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

Buy now at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Advertisements

Today I Posted Another “Psychology Today” Blog


So I’ll do an original blog in this space next week. Ingrid Stabb and I are busy with our new book this month and next. It’s going well. Some events coming up are February 8 on TV (“View From the Bay”), February 9 at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, Feb. 21 at the CA Writer’s Club in the Oakland Library, a pod cast or two, and lots of reviews – and they’re all good. So we’re happy.

I just put up two videos of me and my cartoons on You Tube: “The Happy Introvert” is http://bit.ly/HapInt/  “The Creative Enneagram” is http://bit.ly/cre9gm/ There’s also another very short one there and on the HarperCollins website.

See the reviews of THE CAREER WITHIN YOU and other info at http://www.careerwithinyou/ You can download material to use from this site and upload my cartoons to share on your computer or website at http://www.wagele.com/

My most popular page on wagele.com these days is the Famous People page, followed by the introvert pages and Beethoven pages. You can hear a chapter (the 7-Adventurer) right on the site, too. You can also hear my Enneagram piano variations. All this exposure of myself is beginning to make me nervous. Eek. My Psychology Today blog is about the subtlety of telling two Enneagram points apart that are hard to tell apart, the Adventurer and the Achiever.

Here’s one of my favorite cartoons from the chapter on Perfectionists in THE CAREER WITHIN YOU. It doesn’t fit this blog particularly. I just like it. Hey! That’s the best reason to use it of all!

A Greeting Card for You to Share


I’m working so hard on marketing with our new book, The Career Within You, two weeks old! And I’m working on a new blog for Psychology Today. But here’s a cartoon you can use for a greeting card to send to anyone who is under the weather. You can retrieve it from my website along with lots of other cartoons: http://www.wagele.com and put it/them on your own website or mail them to someone. You can say, “this is me” or “is this you?” or anything you want. Maybe some character will remind you of your first grade teacher…. or something. You never know.

What’s Virtuous about Fighting for Kitties?


Asserter carpenterLong before I heard about the Enneagram personality system, I knew I needed to model myself more after the personality type I was later to learn is called the “Asserter,” as seen in the example above with the tattoo on his arm. He tells it like it is and is more than willing to fight over his truth. He loves kittens. Unlike his co-worker, he doesn’t consider this affection an affliction. It doesn’t lessen his manhood one iota. So there! Good for him. I admire a person who honors truth! This decisive, confident archetype of the Asserter was well known to me for most of my life without having to be taught about it. So the Enneagram made sense: it imparted truths of human nature. The nine types were there to see and to check out. They weren’t arbitrary. I saw them in the people I came in touch with every day.

Being an Observer with a strong Romantic wing, I’m fond of authenticity. I’m an INFP in the MBTI system, which means I’m a soul-searcher, an artistic type. I’ve been writing books and drawing cartoons for 15 years and I play the piano. I love the arts. But for the past few months I’ve been doing little but marketing my newest book, “The Career Within You.” The Observer in me is curious and enjoys new areas of learning. I’ve learned about Twitter, Facebook, blogging, Flickr, You Tube, and a few other marketing tools. I spend hours each day on these things and some of it is fun. My dreams at night seem to be telling me I’m clogging up my creative side, though. It’s true–I’ll have ideas about future projects and start on them only to abandon them for some deadline having to do with marketing.

I’m like the guy in the cartoon. He probably wants to go home and play with his kitten. He’s not a wimp and neither am I. We just know what we like. He’s telling the world about his passion and I’m telling the world about mine right now: the Enneagram. There are many reasons I love it, too many to lay out here. But two big reasons are: •1)  the Enneagram pinpointed my type for me, the Observer, so that instead of feeling on the outside, I was comforted to know that my “group” was seen. • 2) the Enneagram has possibilities for great good in the world as a tool for healing racial, cultural, and religious divides. It is already saving and healing individuals and groups and I want to see its usefulness expand. I think my books are good for that. http://www.wagele.com If you’re one of my fans, you can help with my social marketing project in many ways. A fun way is to go to my CARTOON SHARING PROJECT on my home page, lift the html of some of your favorite cartoons, and put them on your own web site or other forums and help spread the word that way or in emails.