Romantic-Style Children (Type 4)


Romantic children

find special

meaning where

others may not.

Six examples of where Romantic children express special meaning to their friends follow this cartoon on page 57 of my “Enneagram of Parenting” book, ending with a Romantic kid telling a friend he has noticed the expressive and poetic way his friend speaks. Romantics can be especially compassionate.

This is one of the most sensitive types of children. They often have easily hurt feelings and strong emotions. Many are interested in the arts or literature, tend to express themselves dramatically, and engage in imaginative fantasy play. Howard loved to look for treasures such as beautiful jewels, rocks, or colors when he was a child and became an artist and psychotherapist when he grew up. Beauty, ideals, and meaning were important to him.

There are more introverted than extraverted Romantic children. Franny Four, the Romantic horse in “Finding the Birthday Cake,” my book for teaching the Enneagram to children, wants to help get the cake back but she wants to do it in her own way. ”I’ll write a beautiful, fancy song,” she says, “and sing it all through the land. When the cake hears it, he will come running to me because he loves my music. After I find the cake I’ll dress up for the party in my best silk and velvet clothes. We’ll have the most special party in the world!”

Lunch box

This child from “The Happy Introvert” could easily be a Romantic type.

Be sensitive of your Romantic children’s sensitivity and treat them gently. Romantics easily feel shamed. Give them plenty of stimulation and take an interest in what they’re interested in. Remember they may have a tendency toward feeling melancholy. It can be helpful to talk with them about how they would prefer for you to react when this happens.

To buy “The Enneagram of Parenting”: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

To buy “Finding the Birthday Cake”: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

To buy “The Happy Introvert”: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Next week I’ll post a blog about Romantics as adults on Psychology Today’s blogs. http://bit.ly/psychtdy

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“Peace Seekers” as Children (Type 9)


The Peace Seeker child
From “The Enneagram of Parenting” by Elizabeth Wagele

The first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about Peace Seeker style children I know is their desire to connect with others in a positive way. Most try to avoid conflict as much as possible. Trying to understand others’ points of view makes them good mediators. They prefer staying in a pleasant zone where things are going along smoothly and they can remain accepting of different people’s opinions and styles of doing things. It’s good to remember that Peace Seekers are often quite sensitive; one reason they like harmony is because they can’t stand disharmony. Strong discipline is not only unnecessary but can be harmful.

Peace Seekers are often slow to recognize their own anger (this is something they share with many Perfectionist children), so parents and teachers can be helpful by giving them permission to express some anger when appropriate. As the drawing shows, Peace Seeker children often have a natural affinity for nature and/or the spiritual side of life.

In “Finding the Birthday Cake,” the Ninosaur is a Peace Seeker who generously wants to give back to everyone on his birthday rather than thinking about receiving gifts himself. This is the foundation for the plot for this book that teaches the Enneagram to children. (It can be purchased at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound.)

Some music in the style of the Peace Seeker is “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” “Dock of the Bay,” and the Beethoven sonata examples in the Peace Seeker or Nine Chapter of The Beethoven Enneagram {Amazon.com).

“The Enneagram of Parenting” (HarperCollins) can be purchased at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Which Enneagram Type Makes the Best Friend? (Type 2)


Tina TwoIn “Finding the Birthday Cake,” Tina Two is helping the hostess with the birthday party she’s giving for the Ninosaur. Tina is trying to make it the friendliest party in the world. She’s likely to grow up to choose a career from “The Career Within You” that has something to do with working with people. She’ll be a good harmonizer in any case because Helpers thrive on creating ways to help others feel comfortable.

Helper type children usually try to be good, especially at school, and sometimes become the teacher’s pet. They like to be with other kids or grownups and enjoy getting attention either by pleasing or by entertaining. They start to know what others need without being told at a young age.

Helper children may be social at the expense of developing their own individual interests, so parents and teachers can help by encouraging the arts, computers, sciences, reading, and/or whatever Helper children show curiosity about in addition to people.

Sally’s mother preferred working to being a housewife so Sally, as the oldest of three, took over many of her mother’s duties, such as the cooking and cleaning the house. This freed the two younger children to lead the socially active lives they preferred. Sally, who was artistically talented, didn’t realize she was missing out on learning skills that could have helped her with her career by being tied down to household duties. Unfortunately, this situation was allowed to continue for many years.

The advantage of studying the nine types of children is that it both points out the strengths of each type, for example pleasing others and the ability to create harmony, and also cautions us about some of the pitfalls to look out for.

Please see my blog of 5-18-10 on Psychology Today, http://bit.ly/psychtdy “Why You Should Hire a “Helper” Personality” for  information on adult Helpers, careers, etc.

For more on “Finding the Birthday Cake:” http://www.wagele.com/Finding.html

To buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

For “The Enneagram of Parenting:” http://www.wagele.com/EnneagramParent.html

To buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

For more on “The Career Within You” http://www.careerwithinyou.com

Tp buy: Amazon.com: http://bit.ly/8YTdOsHo

Indie bound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780061718618

Do You Have an “Asserter” Style Child? (Type 8)


In my Enneagram book for kids, “Finding the Birthday Cake,” I decided to stop by my house as we looked here and there for the missing cake:

Amy Eight was so insistent that something be done about the problem of the missing cake for the evening’s party, she said we’d have it even if she had to bake it herself! She was impatient to celebrate both the Ninosaur’s birthday and finding the cake: “We’ll have the most EXHUBERANT party in the world!” She may be tiny but she’s powerful in word and deed. Asserter children are so energetic, they may tire their care-givers out and are sometimes misunderstood or blamed wrongly.

Some of the questions in the Personality Quiz in the Asserter chapter in my

“Enneagram of Parenting” book are:

Does your child

* have a great deal of energy?

* always make his or her presence known?

* show anger or disagreement freely?

* have a fast-running motor and need down time?

* speak and act with authority?

* behave enthusiastically?

Followed by some cartoons about how protective Asserter children can be. Read also about the other eight styles of children in both books.

For more on “Finding the Birthday Cake:” http://www.wagele.com/Finding.html

To buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

For more on “The Enneagram of Parenting:” http://www.wagele.com/EnneagramParent.html

To buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

5/4/10 Please see today’s Psychology Today blog by me:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/ “How-Does-It-Feel-to Have-an Assertive-Personality-Type?” for the adult Asserter personality and a cartoon from “The Enneagram Made Easy.”

“Finding the Birthday Cake” Teaches Acceptance to Children


After I wrote “The Enneagram of Parenting,” I decided to write a book for teaching children the Enneagram. Children had been learning the Enneagram from my Enneagram of Parenting book from looking at the many cartoons, but I wanted to write a book specifically for younger children from six or younger to ten. My first dilemma was: how would kids see my drawings as representing types of people? I was afraid if I drew human characters they might resemble someone a child might know, a neighbor kid for example, which could confuse them. So I decided to use animals.

I wanted to have a mystery to keep the children’s attention, so I had the birthday cake go missing and the animals look for it in ways characteristic of their type. One example is the Romantic who sings a song that so beautifully she is sure the cake will hear it and come running to see who is making this wonderful music. A romantic idea, indeed. You can see a drawing of this dressed up Romantic horse on my Psychology Today blog of April 13, 2010: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-career-within-you/201004/peace-the-inside-out-ii

I wondered if I should have a fierce animal for the most assertive type and a gentle animal for a gentle personality. I decided to go against stereotyping, so I made a tiny goldfish represent the most assertive type. At the end of each type’s section we hear the character that represents that type say something like, “I hope we find the cake soon so we can have the most PERFECT party!” – or whatever adjective best describes its type’s idea of a great party. Freddy Five, the Observer rabbit, wants to have the most INTERESTING party in the world.

By the end of the book we have met all the characters and the mystery of the missing cake has been solved. You won’t guess what happened to the cake in a million years. It does turn up, though, so the party goes on. There’s a moral to the story, too. In addition, the Enneagram does its own magic by showing children nine different styles of behaving that are all perfectly acceptable and honored. Children will recognize themselves and friends and family in this book and they’ll notice that personality differences really do exist and that they’re okay. Even good! It’s an excellent book to use in schoolrooms and families to further the value of tolerance.

For Reviews and more information: “Finding the Birthday Cake; Helping Children Raise Their Self-esteem” http://www.wagele.com/Finding.html

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“Observers” as Children (Type 5)


Drawing by E. Wagele from “The Career Within You,” by Elizabeth Wagele and Ingrid Stabb, HarperCollins.

The Glasswing Butterfly is a symbol for the sensitivity of the Observer personality. Observers aren’t all super-sensitive or delicate, but many don’t like loud noises, glaring lights, or rough clothes against their skin. Most prefer to stand back and watch what’s going on from a safe distance and most avoid conflict. Observers tend to live in their heads. They can be rich containers and synthesizers of information for the rest of us. If we’re highly extraverted, particularly, we may not notice them because they tend to be quiet. Some of them are forthcoming about their opinions, even argumentative, and bring attention to themselves. Others are shy.

In “The Enneagram of Parenting” http://www.wagele.com/EnneagramParent.html I wrote, “Observer children don’t usually care about social conventions and don’t always interact easily. They may feel awkward or different from other children. Never push them but gently invite them to join in… They’ll do almost anything to avoid unpleasantness. Some wish they could speak without thinking about it so much first. One-to-one contact is often more comfortable than being in groups.” One of my cartoons in this book is of an alien child who has just embarked from a spaceship and is looking at a bill board advertising toothpaste that says, “Use ‘SMILE!’ Impress everyone! Be noticed!” She is saying to herself, “I’m not sure I belong here.” As an Observer child myself, I didn’t relate much to “image.”

Observer children are usually good at finding things they like to do. Reading is often one of them. Some are attracted to investigating things on computers or the workings of computers. Some become scientists. Some become writers. Some are good at classifying material or mechanical things. Observer children often have an independent streak and easily feel intruded upon. Sometimes, because they don’t mind solitude, a parent worries about their social life and becomes pushy in that regard. Observers are often content with one or two good friends.

Cartoon from “The Enneagram of Parenting.”

This week (April 1, 2010) my blog on Psychology Press will be on Observers as adults, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-career-within-you/

Raising the “Questioner” Child (Type 6)


Drawing from “The Enneagram of Parenting”

In the Enneagram system of personality, the sixth style is called the Questioner. Things don’t feel safe, as though one is at sea or rolling around on balls or wheels. Where will my greatest safety come from – a strong, brave stance or a weak “protect me” one? Whom can I trust? Is this object hollow or solid? Are you pushing me or am I pulling you? Am I safer standing on your shoulders, with you standing on mine, or with like-minded warriors both on top of me and underneath me? Is there safety in numbers or am I better of going it alone? Maybe I need to learn to scare people off before they have a chance to get me. It helps to lean on a bigger authority sometimes or to put on my boxing gloves. My mind is always whirling around with these thoughts of how to protect myself so I can be prepared for anything.

In “The Enneagram of Parenting” I don’t use the words in the paragraph you have just read. I let the cartoon speak for itself instead. In fact, I drew this cartoon about thirteen years ago and never quite put the concepts into words for myself until now. I did feel, however, that the whirling symbols seemed like the Questioner (“what if…?”) part of myself, one of my wings since I’m a 5-Observer.

For each of the nine styles of children, I drew one cartoon meant to represent the general idea of the style. This was that cartoon for the Questioner child. I hope it conveys the feeling-tone accurately enough for them and their parents and teachers to relate to it. It’s a challenge because there are many variations within each style. In this case, though, I feel it has held up well. Questioners want to know who the authority is and I think this authority is someone you can count on. He has such a strong face I think it’s okay he doesn’t have legs and it’s kind of funny he’s made out of a question mark. In fact, that’s probably a healing aspect of the cartoon. Just what a Questioner might dread the most is right here for all to see and is creating no problem at all! The authority is itself poorly balanced on a ball, not even touching it! So, at least in cartoon-land, you don’t need an anchor after all, you see? The cartoon is YOU in most of your Questioner aspects, suspended with no security, yet surviving instead of toppling over. This all wouldn’t work if it was spoken in words as I have just done. But I hope it does work as a cartoon.

Questioner children need order, predictability, and to learn to trust their inner authority. They need to learn to built confidence in themselves and in their ability to meet new situations, which means they need to be treated with patience and calmness. My book helps parents and teachers by showing learning styles and what different types need in terms of adult attitudes. Children vary a lot in their inborn traits that govern how fearful they are, their study habits, social adjustment, and so much more.

The Enneagram of Parenting by Elizabeth Wagele. HarperCollins publisher

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