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. Here was the previous entry for Enneagram Type 8’s. Now here is the parenting tip on how to be in charge.
Parenting Tip: Be the Parent
Ever heard of the book a strong-willed child? The Enneagram Type 8 child is the quintessential strong-willed child. They are going to challenge you and your authority. They are going to make you question yourself and even challenge your role as a parent (like gaslighters). Enneagram Type 8’s are hard-wired to challenge all authorities don’t take it personally just be the parent. That means exerting your authority, influence, and strength.
My son loves to challenge me all the time. He is still a little young to nail him down to a specific Enneagram Type, but he challenges me like I would imagine many boys challenge their parents. He is asking several things when he does the first one is, “Am I in charge?” I always have to respond to this question. 9/10 times the answer is that I am the parent, not my child.
The other questions contain a greater dive into childhood psychology.
- Do you love me?
- Do you care about what I do? Now?
- What are the rules in this situation?
- Can I get away with putting myself ahead of others?
In Charge of Boundaries
Boundaries are there for a reason. They protect or contain. They restrain or free. Boundaries are what answers a lot of questions your child has about you or the world. The most important question to me that boundaries can answer, “do you care about me enough to stop me?” This is what my challenging little guy and most Enneagram Type 8’s are constantly asking when they challenge authority. Do you care about me enough to give me boundaries? If the answer is no, then the Type 8 will promptly ask you to get out of their way so they can either create their own or find someone else who will.
When you’re a parent you have to dive into this role of authority you have. Don’t accidentally communicate that you don’t care about your children because you are unwilling to give them appropriate boundaries. The Enneagram Type 8 underneath your leadership needs to hear the same things.
As General Patton once said, “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” Enneagram Type 8’s later in life won’t care which one you choose as long as you choose. Your children want you to do the leading most of the time, the following rarely, and then getting out of their way almost never.
Parenting means authority. It means you are in charge. Act like it. If you want to learn more check back in the new year as I will be launching a whole new series of content specifically focused on faithfully parenting our children together.Your children want you to do the leading most of the time, the following rarely, and then getting out of their way almost never. Click To Tweet