Daycare Kids & Myers-Briggs.

by Amy Smith

We put our 15-month old son in the nursery at church Sunday. When we picked him up the nursery workers were gushing about how sweet he was and how well he had done being with them for the first time.

 

“He just came right in and made himself at home! Does he go to daycare?”

 

I nodded, and I knew why they had asked what really amounted to a rhetorical question. They assumed he was a daycare baby because he adjusted so readily to a strange classroom.

 

I know that my baby is very “easy” socially. He likes people and his general disposition is laid back, friendly, and happy. But I also know that he popped out that way. This is his natural personality. So daycare, despite the church nursery volunteer’s assumption, is not entirely responsible for the fact that they didn’t have a screaming, sobbing woddler (baby-toddler) on their hands.

 


Is daycare is reinforcing his natural bent? If he were home most of the time with me or with a nanny, would he perhaps lose some of his instinctive ease with new people and places?

 


I don't think so. I've been on both sides of this fence. My sons both went to daycare, my daughter did not. But just like the boys, she was never timid or fearful of new situations and makes friends easily. So for my three, so far as I can tell, daycare or no daycare hasn't made a big impact on their social skills (either for better or for worse).

 

I have friends with children who do not like change; they are very upset in any new environment with new people. And this seems to hold true regardless of whether they are in daycare or are home with a parent.

 


All this makes me think that a child's innate personality will affect how easily and quickly they adjust. Daycare is ultimately only an influencer, and maybe a small one, on whether the kid grows up to be an INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging) or an ESTP (Extroverted, Sensing, thinking, Perceiving).

adina9301
05.22.08

Personality is both inherited and shaped by environment. In other words, the nature-nurture debate is pointless!

Heredity can lead to a child having the tendency of being outgoing, but it takes the right social environment to make the trait obvious.

Meighan Leigh
05.21.08

This is good information for an expecting mother. I'm an INTP married to an ENFP- it'll be interesting to see where our little one falls on the Myers-Briggs. Hopefully he'll be more extroverted and enjoys daycare.

neshac
05.21.08

I think it's a little of both. Children are affected by their environment. Ex. If they have a parent in the home who is fearful.. this may create some fearfulness in a child. However, if they are allowed to try things in a daycare (or other) environment and get beyond their fear...this alter their experience. I do however agree with your last statement about innate personalities.

Daycare mainly teaches kids how to socialize--- share, or make the choice not to share, etc.

lunasea1039
05.18.08

I agree and disagree. My son was definitely a shy (introverted) child before he started daycare...and now he is very confident and the life of the party (very extroverted). I am a very shy individual and my husband, while exuding more confidence than myself, is also a tad bit on the shy side. I think what happens at home and at daycare plays a decent role in whether our children grow up more confident or shy. I think if my son had stayed home with me all this time, he would definitely be more shy because he would experience the world the way that I tend to...more at a distance. Daycare has helped by encouraging him to be comfortable around other people and he is confident in his ability to wrap all his teachers around his little finger. I do agree that some kids are naturally inclined to be more outgoing...but not all of them. I honestly believe that daycare can help those children that need a little encouragement.

Elizabeth
04.30.08

I agree.

I think kids are who they are, and that something like a nursery or daycare is a place where their innate personalities come out rather than a place that forms their personalities.