Julie’s parents swear she was born talking. Although this is an exaggeration, she certainly used every means of communication she could find to let her parents know that she was there and busy learning and thinking. Her mother still remembers that, in her crawling days, she would sashay up and tug vigorously on her mom’s clothes to get her attention whenever she wanted something. Her desire to do things well and quickly was the hallmark of her childhood. Whenever her developmental timetable readied her for a new skill she would go at it with a fury. This was true of crawling, standing, walking, talking—you name it!
Her “fear of strangers” period as an infant was very short, and except for that brief period she delighted in every new face that entered the house. She began preschool just before her third birthday. When her mom brought her in on the first morning she stood looking around with an expression of uncertainty and seemed ready to cry. Then she smiled, instead, and went over to the group. That was the last of her preschool shyness. Interestingly, though, although Julie enjoyed lots of company and had no shyness with strangers, easily striking up conversations, asking for help in the store, chatting happily on the telephone with friends and family members, she did not welcome gestures of affection from people to whom she was not close, and was not shy about showing it. It seemed that she reserved the right to make up her own mind about with whom she wanted to share hugs!
As a toddler, she had to be a part of anything that was going on, from helping Mom make hamburger patties to helping Dad drain the oil in his car. This could be both loveable and maddening for her parents, who were forever rescuing her from precarious situations. In her preschool years she brought this same enthusiasm to every experience, from finger-painting to skating.
Today, at eight, she is clearly a leader in her class at school. She attacked reading and math just as she did walking and talking, and is obviously headed for academic achievement. Among the girls she is a ringleader in ways that are often very good—planning parties and other fun events, and sometimes in ways that cause teachers and her friends’ parents to shake their heads. She can always help her friends find an argument for doing whatever they would like to do at a given moment, and in this way, can be something of a “dangerous mind.” The boys find her fun and interesting, but also pretty competitive and, to some, un-girl-like.
She likes her parents—says her dad (an ENTP), is “pretty cool,” and is very fond of her ISFJ mom, but already has advice for her on ways she could improve (“Be logical, Mom,” “Use your imagination, Mom,” “You look sad, why don’t you call up a friend?”)
At this point in her young life, Julie imagines her future as an astronaut. The idea of hurtling into outer space, doing things no one has ever done before, and learning about things that no one knows yet, is fascinating to her. There is little doubt that whatever Julie wants to do, Julie will succeed in doing.
Are there things that Julie will need to learn? Of course. She needs to know much more about the feelings and thoughts of others. She especially needs to learn to respect her own limits and the limits adults set on her. At this age, she still sometimes gets into predicaments she can’t pull off. Just as she wanted to cook the family hamburger patties at two, she sometimes takes on projects, or tries to plan events that are beyond her present skills. For example, she decided that she wanted to have a Valentine’s Day party for her class, and wanted to do it all herself, from food to decorations. Her mother, used to Julie’s incredible competence, decided to let her try, although she had her doubts that she could do it alone. Sure enough, by the morning of the party, Julie’s little to-do list still had at least two days worth of work on it, and she was sitting in her room in tears—being most un-Julie-like. Smart mom—whom Julie often underestimates, made a big point of how much she missed being able to be a part of the party, and convinced her willful daughter to let her help, thereby saving the day.
Based on her life so far, we would predict good things for Julie. She is going to encounter plenty of frustrations and there will be people throughout her life who will not enjoy her strong, take-charge-and-let’s-do-it personality. Most likely she will make her share of enemies along the way. But she shows great energy and determination and has many talents as well as a gift for friendship that should more than balance her problems. Having an ENTP father who should share many of her traits, she should grow up feeling well understood. The fact that her mother is very different (ISFP) could go either way. If there is not some understanding and respect for differences they could have a very difficult time relating. The mother could find her daughter socially superficial, argumentative, unduly competitive (especially for a girl), lacking in feminine nurture and compassion, and therefore a disappointment. Julie might find her mother to be too reserved and inward, too practical and matter-of-fact and (by her standard), illogical and unreasonable. On the other hand, if there is some real understanding that we are all born with Gifts Differing, the substantial differences between mother and daughter, and between the parents, could provide a wonderful learning experience for Julie.
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