Last month, we explored Enneagram Type 4 — Individualist Moms. Today we are going to dive into the world of Enneagram Type 5 moms. These Investigator Moms are the observers of the group. Here are some ways Investigator Moms can use their unique personalities to become the best versions of themselves.
Enneagram Type 5 — The Investigator Mom
Fives are known to be isolated, secretive, and introverted. They value truth and knowledge. They fear being useless or incapable. Here are some helpful parenting tips for Enneagram Type 5 Moms:
1. Accept that you are useful and capable.
“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” – Malcolm Forbes
Type 5 Moms tend to fear being helpless above all else. As a parent who is a 5, please know that you are useful and capable, regardless of what you currently know or do not know. Your kids need you to accept yourself as you already are so that you can also accept them as useful and capable, regardless of their growing knowledge or lack thereof.
2. Don’t overwhelm your kids with big ideas.
“Children understand and remember concepts best when they learn from direct personal experience.” – American artist Joseph Cornell
As investigators, type 5s often struggle with not becoming absorbed by their own thoughts. Learn to communicate with your kids on their level. Children often need concrete examples that they can relate to in order to understand abstract concepts. Break big ideas into smaller pieces and big tasks (like cleaning their rooms) into smaller steps that are appropriate for their age.
3. Practice both detachment and empathy.
“Detachment is not indifference. It is the prerequisite for effective involvement.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Type 5s are uniquely able to objectively see the bigger picture or broader concept because they can detach from their own emotions. As a parent who is a type 5, be careful not to dismiss your kids’ feelings or your own emotions in a situation. Learn to detach from your feelings in order to gain a broader perspective, then re-attach to humanize the situation and validate your children’s smaller perspective at the moment.
4. Stretch your boundaries.
“A good goal is like a strenuous exercise—it makes you stretch.” – Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
Type 5s tend to be very good at setting personal boundaries, as they are naturally protective of their time, energy, and financial resources. As a parent who is a type 5, take care to stretch your boundaries gradually over time, balancing your children’s frequent needs for your undivided attention with your own need to recharge in solitude.
5. Teach your kids how to be emotionally present.
“Loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you.” – Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung
Type 5s value truth above all else. They often detach emotionally and withdraw into their own minds (and knowledge base) when they experience stress. Be sure to take breaks from your own mind in order to engage your kids, even, and especially, during stressful times. Both parties can benefit from a deep connection in difficult situations.
6. Show your kids how to ask for help when they need it.
“Ask for help. Not because you are weak. But because you want to remain strong.” – Motivational speaker Les Brown
Type 5s tend to struggle alone in frustration instead of seeking help if they don’t know how to do something. They often value self-reliance, competence, and independence to a fault. As a parent who is a type 5, learn to recognize and accept your shortcomings in certain areas so that you can ask for help. Your kids will likely follow your lead.
Stay tuned next month for more on the Enneagram Type 6–The Loyalist Moms!
If you don’t know your Enneagram type yet and would like to find out, it’s as easy as taking a test online. You can read through The Enneagram Institute’s descriptions of the nine types. There is also a free enneagram type test available through Your Enneagram Coach.