Typing Children


At what age can you begin to type kids? What ages do each function start to show? I have an 7 year old daughter that I thought was Enfp, now I’m thinking Entp. She has in your face extroverted intuition because of her ADHD. First of all, is it right to assume that this is her dominant function? If so, how and when does the auxiliary show up? Does the tertiary get represented at all at this age?


I believe Blake said the Id was a big thing when young, but I am not sure how it presents. Still trying to sort that out.
In my experience, the auxiliary is there, does show at seven, and probably younger.
I knew my daughter was intuitive before I was studying MBTI. Did not know about the Introverted and extroverted difference back then.
Am interested in and trying to sort my nephew but he is only 4. Thanks for the thread to put it in.


According to Penelope Trunk who likes making it her business to type:

You can tell a child’s personality type as young as three years old, and personality type remains largely unchanged throughout life. It’s how you are born. So much of parenting ends up being a struggle against a child’s type when in fact, any child can excel if you ask that child to be the best version of who they are.

I think this is probably based on after the child has started to really grasp language and is speaking in self-made phrases/word combinations. That way, you can have a better grasp if their internal cognitions.

I am trying to think back on my own childhood… and I think the Id and Dominant fuctions are probably most apparent, and the Aux function is still being tested out and looks like a “trouble-making” kind of function. At least for me, it was Te “experimentation” that got me into all sorts of troubles… hahah! I think the tertiary stays pretty internal or unconscious until maybe early preteens?

This link kind of reinforces that:

That link says that ENxP children don’t define their typing until later in preteens, but I think it’s just because it’s hard to tell the difference between “talkative-friendly ENFP” and “talkative-adversarial ENTP”. They otherwise have have pretty different setups besides Ne-dom and Si-inferior axis, but maybe because children are messy amateurs, it’s hard to figure out if they are using Fe or Fi, etc.

I think ENTP children would have been even more trouble-making early on, a bit combative/argumentative with parents (due to Te-id testing boundaries). ENFP child would probably be looking for attention and smiley early on, looking to please and be placated by parents and people around them due to Fe-id. Probably at your daughter’s age, you will see clear development toward the auxiliaries to control her id tendencies: ENTP Ti (debate using facts) vs ENFP Fi (draw attention by being inspiring/hero in some way).


Prax, can’t thank you enough for this info. I’ve been googling this for a while but have not stumbled upon these articles.

Yes, it’s why I’ve been trying to figure out my kids’ types.

Ok, then she’s entp. As soon as she started elementary school and developed reasoning skills and an advanced vocabulary, my wife started geting called to my daughters school for the weirdest things…and it usually involved her talking back to her teacher which at the time I assumed was Fi aux. I’ve seen her argue with adults, making them blow up, while her tone is calm and seemingly reasonable. And I’ve been a horrible parent for being amused by this, trying hard not to smirk while telling her to quit her shit. When I lightly scolded her for finding her awake after midnight reading a book on a school night she said these exact words “well why would you let your kid have candy before bed. Your the adult why did you give in?” Haha, what a little shit! My wife yells at her and disciplines her frequently out of frustration with her argumentive nature. I try to use this as a reason to be her favorite parent but then she’s like "Your the funner parent but if I only had you, I’d be lucky to be alive by 10 years old!..and for this I love this little shit even more.


@TinyYellowTree Thanks for sharing! Do you know your kids types? If so, at what age did you feel confident about what you typed them?


Hahah you’re welcome! I’m glad I could help!

HAHAHA absolutely precious yet devious of her! What type is your wife to get so annoyed about this? I hope your daughter develops her Fe well and soon so she doesn’t have a list of growing enemies from all her smack talking. XD


My kids are 20, 18, boys and 13, girls. My daughter typed herself at about 11/12, and I agree with her. In fact she would say the same things as your daughter does. She catches me on my shit. But as I am pretty sure my brother is ENTP, I do not think she is, even as she uses similar logic. The other day, I had to ask her if it was rough being so much smarter than all her teachers. Another time I suggested she make a suggestion to her teacher and she said 'no, I just want to point out their flaws and judge them. She once typed as INTJ, and in some ways she does remind me of Prax, very artistic in a similar way, but she seems more a perceiver. I leave room for more information in any case.
She is very averse to talking to people much of the time. Wants us to order food. Won’t answer the door for the mailman… going through a very introverted stage right now.
My second son may be INTP also, he went through the same stage years ago, becoming emotional when she/he is asked to do things out of the house or be part of family doings. He spends time in much the same way she does but he is more gamer than artist. He is quieter than her, very good with animals, you don’t have to tell him things harshly or not more than once or twice. Not a pusher. They are easy children.
I am having more trouble with my oldest. He is with an ESTJ, and he tested once as INFJ and I don’t think so for reasons that would make this post pretty long. I am thinking ENFJ. He makes faces like Marlon Brando. Very emotional if you know him, though he can hide it somewhat. I’ve also contemplated INFP and ENFP. He has a similar confidence as his dad [INFP].
My other daughter seems to be ESFJ, though I have not ruled out ESFP. I think her best friend is ESFP or ESFJ also.
Right now, I am in the downswing where I think I know fucking nothing. But these are what I have been contemplating.
The thing with seeing similarities, for example, INTP or INTJ, is that I also see similarities between me and Lunar and me and Erika, and me and Prax, but there is an alignment with piggie and others I believe are INFJ plus everything Blake has written that makes it clear, to me at least, that I am functioning with the same stack [though less able or willing to express myself than some]. It is yet harder when it is not you to see the alignment over the similarities.
I’ve only been studying MBTI for maybe 3 or so years altogether.


I also found this which I have not finished reading.
And @Prax, your link was helpful, thanks! Scale remains tipped towards ESFJ with that.


ISFJ. I’m hoping the 2 year old or 6 month old is a sensor for her sake. Lol. We are really fucking up her Si dream of reliving her perky childhood. Haha. Her annoyance comes from my daughters inability to mobilize within my wife’s timelined plans. Every weekday morning is chaos. Otherwise she actually is impressed by her as well but more for her academic achievements.


Hahaha I love your daughter!!

And she doesn’t sound like ENFP… I remember my sister when she was a kid… naughty and attention seeking but didn’t have the guts or logic to talk back… she kinda just got used by other kids a lot… gave me a very melancholic (probably not the perfect word) feeling for some reason… and i felt like i needed to protect her all the time because she got hurt very easily… Fe id is sad… Te id sounds like it can handle situations pretty well on its own… both are trouble makers though…


My mother said that when I was younger I would use my charm to terrorize my older brother and manipulate him into being a troublemaker…and I pulled a lot of pranks as well…but at the same time I was so obedient to teachers and authority figures…I was left handed but when my kindergarten teacher told me that I should be right handed I just switched hands and learned to write with my right hand…didn’t even complain…I can’t write with my left hand now so I didn’t even believe my mother when she told me…

I just totally rambled lool…I have no idea if you could figure out enfj from that but here you go??


A similar thing here. I was left handed as well, and my mom told me that when I saw the other kids using their right hand, I switched. I was in Montessori, so I don’t think anyone told me I had to switch, but I did. My mom was an aid sometimes so she may have seen this for herself, or may have been told, not sure. I can use both hands for many things, though I can’t write or draw near as well. I have no problem eating with my left.


I think it’s easy to tell children’s type if they have really strong types. My oldest is ENTJ no question about it. He is king, always. And he marches to his own drummer. I get along very well with him and absolutely adore him, but, well, WOW.

My youngest is harder and I’m still not 100% sure. Much milder with Ti really high up, definitely Ni somewhere and not very emotional. (Fi in ENTJs can be quite a trip for comparison). My guess is ISTP with INTJ second. Good grasp of Se, so definitely not INTP.


@Impossibletobe can you describe your entj with some examples?.. What you said got me thinking…but I just want to rule out entj if it doesn’t make sense for my kid. I’ve only been trying to type for 6 months. Lol. Also, are they into art or music?


For the record I was not at all this smart as a young person. Not sure about how Ne-Si develops but I can say that I would have mistakenly typed as ENFP most of my childhood and my mom would have typed me as an ENTJ 8 with no wing from the time I was in her tummy. Most adults found me remarkably smart and intense and enjoyed debating me and stuff. I didn’t notice myself as being separate and existing apart from others till 5th grade, had no theory of mind till then really.


What a badass. Love that. I guess I would say don’t put away ENFP. what does ENFP look like as a kid I wonder? Honestly I was nothing like your daughter; she has much more presence of mind than me. I was just one giant fucking appetite for new new new plus a large speaker.


Thanks @johnonymous I was thinking that she does have conviction to what she says and i can’t see Fe at all in her…and she really loves art and creating.


I like personality hacker podcast. They talk about their daughter being an ENFP enneagram 8. Look that up and see if it resonates.


Thanks will do!



That’s kind of a hard one for kids. I’d agree with johnonymous that certain traits in my son didn’t really come out until about 5th grade (creativity in writing and story telling–Ne id, as well as back seat parenting “it would be more effective if you did XYZ this way, mom”).

Of my adult male friends over 30, I find that ENTPs and ENTJs tend to be the most similar. Sharing one of your two top functions, dominant or id, means you can speak each other’s language in some way (INFJs with INFP/INTJ/INTP), and I don’t know how clear the difference between an ENTP and ENTJ would always be in a child, especially a female one. The examples I just gave about my son could easily describe an ENTP (except for the fact that he has always made all his friends call him King XX).

I think I would look for Fi in a child. Fi trips ENTJs up quite a bit, but you won’t find much of it in an ENTPs. An ENTP will not make any decisions based on it, but will want someone else to have it and exercise it for them. ENTJs are unbelievable loyal in their feelings to those they deeply care about–this is the Fi trait that I found shows up earliest in them, but they also get tripped up by Fi and go into quandaries over it when stressed (should I keep this money I found on the ground or try to find its owner?). One of the biggest signs is that my son gets incredibly upset if he doesn’t feel he gets treated with the respect he “deserves” from his peers.

ENTPs that I know don’t really care about things like that; they will throw outward signs of respect from the general public under the bus in trade for an internal sense of winning (such as a better title for a higher salary–which no one other than two people may know that they have). As long as they are winning where it counts to them, then that is all that matters. When they are stressed, it is Si problems that pop up or immersing themselves in history, and I’ve seen a couple who will do amazing things to uphold the family tradition or keep the family chain continuing, not from a sense of emotion, but a sense of duty.

Not sure if that helps, but those are the two types I would most easily confuse in a child. The few ENFP children I’ve seen have a wonderful sense of social grace, ease and manipulation that is remarkable and unmistakable as ENF.