The Enneagram for parents. When the pediatrician first placed my new-born child on my chest, a rush of love was soon replaced with the overwhelming weight of responsibility. This small being was so completely dependent on me.
We study law, drama, journalism, computer science and a host of other occupations, but not parenthood. Suddenly I had a new career. A career for which I had neither degree nor diploma.
I leaped into parenting with loads of idealism and a considerable lack of practical skills. My kids were never going to eat sweets. They were going to be brilliant, empathetic, and radically uplift the world … It would have helped enormously if I’d been aware of different parenting styles and if I’d understood our children’s strengths and challenges.
Like most parents, we did the best we could with the resources we had. Although nothing replaces unconditional love and nurturing, a knowledge of the Enneagram would have gone a long way to help.
Can children be typed and, if so, at what age?
Nature or nurture? This is a contentious issue. I’m tempted to assume my comfortable fence-sitting position and say both, but my observation has indicated that we are generally born a specific type. Nurture affects our degree of health or integration, rather than type. However, the danger comes when parents attempt to type a child too early. As parents, we generally see our children through the rose-tinted lenses of the type we’d prefer them to be. In wanting to fulfil expectations, (to get strokes), children can appear to be a type they’re not.
Ann Gadd from Odyssey magazine Summer edition 2022
Ann Gadd is the author of the book: Better Parenting with the Enneagram