How to parenting THE HELPER
Hi, Thanks for visiting. This week my podcast is all about the enneagram type two! For a fuller understanding, pop and listen:
But here's an overview for you....
The Enneagram Type 2, is also called the Helper. They have many strengths, including their ability to read social cues, understand others, and create strong connections with those around them. They are warm, friendly, generous with their time, and often drawn to careers in healthcare, social work, education, and counselling.
However, the helper also has their share of weaknesses and blind spots. They can be overly self-sacrificing, struggle with boundaries, and fear rejection. Their need for external validation can lead to co-dependence and burnout.
Parents can help their Type 2 child by encouraging them to recognise their own needs, set boundaries, and maintain their own sense of identity. While Type 2s' kindness and support are genuine, they should not derive their sense of self-worth from others' approval and appreciation. Encourage them to find other sources of personal significance outside of their helpfulness, such as developing their talents and interests.
They have an ability to empathetically see people’s needs and emotions and rise to meet those needs, and a natural ability to mediate. As parents, our role is to identify these characteristics in our children and help them harness them for good. We want to ensure that our children's challenges, which have given them their superpowers, are not used for self-defence or survival, but for healthy mental well-being and connection with others. By helping our children with boundaries, self-esteem, and empowered self-expression, they can avoid becoming overbearing or needy and maintain healthy relationships.
Stress and security
It is important to remember that there are stressed and secure ends to every spectrum, and even healthy Helper/Type Twos can fall into a pattern of needing to feel significant when under pressure. If you see your child stretching themselves thin to meet everyone's emotional and physical needs, this could be a sign that they are feeling under pressure.
And if you’re recognising that you might have a HELPER among your children let’s celebrate their kindness, generosity, empathy, and ability to read people's unspoken needs... and look at some ways that we can bring out the best in them.
1. Help them to set boundaries and learn to say "no." While it's trendy to never say "no" to a child, it's essential to teach them how to set boundaries and protect themselves.
Acknowledge and affirm their words when they say "no," and help them learn different ways to say it comfortably. Teach them that they can take a pause before answering, and every time they rescue someone, they may be taking away an opportunity for growth from someone else.
Also, model healthy boundaries yourself, and share your process with your child as you reassert your own boundaries.
2. Encourage them to learn to receive. When they are set on being "the answer," they may be too proud to realise that others can also be the answer at times. Encourage them to learn to ask for help and leave room for others to "be the answer" as well.
Teach them to accept compliments and praise gracefully with simple phrases like "thank you for saying so" or "that's really encouraging."
3. Help them develop independence. Enneagram Type 2s often define themselves by their relationships and their ability to help others, which is linked to their inner sense of self-esteem. Help them discover what brings them joy and pursue personal goals and hobbies without seeking the approval of others.
Encourage them to cultivate relationships where they feel valued and appreciated for who they are, rather than just what they can do for others.
4. Encourage self-care. Helpers can sometimes neglect their own needs in favour of helping others. They need to take time for themselves,
Encourage them to share their own desires and hopes by asking questions when you notice they have buried their own needs. They might not ask for a pony or a new iphone - their need could be something as simple as spending time together or helping them with a task.
Encourage them to talk about themselves and their experiences, and make sure you actively listen and thank them for sharing. Some Twos may need a gentle nudge to open up and share their inner experiences.
Practicing self-awareness and self-care is important for Twos.
So to conclude, Type 2s are warm, caring, and empathetic individuals who have a natural ability to connect with others. However, when they become overly focused on the needs of others and neglect their own needs, they can become unbalanced and lose touch with their true selves. By practicing self-care, learning to receive, developing independence, cultivating empathy for themselves and practicing assertiveness they can achieve greater health and balance in their lives.