Portrait of an ENP Child

Portrait of an ENP Child

(Extraverted iNtuitive Perceiving)

ENP traits

  1. They have a lot of energy
  2. They're curious about everything, and seem to be always asking "Why?"
  3. They have lots of ideas and love to talk about them
  4. They always have several projects going on
  5. They want to be original and interesting
  6. They like to be leaders, and resist following
  7. They're very social
  8. They're very independent, and want to do things for themselves
  9. They want to be the center of attention
  10. They probably tend to be dramatic, and enjoy acting or performing
  11. They're outspoken and energetic, and may interrupt frequently, or finish people's sentences for them

Potential strengths

  1. They're usually cheerful, optimistic, and fun to be around
  2. They're enthusiastic and fearless
  3. They believe that anything is possible
  4. They have very good communication skills and a strong ability to persuade others to come around to their point of view
  5. They usually have a good vocabulary, and can express themselves well in written and verbal form
  6. They're very clever
  7. They show an unusual understanding of people and situations for a child
  8. They have good people skills and are usually well-liked
  9. They naturally see the possibilities of a situation and the "big picture"

Potential weaknesses

  1. They frequently forget rules, or else they never knew them in the first place
  2. They have a lot of projects going on at one time, and may be scattered
  3. They frequently don't finish their projects
  4. They're usually very messy, and dislike cleaning up
  5. They tend to speak in a very loud voice without realizing it
  6. They have difficulty making decisions, and often resist decisions
  7. They are often unaware of their physical environment
  8. They may not take good care of themselves
  9. They're not usually very aware of time or schedules
  10. They don't like being controlled by others, and may be rebellious
  11. They dislike being asked to do anything, and will often act very "put upon" by any request

ENP Learning Style

ENPs like to be busy and active, and need a lot of stimulation to keep from getting bored. They find tasks that require rote memorization intensely boring. They also don't do well with following pre-defined steps that someone else has come up with. ENPs like to be involved in their projects. They will only put effort into things that they are very interested in doing, which typically means that they need to have come up with the idea or contributed to it somehow. Alternatively, they can be motivated to participate in projects if someone else has really sold them on the idea, and thus inspired them to be interested in the project.

ENPs are distracted easily from the task at hand, and need to really develop their ability to focus in on what they're doing and close out environmental distractions. This is an acquired skill for ENPs. This does not mean that the ENP should be put in a room by themselves to work on their assignments. This would actually be detrimental to the ENP. They work best with others, and around others. They should be encouraged to work on their projects in the presence of others, but to remain focused on what they're doing.

ENPs have trouble finishing projects that they have begun. This is partially due to the fact that they are easily distracted environmentally, but also due to the fact that they quickly lose interest in their projects once they are past the planning phase. ENPs love to come up with interesting ideas and things to do, but find the process of actually implementing their plans to be tedious. ENPs will not finish all of their projects, and this should be understood, but the ENP should be encouraged to complete some projects all the way through to the end. This is an important step for the ENP, who needs to learn the value of following through.

The most valuable thing that can be taught to an ENP is the concept of narrowing their focus. The ENP has many ideas going on at once in their head, and believes that they can do everything. They are not realistic in their scope. They should be told repeatedly "pick one thing and do it well". The adult who is able to impress this upon the young ENP will be giving them a tremendous gift.

ENPs are not very concerned with their grades, or with doing their homework. They will resist doing assignments that they find tedious. They are far more interested in understanding the theory behind a problem than they are in actually doing the problem. They learn best by theory rather than by example. They need to understand the theory before they can do anything. Teachers should communicate the theory behind the practical application in order to get through to the ENP.

Let's use division as an example. Some children learn how to divide numbers best by doing it over and over again. They learn by example and repetition. Once they have done a lot of different division problems, they understand how it works and are comfortable with dividing numbers. ENPs learn division best by understanding the concepting of dividing a whole number into smaller parts. They see a circle with a line drawn down the middle, and understand that the whole has been cut in half, or "divided" in half. Once they understand the theory, they can apply this to their division problems and they are comfortable with dividing numbers.

ENPs are goal-oriented, and do well when given the goal and left alone to achieve it in their own way. They don't like being told explicitly how to do things. They value their own ideas and competence, and treat explicit instructions almost as an insult to their intelligence. They want to be given a goal and a general theory, and use their own resources to fill in the blanks.

ENP special needs

ENP children are extremely perceptive about people, and can determine someone else's attitude pretty easily. If a parent disciplines their ENP child reluctantly or with hesitation, the ENP will pick up on that immediately and perceive that they might be able to get away with pushing you to not discipline them. In general, the ENP tests their boundaries regularly, and will always try to push their boundaries out a bit further. If they're supposed to be in bed at 9:30, they'll push for 10:00. When they get 10:00, they'll push for 10:30. Boundaries and guidelines need to be defined explicitly and firmly for the ENP child, with kindness.

ENPs believe that anything is possible, so they have a hard time accepting that they can't get their way. This creates a problem for parents trying to create guidelines for their ENP children's behavior. ENPs believe that surely things could be worked out in any situation so that the ENP gets want they want, and consequently they have a really hard time accepting that they're not going to get their way. For an ENP, being told that they can't do something or have something is perplexing and troubling. They will push repeatedly and ask repeatedly for whatever it is that they're seeking. In order for them to accept their parent's judgment, they need to be told WHY the parent has set the rule or boundary. The rule needs to be defined explicitly to the ENP child, with no room for alternative interpretation.

ENP children are very independent and find their greatest source of self-esteem from their abilities to do things well. They want to do things for themselves, and resist having their parents or other adults telling them what to do. An adult can best encourage a growing ENP by showing interest in their projects and admiration for the ENP's ideas, and by letting the ENP figure out how to do things on their own without too many specific instructions. This is different from the approach that should be taken when defining guidelines for behavior. Rules and boundaries should be set firmly for the child, but specific instructions on achieving goals should be avoided.

The "missing" letter

Adult personality types contain four letters, while for kids aged 7-12 we use three letter types. What happened to the missing letter? It's there, we just can't usually determine what it is until after a person is around 13 years old. ENP kids will grow up to be either ENTP "Visionaries" or ENFP "Inspirers". At this stage in their development, it's not obvious whether they will choose Thinking or Feeling to complement their preference for Intuition. You will see the child practicing both Thinking and Feeling as they settle down into their preferred function. In some children, it's possible to distinguish their "missing" letter, but for many kids we just have to wait a few years to be sure.