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Do you want help being a better parent? The enneagram can help! Here are parenting tips for Enneagram 4 parents!
If you are a parent, it will come as no surprise to you to hear that parenting is tough. When you are a parent, you look for any information that can help you out.
The enneagram is one such information source that can be a great benefit to you as a parent!
The enneagram can help you understand yourself better so that you can be a better parent.
Do You Know Your Enneagram Type?
I don’t mean that you took a fun test one day and it gave you a number. Tests as fun as they can be, are not very accurate (enneagram tests are only up to 70% accurate).
You can take a test to help you whittle your options down but then I recommend taking your top 3-5 scores and digging into the core motivations to confirm your type.
You can also check out my post on how to find your type for more info.
Once you know your enneagram type, then we can start learning how the enneagram can help you parent your children better.
Do I Need To Know My Child’s Enneagram Type?
No! You do not need to know your child’s type. In fact, I’d almost say you shouldn’t.
While kids do have their enneagram type set from a very young age (by age 3) it does not mean that you can accurate guess they type.
In fact, you can’t accurately guess ANYBODY’s type! This is because a person’s enneagram type is not determined by their actions but rather their core motivation and you can’t see core motivation.
So save the typing of your kids until they are old enough to discover their own type. Instead, let’s just focus on the one area where you can succeed… yourself!
Tips for Enneagram 4 Parents
If you are a type 1 parent, you are probably concerned with creativity, expressiveness, being authentic, intuitiveness, supporting each other, being introspective, and sympathy.
These are important traits to you and you are probably trying to instill them in your children. – All good things!
Your Parenting Style as a Type 4
Each enneagram type has their own parenting style which is built around their enneagram type and core motivation.
As a type 4 parent, your parenting style likely includes having high emphasis on feelings and exploring each other’s deeper feelings, loving nature, creativity (although this doesn’t have to be art and music based), beauty, and self-expression.
What You Might Project on Your Kids as a Type 4
Each enneagram type, comes with a wounding message. The wounding message is something we actually heard or simply perceived when we were young and we’ve never been able to escape it.
For a type 4 parent, your wounding message is “It’s not okay to be too much or not enough” As in “you are too dramatic” (too much), “why can’t you be like your sister” (not enough) This interestingly caused you to also have “It’s not ok to conform to others” ingrain onto your heart. You’ve had this (or a form of this) rattling around in your head since childhood and it’s now a driving force for all your actions.
Because of this, it’s all too easy for your wounding message to become projected on to your kids. As you are so caught up with not inauthentic or conforming to others, it overflows to your children as you may feel like if they follow the crowd or like what is common, then you aren’t authentic.
This is an area you will want to be extra mindful of when raising your children. Be aware of when your wounding message is taking over and try arguing back with it; reminding yourself that it IS okay if you like what others like and if your CHILDREN likes what others like. Commonness does not make you insignificant or inauthentic.
Stress Triggers to Be Aware of as a Type 4
Parenting is stressful for any type but each type have particular things that are more likely to be stress triggers.
Being aware of these stress triggers allows you to either preemptively avoid them or to give yourself (and your children) grace when they do occur knowing that you might need a little extra self care.
Stress triggers for a type 4 include: being rejected, feeling that you’re missing something in your parenting, being forced to be just like everyone else, not being valued or affirmed (particularly for your authentic self), misunderstandings, and inauthenticity in others.
Parenting Growth Work for a Type 4
As a type 4 parent, you’ll want to work on becoming less dependent on how you feel and allowing more structure to guide what needs to be done. (learn to harness your line to type 1).
You will also want to work on practicing gratitude. 4s often have a hard time being grateful for their strengths or being grateful for what is (too focused on how they remember things in the past)
Recognize that feelings are indeed important but they also need to be balanced with facts. Your children need predictably in your actions.
Practice not putting off the mundane. Yes, the dishes are very boring but it’s hard to be creative in cooking when your kitchen is a mess. Doing the mundane or routine allows you to have the time, structure, supplies that you need for the things you FEEL like doing.
Remember that you have strengths; not just weaknesses. You can get caught up in what you feel is missing (compared to other parents) but remember, we are all “missing” something because we are all human. What others have, you may be missing and you can learn to adapt those traits if you like… but what you excel in, others might be missing… and that is a beautiful circle.
Other great posts to check out to help you understand your type more:
Enneagram Core Motivations
Enneagram Centers of Intelligence
The 27 Subtypes (learn how your subtype changes the hue of your type)
The Enneagram and Parenting (for all nine types!)
Helpful Enneagram Parenting Books
Knowing Me, Knowing Them: Understanding Your Parenting Personality by Discovering the Enneagram
Knowing Your Parenting Personality