A few weeks ago, I got great feedback on my article Enneagram Type 5 vs Enneagram Type 4. Everyone enjoyed it, and everyone complained that it was too long. So, this week I am breaking up the normally almost 2500 word blog posts into several 300-500 word posts. If you liked the long version, don’t worry I will release it at the end of the week. Since I am breaking up the posts into bite-size bits, you might want to check this one to get a better introduction into the series. Now here is a parenting tip on boundaries.
Parenting Tip: Boundaries
Kids need boundaries. Usually, the first time they hit one they don’t like it, but if you are consistent over time the boundaries end up helping them understand not just who you are and the rules of the house but who they are. Boundaries make space for people to determine who they are and how they fit in. Without boundaries there isn’t a space for self-determination, there is only unlimited non-defined space. That wide-open space decreases security, especially for kids. They can’t determine who they are, who they would like to be, or how they fit into this world. Imagine playing a game with no rules. How do you win? How do you play? That’s what a life without boundaries is, a game that you can’t win.
Enneagram Type 6’s need boundaries. It helps all of us find the purpose, the rules, in the world. Boundaries give them the security they need to at least make sense of things going on. Then they can use the rules to prepare for as many possible outcomes as they can. Losing is ok sometimes if you see it coming and know how it happened. It isn’t debilitating when you understand the rules and can attempt to change the outcome next time. For the Type 6 kid, they aren’t afraid to analyze a loss, but they are going to want to know how to do better next time. They can only do better once they know the consistent boundaries.
My son desperately needs boundaries. He needs them so much that he likes to ram into them full speed just to test them out. But, after time-out we sit down to talk about what went wrong, why it went wrong and what boundary he pushed – typical after-action report stuff. 9/10 when he hits a pre-set boundary he walks away happy and ready to play. Especially, after experiencing remorse and explanation of what went wrong and why it did. Most of the time he doesn’t hit that boundary again (for a little while at least – he is still a toddler).
Lately, we have been working on a mushy boundary, disrespect. It isn’t that we (my wife and I) aren’t disciplining or enforcing a boundary, but respect pours out of emotions a lot of times. Emotions are a lot harder to control than not touching the hot stove. Understanding the importance of respect is a hard concept for a toddler, so we work with him a lot on it.
The reason is it strikes to the core of why we discipline. We discipline so that he can have the opportunity for good relationships. We don’t want him burning bridges in a toddler tantrum. As he has gotten older things like hitting have already gotten taught out of him, so now we work on the deeper things. The old rules stand but now we have to help him figure out who he is. This will help him discover how to work with other people whether they are adults or his friends. We give him the gift of a secure ground with well-defined boundaries to find his own answers to these harder questions. That is a deeper security that many Type 6’s need or crave.
I see Enneagram Type 6’s as some of the most capable people to bring out the best in an Enneagram Type 5. However, I also see Type 5’s and the most capable to bring out the worst in a Type 6. This dichotomy doesn’t have to be the case though. We can work together in a unique and powerful manner that supports each other. Type 6’s can find a security in the knowledge of the Type 5, and the Type 5 can learn the discipline of loyalty from the Type 6.
For my experience, I imagine great friendships that break down walls and barriers between all sorts of people. Type 6’s can soften the walls finding common ground and generating loyalty. Meanwhile, the Type 5 can strike with the harder hammer of pure logic and knowledge. More Type 5’s need to be willing to team-up with and empower Type 6’s to see their true potential as people who can bring people together over common ground and common loyalty supported by common knowledge. Imagine if Type 6’s broke down walls between people like they are so adept at doing for me the Type 5.
Check out this article written by an Enneagram Type 6 to understand more.Type 6’s can soften the walls finding common ground and generating loyalty. Click To Tweet