Book Review - Motherstyles by J. Penley and D. Eble

23 January 2012

A review of the book Motherstyles: Using Personality to Discover Your Parenting Strengths by Janet Penley and Diane Eble

I first read about this book on Marcia’s blog. It’s a mothering personality book that’s based on the Myers-Briggs typing. Since I was quite familiar with Myers-Briggs and also a big fan, I purchased the kindle version of the book and have been reading it on my phone and ipad.

What’s in it? The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality profiling tool that groups people into 16 different categories based on their preferences and choices i.e. introvert vs. extrovert, thinking vs. feeling, sensing vs. intuition and judging vs. perception. Based on attending a course at work 7 years ago, I already knew that I was a INTP - the "love of learning" mother.

What I learned: I did learn about my mothering style – more hands-off, focused on nurturing knowledge and independence in kids, needing to work on creating a path for emotional support when the kids need it. I also learnt that the personality types are not distributed equally. INTP and personality type makes up less than 4% of women. In plain English, I’m a different kind of mother/person. (That’s pretty obvious from reading my blog.)
What this book did for me was it helped me appreciate how unique my style is and embrace it without feeling deficient. That was the best lesson ever. Here's an excerpt of tips for an INTP mother from the family education website.
  • The INTP mother can benefit from setting aside regular times when she can turn inward and lose herself in reading, thought, or work. Energized by time alone to think, her "mind time" is a necessity, not a luxury. To do her best mothering, the INTP may need to get up early, stay up late, or use children's nap time to read, daydream, or gaze out the window in thought.
  • Believing she is different from other mothers, the INTP may feel uncomfortable if she compares herself to more traditional mothers. If she can learn to trust in her own unique strengths and enjoy her relationship with her children (rather than compare hers to other mothers'), she can boost her mothering confidence and take greater pleasure in day-to-day living.
Conclusion: This book may not be for you if you don't have the patience or inclination for studying human psychology - I do. I love this book though I think it’s too early to reap the full benefits. It would be even more beneficial when the kids are older (8 years and up) and displaying their own personality. I think any mom struggling with a tween or teen should give this book a shot. Understanding the personality differences between you and your child (and other people around you) can be a big step towards a more harmonious existence. 

Mothering Personality Quiz
Motherstyles official website

I, Have affiliate links in the post but my opinions are my own and not paid 

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