I was interviewed some months ago by Mishpacha’s talented writer, Yael Schuster, and I was so excited to finally find the article in this week’s Family First supplement. (Love the title! – Parenting by Number) Yael and I clicked instantly, and there was so much we wanted to talk about, that the interview took much longer than either of us expected. Even after Yael left my house, we stayed in touch via phone and text, and we’ve discovered that there’s a lot that we share, including our love for writing, traveling, and discussing self-growth and philosophical topics. 🙂
Anyways, back to the article! Bassy Gruen, the phenomenal Family First editor, did not want just another Enneagram article and asked that Yael focus specifically on how the Enneagram can help in parenting. Of course, I had many stories to share, both about how the Enneagram helped me in my parenting and how I used it to help others in their own parenting. (One anecdote that I shared with Yael also appears in a previous blog post.)
Ultimately, I believe that the Enneagram can help parents in two distinct ways. First, it can help us better understand our children, so that we can do a better job of helping them deal with their struggles and actualize their true potential. Second, it can help us better understand ourselves, so that we can capitalize on our strength as parents and have a better awareness of our parenting weak spots. Some examples of possible parenting weaknesses related to our Enneagram type: Do we become angry quickly and act in a rash or intimidating manner? Are we overly rigid and unintentionally stifle kids who need more flexibility and spontaneity? Do we smother our children by being overly-protective or doing too much for them, thus preventing them from developing independence and confidence? Do we over-empathize and exaggerate their every struggle and hurt, not allowing them to develop true resilience? Do we struggle with consistency and enforcing boundaries, so that are children do not get a healthy sense of security?
This topic was only touched upon briefly in the article, since there was so much other information to include with only a limited word count, but it is one that is worth exploring by every parent. And for parents who love the Enneagram because they love exploring personal growth, I’m sure you will agree that PARENTING is the ultimate personal growth journey! 🙂