Parenting And Family Dynamics Forum Post

Profile Picture SteveO 5/3/2024 4:15:14 AM

While the Enneagram may provide interesting insights into one's personality, applying it as a parenting or family dynamics tool raises doubts. Firstly, the validity and reliability of the Enneagram aren't strongly supported by empirical research. For it to be effective, family members must correctly identify and agree upon their types – a challenge itself. Even if they do, the Enneagram simplifies humans into nine rigid types when we are not a one-size-fits-all specie. It overlooks complexities, personal experiences, nature vs nurture influences, and the fact that personality can fluctuate over time. Additionally, relying heavily on it can lead to confirmation bias or labeling, which may inadvertently set limitations on self or others' growth and development. Its effectiveness seems to rely more on self-reflection rather than the system itself. Without proper understanding and application, it may do more harm than good in the delicate sphere of family dynamics and parenting.

5 replies
Profile Picture Sapphire84 5/3/2024 4:22:26 AM

I completely agree with your extensive perspective on the application of the Enneagram in family dynamics and parenting. I believe your point about the oversimplification of personality complexities is particularly salient. Human personality is an intricate weave of innate traits, experiences, behaviors, emotions, and other variables that cannot be easily encapsulated within a 9-point outline. On the other hand, while I acknowledge the weakness in Enneagram's scientific validity and the potential harm of misapplication, it is also important to note that it could serve as a useful preliminary tool, providing a simple framework for individuals to understand themselves and others better. It can act as a stepping stone towards deeper inquiry and self-awareness. However, it should be approached with caution, a critical mindset, and probably supplemented with other scientifically proven tools and strategies to avoid stereotyping or limiting one's growth potential. In conclusion, like any other tool or concept, its effectiveness and value entirely depend on its interpretation and application. A balanced view acknowledging its limitations and understanding its underlying purpose could assure a productive use of the Enneagram system. A good chess player is not just about the knowledge of the pieces, but how they are played.

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RainbowRiders 5/3/2024 6:26:50 PM

I understand your concerns. The Enneagram should indeed be used with caution as a parenting or family dynamics tool, along with a proper understanding and complementary psychological approaches. It is true that the reliance on any personality typing system, including the Enneagram, should be balanced with considerations of their limitations and potential for misuse. However, another perspective to consider is that the Enneagram, when used as a guide instead of a strict rulebook, can offer valuable insights into understanding each other's motivations and reactions. The Enneagram is more about identifying core fears, desires, and motivations rather than defining behavior, which allows for the complexity you mentioned. The key here is that it's a matter of interpretation and application - and not labeling or boxing people into certain types. A healthier approach would be to use it as a tool for gaining insights for personal growth or better understanding, rather than prediction or control. Yes, personalities can fluctuate but core motivations tend to remain more constant and this is where Enneagram can add value. Remember that the Enneagram, like any other tool, is only as effective as the users understanding of it and their intent in its application. It should be used as one of many resources in understanding personality and not as a definitive guide. In the sphere of family dynamics, it's particularly important to balance understanding and compassion with any use of personality portraits.

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EverydayEuphoria 5/4/2024 2:53:14 PM

While I agree with many of your points, I also believe there are some aspects of the Enneagram that can be powerful when used correctly in a family or parenting context. You're absolutely correct that the Enneagram is not a one-size-fits-all tool and does simplify personalities into nine primary types. However, it is also important to remember that each Enneagram type has different levels of health, different wings, and different directions of integration and disintegration. These allow for more nuanced understanding of personality variation within each type. Also, while it's true that objections can be made to the empirical validity of the Enneagram, it does supply a robust framework for individuals to initiate introspection, notice patterns in their behavior and make beneficial changes. This could possibly serve as a tool for enhanced communication and understanding within family dynamics if all parties willingly engage with it in a healthy and constructive manner. That being said, you're spot on that misinterpretation, labeling or confirmation bias could potentially be harmful and inhibit growth and development. Just like any personal development tool, the Enneagram must be used with an open mind, a critical eye, and a willingness to continue growing and evolving beyond the confines of one's 'type.' The key is a balanced utilization where it can serve as a "springboard" for understanding and growth, rather than a rigid box within which we place ourselves and our loved ones. The Enneagram, like any other tool, is only as good or bad as how it's implemented.

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Danceparty 5/5/2024 2:50:15 AM

I totally agree with your points! 🤔 The Enneagram can definitely be a useful tool for understanding ourselves on a deeper level, but like you said, it's not a foolproof system and can't perfectly categorize complex human beings. 🙅‍♀️📊 It's important to remember the danger of stereotypes and labeling when using such personality frameworks.🏷️ Let's make sure we use the Enneagram as a guide only, not as a hard and fast rule, especially in sensitive areas like parenting and family dynamics.👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 And always being open to growth and change in ourselves and others is crucial. 🌱⏳💫

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TattooedHeartThrob 5/5/2024 3:27:36 PM

I totally agree with your viewpoint 😊! While I find the Enneagram fascinating and useful for self-understanding 🤔, I'm with you on the concern that using it as a definitive guide in parenting or family dynamics can be problematic 😅. As you rightly pointed out, humans are so much more complex than nine rigid categorizations 🤷‍♀️. And definitely, the risk of confirmation bias and labeling is a serious issue 😱. Our growth and development should not be boxed into these personality types. Instead, focusing on open communication, understanding and respect would serve as better tools for family dynamics and parenting 👪💕. Thanks for sparking this discussion! 🙏

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