As a kid, I knew I was slightly different from most kids. Most of my thoughts and ideas were characterized by external behavior. Basically, I was introverted, so many kids saw me as shy. Most of my ideas I tried to create in reality, like coming up with stories or building stuff with LEGOs.
That was my personality, in essence. In a cognitive functional view, I would have been fully immersed in “Fi” or my Introverted Feeling, which I believe was true.
Many INFP children are characterized their quiet, sensitive nature. I know, especially, as a child stories were on my mind constantly. Whether I would play with toys and come up with elaborate plots, sneaky villains, idealistic heroes, or read books constantly, I enjoyed escaping reality as a kid. Kids are notorious for their vast imaginations and many INFP children are always using their’s.
In school, many INFPs are misdiagnosed with ADD. Though they may not be hyper-active like ADHD children, INFP children do possess qualities such as “dreaminess” or their “preoccupation with their inner rich world”, as Oddly Developed Types quotes. Because INFPs are Perceivers, they’re seen as unorganized kids, and because they are Intuitives, many teachers notice that INFPs do not care much about minor details, thus school can sometimes be boring for INFPs.
Unfortunately, many INFPs suffer in school because of their lack of class participation. Teachers often think that students who don’t talk and participate in class aren’t paying attention, but many INFP students hate speaking up and drawing attention to themselves. This past semester in college I learned to combat my introversion slightly. If I’m comfortable with the class I’m in and if I know the people around me more or less “well”, then I’ll be comfortable speaking up or raising my hand. However, in classes I wasn’t comfortable in, I hated speaking up. If the teacher asked us what the answer was to a problem, I would feel like I was slowly “dying” inside, as I knew the answer, but no one would speak up.
When INFP children get an idea, they go to every means possible to create and build whatever is on their mind. They’ll often be passionate about these ideas for short periods of time until either the “newness” of the idea dies off or a new idea catches their eye. During their free time, they’re often reading fiction or anything that keeps aflame their passions. For instance I used to read a lot of books on space and being an astronaut when I was kid, as space was very fascinating to me.
INFP children also need harmony and peace, so when friends are upset or the family is in disarray, INFPs seek to create peace. Or, in some cases, the INFP will close themselves off from family and friends until the “storms” pass. Any criticism of the INFP or of their creations, ideas, and works will cause the INFP child to become emotional and sensitive. Either they will grow angry with the critic or they will again close themselves off from other people, feeling depressed about the new “knowledge” they have about themselves or their ideas.
Emotionally, INFP children are very empathetic of other people and like their adult counterparts, they are in tune with other people’s emotions. On a personal level, INFP children need a lot of love and affection in order to reaffirm their relationships with family and friends. Because they are rather sensitive, they can often interpret things that don’t exist or read too much into things. Since the INFP’s emotional acuity is only beginning, if family members are acting certain ways towards the INFP, like if they are unintentionally being somewhat neglectful or upset towards the INFP, the INFP will take the pieces and try to fit together the big picture. Thus, the slightest imbalance of emotion and relational affection among friends and family can cause disarray within the INFP.
INFP children also have trouble making decisions, as they don’t want to make the wrong decision, especially if they aren’t sure which choice has the most emotional or rational weight. Though they learn from their mistakes, they hate the consequences and repurcussions, thus, causing them to fear making any decisions in general if it’s slightly risky going with one choice.
INFPs also hold their families and friends in a very idealistic light, and INFP children will grow depressed if family members or friends go against the INFP’s preconceived notions of them.
INFP children are often kind, sensitive, and laid-back, so they don’t have the tendency to create trouble. In general, INFP kids are quiet, creative, sensitive, and sometimes tardy. Many INFPs will find their classmates or friends odd for not sharing the INFP’s passions and dreams. INFPs need a lot of love and encouragement, so that they can be emotionally sound and feel good about themselves and their ideas. While they may be quiet, their brains are hardly ever quiet, as they are constantly preoccupied with ideas, thoughts, and daydreams.
And as they grow older, INFP children will dig deeper into themselves and their personalities. As they begin to find out why they are different from many other kids and teens, they will relish and embrace their individuality and uniqueness. This need to learn more about themselves will often lead them to other people who are like them. And it is this “introspective journey” that leads many children to finding out that they are INFP.