Helpful Parenting Tips for Enneagram Type 1: Reformer Moms
by Lauren FlakeArtist. Author. Alzheimer's daughter.
Last month we explored the Enneagram types and how it related to being a mama. Knowing your Enneagram type can be incredibly helpful as a mom. Knowing who you are and how you act and react to life in stressful or joyful situations can really add valuable insight to how you parent. And growing yourself as a person and as a mom is always a good idea! Today we are going to dive deeper into the world of Enneagram Type 1 moms. These Reformer Moms are the perfectionists of the group and work hard at seeking justice and correctness in their lives. Here are some ways Reformer Moms can use their unique personalities to become the best versions of themselves.
Enneagram Type 1–Reformer Moms
Ones are usually idealistic, perfectionistic, and self-controlled. They are often primarily concerned with being responsible and morally upright. They fear being evil or corrupt. Here are some helpful parenting tips for enneagram type 1s:
1. Accept that you can be good without being perfect.
“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” — 0ne of my favorite quotes of all time is from author John Steinbeck’s novel, East of Eden
Type 1s are the ultimate perfectionists. As a parent who is an Enneagram type 1, let go of the relentless pursuit of perfection. Give your kids (and yourself) a whole lot of grace and plenty of space to make mistakes. Humanity is not perfect. Period. End of story. But we, as imperfect humans, can be good in word and deed. We can be kind and generous and loving to ourselves and to others, especially our children. Stop trying to be perfect. Embrace being good instead.
2. Get comfortable with failure.
“Only those who fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” — Former U.S. Attorney General and Senator Robert F. Kennedy
Type 1s tend to be incredibly organized but not especially flexible. As a parent who is a 1, remember that we all learn best through our failures, not our successes. If everything humans did always went well, we would never have any opportunities to mature into better humans. As scary as it can be, failure is a great gift. It’s an essential and healthy part of daily life on this imperfect Earth. Struggles build character and help us grow in patience, endurance, faith, and hope. Decide that failure is your new best friend going forward.
3. Take responsibility for your own mistakes.
“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Former First Lady and activist Eleanor Roosevelt
As perfectionists, Enneagram type 1s typically struggle with making mistakes. Be humble and transparent. Always ask your kids for forgiveness if and when you mess up. If you practice what you preach, it will help your children immensely to be able to do the same. Clean up your messes. Learn from them. Move forward. Remember, your kids are watching you to see how you react when you fail. They will follow your lead.
4. Encourage your kids to make mistakes.
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” — Albert Einstein
Type 1s, when you stop being afraid to make mistakes, your kids will quickly take notice. After all, our actions speak louder than our words, especially when it comes to parenting. Teach your kids that it’s okay to make messes, as long as we take ownership of those messes, clean them up afterward, and then learn from them going forward so we don’t repeat them. Show them that it’s not about how we fall, it’s about how we get back up and keep going with strength and courage.
5. Take breaks for self-care.
“To be a good parent, you need to take care of yourself so that you can have the physical and emotional energy to take care of your family.” — Former First Lady and author Michelle Obama
Type 1s often spend a lot of their time and mental energy planning. Set aside time to do things you enjoy just for fun. Watch a funny movie. Read a novel. Rekindle a creative hobby you loved as a child, such as drawing, painting, sewing, knitting, or gardening. Spend time with friends, even if it’s just a regular video chat. Allow yourself to rest from constantly preparing and trying to improve, even if you need to specifically schedule these necessary brain breaks.
6. Practice positive self-talk.
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” — Author, speaker, podcast host, social worker, shame researcher, and University of Houston professor Brené Brown, Ph.D.
Type 1s tend to be extremely self-critical. Make it a habit to give yourself a pep talk each morning with positive affirmations. You can even do this together with your kids. Look in the mirror at a set time every day, and tell yourself things like, “No one is perfect, including me,” “I will forgive myself and others for making mistakes,” “Failure is how I learn,” “I can be good without being perfect,” and “I choose to be kind and generous and loving to myself and others.” Say each statement out loud, and mean it.
Stay tuned next month for more on the Enneagram Type 2–The Helper 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.