With my childhood staring me down from the past and the dreams I have of my babies staring me down from the future, I’ve been deep in thought this month, longing to answer “How can I empower my kids to be the best, most empathetic and kind versions of themselves into adulthood?” I worry that little nuances of my interactions with them will influence them in a way that doesn’t result in this. Am I providing enough structure? Am I being too strict? Am I too moody? Am I being unpredictable?
Guess what. Even the most lovingly supportive child and parent combos result in personalities that are inherently … flawed. The Enneagram personality Type 6, for example, often results from growing up as a responsive (engaging, affectionate, responsive) child paired with a responsive (supportive, sympathetic, friendly) parent. Sounds like the best case scenario, right? Well, as they grow up, they tend to struggle with opposition or attachment to authority figures. This is a reminder that no personality is more flawed or better than another. We are all imperfect. All personalities come with an innate set of struggles. And we are also ALL impeccably gifted. No matter which character traits become us, when we embark on a journey toward self-awareness and make sincere efforts in self-work, a certain result is personal growth. And this mind-bending and struggle-ridden journey is the example we can set those around us (including our children) — the same example that will have the most impact on their growing toward HEALTH.