that Justice did indeed step on her sister's toes in many ways with her super-logical and direct approach and her analytical reactions. But Justine was always baffled when Kimberley was hurt, because she reasoned that since she never meant to be mean, her sister shouldn't blame her for it. Justine was not able to see that the effect of her actions was the same, regardless of her intent.
While INTPs do have an innate sense of fairness, they are not naturally empathetic. Young INTPs are rarely malicious or intentionally cold, but they are generally unaware of and unaffected by the feelings of other people. They are not persuaded or convinced by anything but pure and flawless logic. When parents shout or rage or otherwise respond with great emotion to the INTP's misbehavior, the child usually looks confused or even condescending – as though the parents are crazy for overreacting. It takes a lot more to elicit an emotional outburst from an INTP than from children of many other types. Since INTPs seem to learn only from the logical consequences of their actions, nothing but experiencing the natural and social consequence of their insensitivity will have any effect. As parents, we can calmly and patiently allow them to learn on their own, over time, the intrinsic value and tangible positive results of expressing warmth or doing things to help others. But empathy and sensitivity, just like an openness and willingness to share what they are feeling, are hard-learned skills for INTPs.
Because preschool INTPs are so naturally curious about how things work and are typically driven by their innate inquisitiveness to explore the world around them, they often take physical risks that alarm or frighten their parents. They tend to climb on high counters, make ladders from dresser drawers to get on top of furniture, and otherwise use their imaginations and excellent powers of creative problem solving to overcome obstacles. Their everyday play seems to just naturally push the limits of both safety and acceptability. And for some reason – perhaps because of their inherent danger and the fact that they are strictly off-limits – stoves seem to hold especially seductive powers to many, many INTPs.
- When Kenny was four, he climbed into the oven and then turned it on. Fortunately, his wary mother was never too far behind him, and she quickly scooped him out of the oven. He also liked to turn on the garbage disposal, and once his exasperated mother found him on top of the refrigerator calmly eating a bagel.
INTPs are unaffected by and rarely dissuaded by rules, limits, or even barriers. They seem to be always one step ahead, able to figure out cunning and creative ways of getting what they want or exploring that which intrigues them. Naturally nonconforming, they are skeptical, even disdainful, of rules. They will just quietly and purposefully go ahead and do what they have been told repeatedly not to do. Many parents of young INTPs report numerous occasions when their preschool children just walked away from them, crossed streets by themselves, or let themselves out of locked gates. Combine an innate spirit of wanderlust with ingenious problem solving and you get a child who is almost unstoppable and nearly unrestrainable.
- The first time four year old Eric got into his father's toolbox, his parents bought a lock for it to keep him safe from the saws, nails, and other sharp tools. Soon after that, however, Eric got out of his bed, crept downstairs to the basement, and carefully removed the hinges on the box in order to open it.
Because they are more often in their own world, young INTPs can be difficult to motivate and get moving. Trying to push young INTPs into social situations they do not feel comfortable in is a common mistake parents make. In particular, Extraverted parents, eager to get their children involved with friends and activities, unwittingly communicate displeasure with and, more damaging, an intolerance of, their INTP child's innate desire and need for privacy. Above all, INTPs of any age need to be competent. They do not want to be placed in social situations in which they feel awkward or unsure.
Impulsive and adaptive, INTPs are happiest when they are afforded as much time and space as possible. They will not be rushed, and emotional appeals or even threats have little or no effect. These children move along at their own pace, unaware and unconcerned about time, structure, or the inconvenience they may be placing on their parents. While it can be trying to accommodate a young INTP's pace, it may well require some parents to reassess their priorities, especially those with busy schedules and a strong need for punctuality and order. By recognizing and accepting these natural INTP tendencies, rather than resisting them, parents can instead put their energy into finding happy and constructive compromises. The alternative is a very long and unproductive battle with this type of child.
Age 5 to 10
Age 5 to 10
Most school-aged INTPs enjoy the increased personal freedom they gain as they get older. For many INTPs, nothing affords them more independence and freedom than learning to ride a bicycle. With their bikes, they have the means to explore and be on their own without structure or a plan. It's no wonder that so many INTPs report spending hours of contented time alone riding. Exploring the woods, creeks, or the rest of the world around them is another favorite pastime for school-aged INTPs. Most really like reading, have eclectic and varied tastes, and especially enjoying books involving fantasy or science fiction. INTPs also like comics, and many even read encyclopedias for fun because they enjoy learning about whatever subject catches their fancy.
- Like many other elementary school-aged INTPs, Meagan loved going to the movies or watching TV. She had a real interest in science, and from the time she was three liked to watch the Discovery Channel and public television documentaries on all sorts of obscure subjects. Some of her favorites included those about inventors, scientific experiments, or the habits of sea life and other animals. .She was never squeamish and was not easily frightened or disgusted by even the most graphic views of diseases or the internal workings of the human body.
By the time many INTPs begin school, they are already masters of the computer, flying around in cyberspace or whizzing through the most challenging video games. Their minds are well suited to understanding the essentially logical workings of a computer. INTPs are also at home with a computer's many creative possibilities and the unlimited opportunities to dabble with and explore whatever piques their interests. Given their high need for time alone and their penchant for 'noodling' things around inside their heads, it's no wonder that most or all of the favorite activities of INTPs are fairly intellectual and usually pretty solitary and internal.
While some INTPs are real sports fans and enjoy being a part of a team or following their favorite ones, most gain more pleasure from pursuing individual sports. Many especially enjoy the freedom and personal challenge of water and snow skiing, tennis, or the solitude provided by fishing. INTPs seem to be good at just anything that truly interests them and are often able to get excellent results with minimal effort. But for the most part, INTPs are specialists rather than generalists and during these school years may find a focus of interest into which they pour themselves.
- Nine year old Frank enjoyed putting model cars and planes together. He had his own set of tools and could deftly assemble very complicated models by himself in almost no time. When he got a little older, he took to restoring old cars, taking them completely apart and putting them back together, returning them to mint condition. But the process usually required months and completely took over the entire garage and driveway.
Other passions of INTPs include building forts in the woods (or in the living room with boxes and blankets), using various materials to create art, listening to music or books on tape, playing games of skill and strategy like chess or bridge, and just fooling around with electronic games and toys.
- Gill's two favorite things to play with were his gerbils and his remote-control airplane. So it seemed only natural he would find a way to combine these two interests. One day when he was ten, his parents looked out into the back yard to find Gill giving his gerbils, Orville and Wilbur, the flight (or was it fright?) of their lives – as passengers in his remote-control airplane.
Socially, most INTPs find a best friend during their elementary school years and often maintain that relationship for years. Like other strong Thinking types, some INTP girls find themselves even more socially ill at ease than others their age because they are not interested in or adept at conforming to the socially expected 'female' behavior and dress of their peers. They may find other girls 'too girly' for them and are likely instead to befriend to less-liked, quirkier kids in school, as well as the social outcasts of their class. Because INTPs are not eager joiners of groups like Scouts or other social or civic clubs or teams, they often don't have the same easy access to meeting new friends. Even so, they are usually content to be loners or to hang around with one good friend with the same casual, easygoing style as they.
The Joys and Challenges of Raising School-Aged INTPs
In school, many INTPs find it hard to stay engaged or focused on anything that is the least bit repetitive or routine. They, perhaps more than any other type, love a steep and continuous learning curve and need ferociously high expectations from their teachers in order to be motivated to participate at all. Since they are so selective and are somewhat uncomfortable in 'public', they may not speak up in class. Knowing the material may even keep them from participating because they so dislike redundancy. As one INTP said, 'The only thing worse than talking about something twice is thinking about something I've already thought.' Many INTPs exhibit a superior attitude that seems to say, 'I already know the right answer, so why should I bother announcing it?' For most INTPs, their internal standards are much more interesting and important to them than any external standard imposed by other. They may decide that since they know they can do something, they don't need to actually do it! And since they often don't feel compelled to demonstrate all that they know, they may sometimes surprise those around them when they do choose to speak up.
- Nine year old Carly stunned her father one evening when she contributed to a discussion a group of adult neighbors were having at a picnic. They were debating the ethics of research and testing on animals. Normally, Carly never volunteered her thoughts, even though her father knew she listened intently, and read extensively about this issue. Above all, however, her father was impressed when she demonstrated how much she really understood about the subtleties of the subject.
Because internal standards matter so much more to INTPs than external ones, tests and report cards hold little meaning and rarely serve to motivate the under-achieving INTP. INTPs must follow their intellectual curiosity to find a source of inspiration. If and when they find it, they can demonstrate amazing determination and creative energy. Parents of INTPs are advised to stay ever alert for some subject or endeavor that has captured their INTP's interest so they can encourage and support his or her continued pursuit of it. And they may need to work harder on their child's behalf to convince teachers to take the time and energy necessary to inspire INTP children.
Parenting such an internal child can pose challenges for parents concerned about keeping lines of communication open. They usually find their INTPs do not offer any information and sit silently at the dinner table while the rest of the family share details of their day. INTPs are generally reluctant to risk exposing their vulnerabilities or insecurities to their families. But they may also just not consider offering anything unless they are asked. Parents need to take the time to really listen when their INTP begins to open up. Often ,we parents are so busy doing several tasks at once that we expect our child to simply hop into the rushing river that is our lives, swim alongside, and keep up so they can talk with us. Most INTPs are not willing to make that level of an energy commitment to talk with anyone, much less their parents. And this tendency only intensifies as they get older. If we want our children to share their thoughts, ideas, concerns, and especially those remote and maybe confusing or unclear feelings with us, we need to make it easy for them to actually do it. We need to show them that we are really interested by stopping, sitting quietly, and patiently hearing them out.
- Natalie's parents were both delighted and surprised when she came to them at age eight with questions about sex and reproduction. They immediately went out and bought a book that frankly and objectively explained the process of conception and birth, and they read through it with her. When they finished, she sat quietly for several minutes. They asked if she had any questions and she answered no. They say a while longer, than Natalie got up, turned to her parents, and simply said, 'Thanks for telling me all this stuff.' She took the book and went to her room. Her parents gave her several days to digest what she had learned and then slipped a note under her door one evening that said, 'We're proud of how grown-up you are becoming. We respect your privacy but want to remind you that we are here to talk more any time you have a question.'
INTPs are easily overwhelmed with too much talk, especially when two parents try to speak at the same time. One six year old INTP used to put his head under a couch cushion when he saw both parents coming into the room to talk with him. For a child who must call on energy reserves to have a forced discussion with a parent, trying to do that with two people at the same time is simply too hard. It can easily feel as if the parents are ganging up on the child, and that naturally offends their sense of fairness.
- Daniel's mother found that the best way to build a bond with her INTP son was to make time for what she called 'non-demanding quiet time' together. Sometimes this was riding bikes or taking a drive, other times it was spent wandering through a science museum together. The key to success was not to expect any kind of big discussion. And most of the time, they really did remain silent. The strategy paid off over time as Daniel learned to trust his mother's acceptance of his need to be quiet. Occasionally Daniel would open up. From time to time as he approached junior high – and typically when they were in the car – Daniel would bring up something that was bothering him and ask his mother what she thought. She was careful to answer his questions, to avoid lecturing, and to be clear to label her opinions as such, rather than to imply that hers was the only way to look at or handle a particular situation.
One of the results of living life primarily inside one's head is that INTPs may be a bit clumsy or have a rather slow response time. This may be incorrectly interpreted by others as a lack of imagination or intelligence. Many INTPs are a lot like the stereotypical absentminded professor – dawdling, distracted, and forgetful of mundane chores, late for obligations, losing homework or library books, and generally disconnected from the business of life in the external world. More engaged in their own thoughts and perceptions, INTPs are just not paying attention to what is going on around them. They rarely take things personally and, in fact, don't seem to take anything very seriously unless it does affect them personally. So easygoing and aloof, they live in a rather casual way, unaffected and uninvolved with the world and people around them. It's important to remember that they are not usually intentionally insensitive. Most are just not primarily motivated to do things just to please others.
Age 11 to 16
Age 11 to 16
What surprises many parents of adolescent INTPs is the extent to which they can often achieve so much with so little effort. This is true both in the areas of their special interests like scuba diving, tennis, or other sport and in school. In general, it seems they have trouble studying, and tend to start and complete most of their projects at the very last minute, and still manage to pull off decent or even good grades. Parents and teachers of these children feel frustrated imagining how much might be accomplished if only they really applied themselves. But they frequently won't, unless the subject really captures their interest or they connect in a very personal way with a teacher they respect. Then they can perform at an unusually high level. A big problem for INTPs is that they are so quickly bored, and once their attention wanders, they will rarely finish the many interesting projects they start.
- Thirteen year old Brandon taught himself to play the guitar, figuring out chords and fingerpicking as he went along. He even mentioned, once, that he was thinking about putting a band together. But as with most of his ideas, he had almost no drive to follow through with it. He finished only a small fraction of the things he started. The best part of any project was thinking it up, solving the inherent problems in it, and perfecting the flaws. The actual performance or demonstration of his mastery held little appeal.
Socially, teen-aged INTPs usually remain hesitant to join in and are rarely the initiators in their relationships. They are characteristically very private about matters of the heart and believe it is nobody's business but their own. Above all, INTPs will avoid doing anything at which they cannot be masters. They prize their competency above everything else. So the areas of their lives in which they feel less secure, less capable – like the emotional area – are the areas they are least comfortable sharing with others. They will not risk looking like a fool. Parents of adolescent INTPs often find that if they ask about their child's romantic interests and activities, their child may avoid the subject, clam up completely, or growl, 'Leave me alone, Mom, Dad.' Pressing the issues will only push them further away, whereas respecting their privacy will create an atmosphere of acceptance in which respect, trust, and openness can grow.
Interestingly, INTPs may not be as susceptible to peer pressure as children of other types because their opinions are not as easily swayed by others and because they rarely do anything they don't really want to do just to impress, please, or be accepted by others.
- Once fourteen year old Tammy made up her mind that drugs were 'stupid', nothing anyone said could change her mind. Her mother, while relieved that her daughter sounded so sure in her opposition to experimenting with drugs, also knew that Tammy was a curious and risk-tasking person by nature. So she was understandably skeptical and wanted further reassurance that Tammy wasn't just telling her what she wanted to hear. Tammy became indignant and exasperated and said, 'Look, Mom. Other kids can take drugs if they want. But other kids are a lot less intelligent, anyway. So you really should know better than to compare me to them!' Finally relieved, her mother recognized that this pattern of independent decision making had been her daughter's style since infancy.
This is not to say that all INTPs avoid experimenting with drugs, alcohol, or other dangerous activities. Many times they do participate in very scary behavior and can sometimes even be prompted to do things on a dare. Caution is not the hallmark of INTPs, unless it is in the emotional area. One family went through three fenders the month their INTP learned to drive! But when INTPs take risks, it is usually not because they have been pressured into it by an influential group of friends. Rather, they do it to satisfy their own curiosity or to prove something to themselves.
INTPs are so naturally skeptical of authority that they may find themselves in trouble for talking back to adults, pushing limits, and arguing – often quite persuasively – against what they find to be unfair or ridiculous rules. Many INTPs flout curfews or neglect to call to advise their parents when they will be late. Because they are basically inattentive to rules and don't naturally see the need for such courtesies, they may appear insensitive and self-centered. For most INTPs, considering the impact their actions have on others is a learned skill.
Arguments with an INTP are rarely won if they aren't presented within a logical framework. Since they naturally and immediately see flaws in any position, inconsistencies may be the kiss of death in persuading INTPs to do what it asked. And because they are so inherently unimpressed with systems or regulations they see as pointless or irrational, compromise can be a tough call.
- Fifteen year old Tyrone had a running argument with his mother. He found it silly and illogical to be required to take clean clothes out of the laundry basket and put them away in dresser drawers just to take them out again, wear them, and return them to the hamper. He found loading the dirty dishes into the dishwasher after each meal a waste of time, too. Tyrone reasoned that it made more sense to wait until there were enough dishes in the sink – after the dishes had piled up from several meals – to warrant running the dishwasher. After several arguments, he and his mother finally came to an acceptable compromise, but one that really satisfied neither of them: Tyrone could handle the clean clothes/dirty clothes problem however he wanted as long as he wore clean clothes each day and the dirty laundry finally made it into the wash. But on the dishes argument, his mother insisted that even though he thought it was stupid, the day's dirty dishes had to be in the dishwasher each day before she returned home from work.
Establishing a minimum standard everyone can agree with sometimes helps. Usually, INTPs are not being intentionally difficult; they just can't help seeing the flaws of logic in ideas, systems, and arguments. As parents, it's not fair or right to ask or demand that our INTP children ignore the fundamental way they see the world. If we do, we risk creating a constantly contentious and hostile environment. But more important, we undermine their natural way of making assessments and drawing conclusions. We communicate tolerance of their style when we accept them for who they are and teach them coping skills to help them deal more effectively with an often illogical and even silly world. Appeal to their ability to imagine or project what might be the possible consequences of their choices – in the external world. Help them to see that what may happen, or what probably will happen, may not be what makes the most sense. Instead, it is sometimes just the opposite, because it is the human and often irrational reaction. Learning to be tolerant is a life skill we must model – it just can't be taught any other way.
The INTP in a Crystal Ball
While they do not appear to be especially happy or ebullient people, INTPs are not necessarily unhappy, either. Since they are each unique and so different from most people they meet, their style is often at variance from the way our society operates. The road for INTPs can be a difficult one. Parents of INTPs of any age need to accept these sometimes 'tough nuts' for who they are, and communicate in word and, more importantly, in deed, that they are perfectly all right just the way they are. With time, they will learn the interpersonal skills they need and begin to allow themselves to trust and confide in others. But INTPs must first and foremost be accepted for the unique and ingenious people they are. With self-esteem firmly in place, they will have the courage and energy to take the risks of exposing their true selves to others and sharing their ideas with the world.
At their best, INTPs are independent and original people. They can be ingenious problem solvers and super-logical analysts of everything. Creative thinkers, they are capable of understanding and synthesizing complex and technical information with almost no effort. They can be the most competent and capable people to have around, with their calm and incisive style of cutting right to the heart of problems, quickly seeing alternatives and solutions others miss. Allowed to grow, learn, explore, and take risks, INTPs can become multi-talented people, capable of breaking through the barriers of limited thought to become the real inventors and innovators of our society.
Recapping What Works with INTPs
- Let them explore within wide but safe boundaries.
- Give them plenty of time to think things through before responding.
- Provide them with lots of raw materials with which they can experiment freely, expect that they may try to take things apart (and not always be able to put them back together).
- Encourage them to finish some of the projects they start by offering creative incentives.
- Respect their privacy; use notes to communicate with them (pictures for pre-readers, words for readers) to express your affection.
- Find common interests to foster closeness and intimacy.
- Explain the reason for each and every rule and limit; always frame requests in logical terms.
- Provide plenty of scientific and technical books, encyclopedias, and computer materials.
- Look for and establish mutually agreed upon standards; don't assume they agree unless they explicitly say they do.
- Help them develop time management skills.
- Try not to fuss over them; let them try to do things for themselves and learn from the consequences of their successes and failures.
- Expect to be challenged often and that they will seem to resort to hairsplitting; recognize this not as a deliberate attempt to be annoying or contrary, but rather a desire to achieve perfection in their arguments.
[Source: Nurture By Nature: Understand Your Child's Personality – And Become a Better Parent by Barbara Barron-Tieger and Paul D. Tieger]