Friday, June 25, 2010

Motherstyles - are you a T or an F?

the beginnings of my new vision board

The third section of your personality style is T vs F, thinking vs feeling.

As always, it's not to say that if you're a T, you have no feelings and if you're an F, you don't use your brain LOL

All it means is that when you make decisions, one part takes priority over the other. You have a certain preference.

When I used to teach these workshops at the church, I'd ask people to cross their arms on their chests.

In fact, why don't you go ahead and do just that? I'll wait.

Now reverse the crossing.

Where your hand went over, put it under, and so on....

Again, I'll wait.

When you try to reverse the crossing you CAN do it but it takes concentration and a lot of thought.

Same with decision-making.

There's one way that's your preference and that's automatic to you (the first way you crossed your arms) and another way that is not as natural (when you "forced" yourself to fold your arms the other way).

So, T vs F.

Thinking moms are about getting their kids to be independent while Feeling moms are more natural sympathisers.

An example in the book is this:

If your child falls while playing, the Feeling mom rushes in to comfort while the Thinking mom gives the child space and lets them get over it themselves.

To an F, a T will seem heartless and cold and to a T, an F might seem like they molly-coddle :)

The book says that a major difference between the two types is the way they deal with boundaries.

Gosh! Boundaries are one of my favourite subjects in the world (and it's one of my most popular articles every single month in the article directories).

A T mom sees very clear boundaries between herself and her children. She sees her kids as separate from herself.

Boundaries between people are very blurred with the F mom. This mom battles to give her kids emotional distance.

The T gives her kids independence and the F is more loving.

Now here's the part I found most interesting as a T:
  • Most F moms found motherhood very natural in the early days when kids are more dependent on them and enjoyed caring for very young kids the most.
  • The T moms feel like they hit their stride as their kids age because children are more rational and independent.
I have a friend with 2 teenagers and a tween (going on 30!) and she's always said to me she LOVED the baby days. The hardest part for her was letting them grow up :) - now I know definitely an F (there are other things too...)

Conflict is another major area of difference between the two types.

F types thrive on harmony and therefore will avoid conflict at all costs as they don't want hurt feelings.

T types are objective and have the ability to be direct so they don't mind dealing with the tough issues to achieve a fair and just result.

Soooo true.

Aha moments for me

  • Competence is to the T what harmony is to the F. Validation of my competence is core to me and that's why I should do something apart from mothering to take care of me.
  • In the working world T's are seen as very "male" and female T types often come across as unfeeling! So, so true. This is something I work on all the time with people who do work for me.
The T tends to be a stricter parent, firm with boundaries and encouraging independence. Both D and I are T's - poor kids.

  • car seats
  • crying
  • no rocking to sleep (my mother phoned me yesterday around their bedtime and asked if they were asleep. I said I didn't know because "I put them down, tuck them in, say goodnight and leave". She was horrified!)

Now for the fun part - the discussion :)

What are you and what is your hubby? How can you see the T or F playing out in your life or as a parent?

P.S. Please click the Motherstyles label for the other parts to this series of posts.


  1. Can I say I think I have a bit of both? Perhaps leaning more towards an F type but definitely with strong tendencies towards T type. I'm an F through and through, except when you listed examples of the T type - car seats, routine, learning to sleep by themselves because I am exactly like that.

  2. Oh I am for sure a T one when Hunter might lean a bit more o the F side.

  3. LOL in some ways we're sooooo alike! B and I are both Ts (I'm INTJ and he's INTF). Thanks for the explanation :)

  4. Both Billy and I are Ts. (In fact, I am and ESTJ and he is an ENTJ, maybe an INTJ). I also read the book and was struck the by comment on how T moms may hit their stride as their children get a bit older. I really think that will be true for me. Its not that I don't love my kids, but I think I have a harder time dealing with baby/toddler issues than many other moms. But when those other moms worry about the school-age and teen years, I look at it like it will be the best time of all.

    This is why I rushed to have my third baby - not because I love taking care of babies but because I am eager for it to be all done with! :)

  5. I'm a thinker and Husband is a Feeler. He loved the early days and I'm just now hitting my full awesomeness as a parent. He rushes in and I stand back. Such an interesting post...I really love it!

  6. Agh. I am definitely a T. My husband --- an F. It can be frustrating when he runs to their rescue every time they whimper, while I tend to sit back and watch (with a close eye) to make sure they are ok, but let them work through it on their own. Obviously if they hurt themself very bad I'd run to cuddle, and if they are sick I'm all about the cuddle; but, on a regular day --- I want them to come into their own! It's interesting to me that you say the T moms had more difficulty in the beginning because I definitely did...

  7. I'm definitely a T, and I think Jeremy is too. Although, when it comes to the personal confrontation stuff, I may act more like an F! I hate confrontation. I'd rather complain about a problem to anyone who will listen than deal with an intense confrontation. : )

    I definitely agree with the part about hitting our stride as the kids get older. I LOVE my walking, sort-of-talking little girls who are very obviously learning new things every day!

  8. I'm a T, T, T. And a J. So, yeah, I'm going to be the harsh mother.

  9. Great post! I'm a T all the way. . .Dh is an F. Maybe we'll balance each other out. . .Maybe we'll have more to argue about. :)


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