Last month, we learned all about Enneagram Type 3 — Achiever Moms. Today we are going to explore the world of Enneagram Type 4 moms. These Individualist Moms are the romantics of the group. Here are some ways Individualist Moms can use their unique personalities to become the best versions of themselves.
Enneagram Type 4 — The Individualist Mom
Fours tend to be dramatic, sensitive, creative, compassionate, and temperamental. They are the most emotionally honest of all the enneagram types. They fear being flawed or inadequate. Here are some helpful parenting tips for enneagram type 4 moms:
1. Accept that you are unique and complete.
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” — Judy Garland.
Enneagram Type 4s tend to fear being incomplete or insignificant above all else. As a parent who is a 4, please know that you are unique and complete, regardless of your flaws. Your kids need you to accept yourself as you already are so that you can accept them as unique and complete, regardless of their flaws. When they see you being hard on yourself, they learn that they also need to be hard on themselves.
2. Don’t overwhelm your kids with your feelings.
“If you do not have control over your mouth, you will not have control over your future.” — Germany Kent, journalist and author.
As individualists, type 4s tend to struggle with not becoming absorbed by their own emotions. Be honest about your feelings with your kids in age-appropriate doses, but don’t overwhelm them before they can fully understand and process your negative emotions. Always try to model self-control along with emotional honesty. It’s good for children to learn that there are many emotions, and it’s okay to feel them, but we don’t want to overwhelm them with our emotions and feel as if they are unsafe or should be worried.
3. Practice both empathy and empowerment.
“Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.” — Oprah Winfrey.
Enneagram type 4s can uniquely validate their children’s emotions because they are highly empathetic. As a parent who is a type 4, be careful not to encourage your kids to make decisions based solely on those emotions. Teach them to weigh options logically after accepting their negative and positive emotions as normal and healthy.
4. Set boundaries with negative thoughts.
“For many, negative thinking is a habit which, over time, becomes an addiction.” — Peter McWilliams, self-help author.
Type 4s are the ultimate melancholy feelers. Learn to validate your negative emotions while setting healthy boundaries to stop self-destructive thoughts. Prevent downward spirals by practicing gratitude regardless of circumstance. Your kids will follow your lead in handling disappointment and expressing gratitude.
5. Teach your kids how to get back up when they fall down.
“Grace means that all of your mistakes now serve a purpose instead of serving shame.” — Brene Brown, Ph.D., author, speaker, podcast host, social worker, shame researcher, and University of Houston professor.
Enneagram type 4s often struggle to release shame for past mistakes and can sometimes sink into depression or even addiction as a result. Make sure your kids know that mistakes are valuable learning experiences, not sources of guilt and shame to weigh them down over and over again in the future. Teach them to forgive themselves and to get back up stronger and wiser after every fall. This could save them from a lot of future heartaches!
6. Show your kids how to reach out for help when they’re in pain.
“Isolation is the worst possible counselor.” — Miguel de Unamuno, Spanish educator, philosopher, and author.
Type 4s tend to withdraw or isolate when they are in pain. As a parent who is a type 4, teach your kids how to reach out for help instead of withdrawing. Show them how to build healthy support systems around themselves and give back to the community that helps them through struggles. Model asking for assistance when you need it and helping your neighbors so your kids aren’t afraid to do the same. It isn’t a weakness to ask for help. It is a strength. And it’s a lesson that many people could benefit from.
Next, read about Enneagram Type 5 – The Investigator Moms!
If you don’t know your Enneagram type yet and want to find out, it’s as easy as taking a test online here. You can read through The Enneagram Institute’s descriptions of the nine types here. There is also a free enneagram-type test available through Your Enneagram Coach here.