By: Amanda Winstead
Enneagram tests are often used to understand your leadership style, or your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your career. But, your enneagram can say a lot about who you are (for example, if you’re “type a parenting”), and it can affect other areas of your life – including motherhood and your parenting style. Your enneagram can help you understand what type of mom you really are (ex: if you’re type a parenting), and what that means when it comes to the way you raise your children.
If you don’t know your enneagram type, the first step is to take a test. You can find several free options online that will help you discover the personality that best suits you. When you know what that is, you’ll be able to use your strengths while improving your weaknesses to be the kind of parent you truly want to be. It can even change your self-perception if you’re willing to learn from your results.
Find What Makes You Unique
One thing an enneagram test can show you in black and white is where you stand out from everyone else. If you end up being an Individualist, you probably already have a unique personality. Sometimes, you might see that as a good thing. But, it’s not uncommon for Individualists to think they’re “different” from everyone else and they often worry about fitting in.
In reality, Individualists can use their unique natures to seep into other personality types, including Challengers. When you’re true to your unique skills and strengths, you’re more likely to stand up for what you believe in. That’s a personality trait that’s crucial for kids to learn and to see you display every day.
If you’re a working mom or considering going back to the office, you can also use your uniqueness to your advantage. In an interview, “what makes you unique?” is a question that almost every hiring manager will ask. You can take pride in your personality and answer confidently when you consider the following:
- What makes you you?
- Why do you do things a certain way?
- What curiosities have you followed to get to where you are?
- What have you overcome to get to your current place in life?
Both in your career and motherhood, uniqueness doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can set a great example for your children by showing them that it’s okay to be yourself and embrace your traits.
Be a Strong Leader
Some enneagram types are natural-born leaders, including:
- The Challenger
- The Perfectionist
- The Investigator
- The Achiever
As a parent, you can use your leadership skills and personality traits to your advantage. Yes, you can stop type a parenting! Every parent needs to lead their children in a variety of ways. It’s your job to guide them through life, show them wrong from right, and help them with big decisions. But, leadership skills can go far beyond that.
The skills required for parental leadership include trust, effective communication, and quality time spent with your children. Those skills aren’t much different from the ones required to take on a leadership role in your career. If you wanted to improve your leadership skills at work, you might learn directly from other leaders you admire, follow leadership social media accounts, and join self-development groups.
You can do many of the same things to grow in your leadership role as a parent. Talk to other parents you admire, listen to podcasts, follow inspiring mothers on social media, and join support groups where you can discuss your strengths and weaknesses with other moms.
Stop Type A Parenting. Continue to Grow!
Once you learn your enneagram type, one of the best things you can do is to keep growing.
Chances are, you’ve heard of the five love languages. They are:
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
- Quality time
- Words of affirmation
And it’s likely your love language(s) and enneagram type are in sync. But, it’s important not to use either to explain your weaknesses and focus on areas of struggle. Enneagrams and love languages aren’t meant to be “excuses” to remain stagnant. Being a great parent means showing a willingness to grow, adapt, and make changes as needed. While you don’t have to ignore your natural personality and love language, you also don’t have to limit yourself to one or two.
Take a look at your weaknesses and consider how you can improve upon them. Doing so will show your kids the value of learning and doing something challenging. It will also show them the rewards they can experience from putting in that kind of hard work.
Learning more about yourself through enneagram tests is a great way to make sense of the way you parent (and to stop “type a parenting”). Doing so can make your strengths even stronger. But, don’t box yourself in. Embrace who you are – including areas of weakness – so you can have confidence in every aspect of your personality, both in your career and as a mother.