Parenting is probably one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs in the world. You want to be the best parent you can be. But none of us are perfect.
The Enneagram is a psychological and spiritual tool to help you be the healthiest you can be.
No matter what Enneagram type your child is, you will be a better parent when you are healthy. Click Here to Learn About Enneagram Parenting Styles
You can only guess what type your child is. Guessing your child’s Enneagram type can give you some clues as to how you can better parent them.
It is crucial that you create space for your child to discover who they are. If you start treating them as a particular type, you will force this identity on them even though it may not be true. Labelling can seriously hurt your child’s development.
Before you can guess your child’s type, you need to be clear about your own.
As you start to see certain behaviours in your child, you will get a better sense of the type he or she may be. In the end, the most important goal for you is to get to know your child better.
Here are four ways to better connect with your child based on each Enneagram Type:
Type Three (The Achiever):
Your type three is energetic. He or she enjoys taking charge of the environment in which they live. Your child will keep busy. She or he will have high expectations of themselves. Your child not only needs to achieve, but he or she also need others to see and show appreciation for their hard work. Your child is always pushing themselves to be better.
How might you parent a type three?
1. Praise your child when it is warranted.
2. Encourage your child to slow down and do something that is not competitive.
3. Let your child know your unconditional love for them.
4. Help to create a learning environment that encourages learning through trial and error.
Type Seven (The Enthusiast)
Types seven’s love to experiment and play. Your seven child will be curious and full of energy. He or She will get bored quickly. Your child will never stay upset long. It won't take long for them to get involved in something new and exciting to take their attention away from their pain. It is not uncommon for seven's to feel overly responsible for making sure everyone else has a good time.
How might you parent a type seven?
1. Join your seven, daughter or son, on a fun adventure. They will love you for it.
2. Help your child to deal with boredom constructively. Provide your child with some quiet activities that slow them down.
3. Spend time with your child to help them process the hurt, pain and disappointments in life. Let them know it is okay to cry.
4. Teach them to finish what they started. You could give your child some incentive to complete his or her project with a special treat.
Type Eight (The Challenger)
Your type eight child will have endless amounts of energy. She or he will speak whatever they think. Your child will have a hard time whenever someone tries to block them. At times your eight, child, will seem loud, rude, and aggressive. They will often try to help out the underdog. You will get glimpses of their big heart.
How might you parent a type eight?
1. You will let your child know that you love them no matter what happens in life.
2. You will mentor your child to find constructive ways to deal with their anger. Let them know there is nothing wrong with anger. Anger is useful when used constructively.
3. Acknowledge their love for the underdog even if you are not able to help in the way your child desired you to help.
4. Set clear safety boundaries for your child and give reasons for them.
Type Four (The Individualist)
Your child will have the creative flair. Maybe they like to colour. Perhaps they love to dress up in costumes. Do they love to dance? You want to help them to know that they are valued members of the family. At times they may be moody. She or he are not afraid to cry. They may seem highly emotional to you. The truth is you your child is trying to figure where they fit in your family and the world.
How might you parent a type four?
1. Nurture their creativity.
2. Allow them to express themselves emotionally.
3. Help them to know that they are a vital member of your family.
4. Help them to process emotions especially when they get stuck, in a negative feeling, through their creativity.
Type Five (The Investigator)
Your type five child tends to be reserved and quiet. She or he loves to learn. Your child will always have a book going. Your child may spend too much of their time in their imaginary world. Your child is a great observer. She or he will notice when you are happy, sad or angry.
How might you parent a type five?
1. Encourage them in their desire to learn.
2. Let them know that their thoughts and questions are important.
3. Watch for signs that your child spends too much time in his or her imaginary world. The best way to get them out of their imaginary world is through engaging with them in fun, games and learning.
4. Ask them to share with you what they find interesting. Your child will talk to you for hours.
Type Nine (The Peacemaker)
Your nine child tends to be quiet too. She or he can tell what your emotional state is. It is easy for them to get overly enmeshed to you. Feeling it is their responsibility to make everything okay in the family is a great burden on him or her. Your nine child is the member of the family who will try to help resolve conflict when it arises.
How might you parent a type nine?
· Let them know how valuable they are. Your child needs to hear this over and over again.
· Encourage them to share their thoughts, desires and hopes.
· Help your child to understand that it is the responsibility of the whole family to resolve conflict, disagreements and problems.
· Help your child to know that his or her presence in your family and world is essential.
The Dutiful Types:
Type One (The Reformer):
Your type one child will have a strong desire to do good in the world. She or he will have a strong desire to do the right thing. Your child will try hard to please you. He or she will be hard on themselves. As your son or daughter gets, older, self-criticism will emerge as criticism towards you. Try to hear this as your child’s way of loving you.
How might you parents a type one?
1. Help your child to learn that it is okay not to get everything right. We often learn through trial and error.
2. Take your child seriously. Your son or daughter has much to contribute to the life of your family.
3. Honour your child when they give generously of themselves to make the world a better place.
4. Help your child to learn self-compassion through modelling it yourself.
Type Two (The Helper)
The young two in your life wants to be loved and accepted for who they are. She or he has the natural ability to help people. Your child will sometimes struggle to take care of themselves. Encourage your child to let you know of anything that is not right in their lives. Take time to notice their well-being through their emotions and body language.
How might you parent a type two?
1. Complement them when they do something kind.
2. Help them to create a daily routine that includes self-care. For a child that means making sure there is time to play.
3. Please pay attention to your son or daughters body language to see what is going on in their heart.
4. Do your best to make sure they feel loved for being who they are.
Type Six (The Loyalist):
The young six is concerned for the safety of all in your family. Help her or him to discover their inner courage. Help your child identify the wisdom that is within them. Your child appreciates structure in their lives. It helps them to feel more secure. Help them to know the difference between fear and anxiety. Fear is the realization that you are in the midst of danger. Anxiety is the fear that something terrible might happen in the future.
How to parent a type six?
1. Honour the need of your child for safety, security and structure.
2. Help your child to discover his or her inner strength. Use teachable moments to show your child that they have more courage and abilities than they realize.
3. If you notice that fear and anxiety is getting in the way of their lives, don’t be afraid to get professional help.
4. Honour your child's desire to spend with you. Your willingness to share your time with them help them to realize that you value them.
Your child will push your buttons. Your child will find a way to connect you with your fears and insecurities. If you are not healthy, you will react, hurting your relationship with your child. If you are getting healthier, you will be able to move beyond your personality type into building a healthy relationship with your child.
Your child has all nine types in them just like you do. You don’t even need to know your child’s type to benefit from the Enneagram. The Enneagram can help to make sense of all the behaviours of yourself and child. It gives you some tools to try. It helps you to connect with your child at a deeper level. Order The Enneagram of Parenting on Amazon
Most importantly you need to work on yourself. The healthier you can be in your type will help you to be more present for your child or children.
The good news is that we are far more than our personality type. Our type shows us where we get stuck under stress. The Enneagram provides us with a map to discover our unique and the vital calling to be our best selves.
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