My Mommyology

October 28, 2014
by mymommyology
2 Comments

A Halloween of Firsts

I was in the waiting room of the girls’ ballet dance studio and all the adults were talking about how much Halloween has changed and grown over the years.  Apparently it’s the biggest revenue-generating season in the US.  It makes sense because the holiday is so universal and there’s so much merchandise from costumes and candy alone.  Plus it’s fun for all ages.  The girls get excited about Halloween for precisely those two reasons:  Costumes and candy (or treats).  And it appears the more immersed we are in Halloween, the more “things” they have to be excited about.

This year, since we’re starting fresh here in LA, I thought we may as well dress up our little home in Halloween decor.

Our little patio all decked in colorful cobwebs.

Our little patio all decked in colorful cobwebs.

We’ve never done this before, so you can imagine the shock my husband had when he walked in the door.

We even bought the craft DIY pumpkins from Target so the girls could “decorate” them and add them to the charm of the apartment.

Sam enjoyed this little project.

Sam enjoyed this little project.

Then of course, the costumes and the parties that come with it.  The girls have attended two so far, each time in a different costume.  For the first time in years, we’re recycling old costumes and outfits!  Thankfully they have enough of those.  I suppose you could say that what we’d normally spend on new costumes, we used on decor? ;)

Sam's "costumes" were outfits she needed in school.  Jamie's Minnie was a gift and her viking was from last year.

Sam’s “costumes” were outfits she needed in school. Jamie’s Minnie was a gift and her viking was from last year.

The families in our little complex also want to have our own party this Friday.  I suppose we’ll be digging through their closets again soon.

As far as events go, we’ve been to two that have also been “firsts”.

We’d never had a Bug Invasion Halloween for one, and the Science Cube in Santa Ana is all about that this season.

What would the world be like if bugs were this big?!  AY!

What would the world be like if bugs were this big?! AY!

There are gigantic life-sized bugs that move when you come near them.  It’s interesting as much as it is scary to be honest.  I guess it is a good mix of spooky (or icky?) meets educational?

There are also other parts of the museum where you could touch actual live arthropods (ewwww…) and go through a neon bug maze to learn about math.  Not bad really.  I gather the bugs are there until November 2 in case you want to see them.

Then just last weekend, we attended our first Pumpkin Race at Manhattan Beach.  I’d never heard of pumpkins racing before until my friend told us to go and check it out with them.  This particular pumpkin race we hear is the most famous one.  It’s on its 24th year.  And it’s quite the spectacle!  You should see the crowd that gathers to race and cheer!

Essentially you turn the pumpkin into a race car.  You can make your own and have it ready when you arrive, or you can buy a “kit” at the pier for $20.

Then you dress it up in any which way you want, and join a heat of 6 Pumpkin-racers per group.  At the signal you send your pumpkin down the hill.

Go Pumpkin go!

Go Pumpkin go!

The winner of each gets to advance into the semi-finals.  And then the winners of each of those rounds makes it to the finals, until there are only 4 racers left to compete for the top 4 spots, all with cash prizes for themselves and for their school.  WHAT!

I was under the impression that it was as simple as gravity and a good set of wheels, but apparently there’s more to it.  In some heats, the smallest pumpkins won over the bigger ones.  And there were a few that started going down but started to swivel and crash into other racers too.  Some pumpkins turned over on their heads.  They lose body parts too!

Clockwise:  Red pumpkin crashes into wall; Mr Potatohead-pumpkin turns on his head.  Bottom:  Little pumpkin makes a mad dash for the end!

Clockwise: Red pumpkin crashes into wall; Mr Potatohead-pumpkin turns on his head. Bottom: Little pumpkin makes a mad dash for the end!

It’s quite fun to watch.  And there were so many creative pumpkins put to the race that day.

Wish I caught the other cute ones!

Wish I caught the other cute ones!

They also have this portion in between where they “punish” cheaters.  Cheaters are supposedly those that race using other non-pumpkin materials.  Like a watermelon for instance.  Or a pineapple (trying to disguise itself as a pumpkin?!)

Goodbye Watermelon...

Goodbye Watermelon…

The website says some people purposely put as their entries “cheater pumpkins” for the entertainment value of it all.

Everyone gets into it too – including the Mayor who has an honorary pumpkin run.  His pumpkin had to make it past the finish line in 8 seconds.

Left:  Guy in orange is the Mayor.  The Mayor!  And his pumpkin is making it's way to us in the right photo

Left: Guy in orange is the Mayor. The Mayor! And his pumpkin is making its way to us in the right photo

We’ve three more days for this Halloween craziness, and we haven’t even gone trick-or-treating yet.  I wonder how different it will be like for us here.  I’ve not yet gotten around to carving a real live pumpkin.  Maybe we’ll save that as a first for next year’s Halloween Holiday.

October 27, 2014
by mymommyology
0 comments

The Constipated Child

Warning:  Potty Talk coming up!

Seriously, when was poop ever cute?!

Seriously, when was poop ever cute?!

If there’s one thing I dread about raising kids, it’s when they get constipated.

From the moment they’re born, counting bowel movements on a daily basis and checking the color and consistency of their poop become your “thing” as a mother.  Why?  Because regular bowel movements are a sign your child is okay.  Some doctors say babies can go for 3 or 4 days without passing stool, but at that point, who wouldn’t worry!  Can I normal adult go 3-4 days without passing dirt?!

I know I used to worry a lot when that would happen (because it happened to both my girls several times).  I would PRAY for poop.  I really would.  And after the agony of waiting and I’d finally see (smell) poop in the Pamper, I would rejoice.  In fact, I don’t think I was ever happier.

I couldn't have said it better.

I couldn’t have said it better.

Things got trickier as they got older, because then they had a say in their food choice.  One of my children in particular (I will not divulge who!) is quite the stubborn eater.  She loves cheese, milk, ice cream, juice… all the things that can easily constipate a child.  For a time she loved guacamole too — like that helped.  Where’s the fiber in her diet?  She refused it (thankfully now she likes strawberries, but I’ll get to the history behind that in a minute).

Because I fear she will be constipated (and often enough I’m right), I try to talk her into eating better.  Sometimes I’m successful and a crisis is averted.  Other times, I’m not.  And oh boy….

Back in Manila it happened a lot because my daughter was often left with well-meaning help who’d just give her what she wanted to eat.  Of course, come pooping time, who does she scream for when belly aches and nothing comes out?

During those times I feel the most helpless.  I hold her.  I give her water.  I rub her stomach and I rub her back.  But that’s basically all I can do.  She’s got to pass the poop through her system herself.  Most of the time there is screaming.  There are loads of tears.  One time, I used a suppository.  I think that scarred her for life because now she freaks at the mere suggestion of it.

Thankfully after each “episode”, we live to live another day.  I hope each time that the lesson is learned, and history doesn’t repeat itself.  Then again, she’s a child.  And of course, history DOES.  REPEAT. ITSELF.  And the helpless feeling washes over me.  AGAIN.

Oh how I wish this was her thought bubble!  Photo credit goes to website mentioned above.

Oh how I wish this was her thought bubble! Photo credit goes to website mentioned above.

In fact it’s more than that — I end up feeling like a bad parent for letting it happen (again!).  I should’ve found a way to stop it, by hook or by crook.  I should find a better solution for it.

And then I think about Coach Pia’s lessons on allowing them to experience the Natural Consequence of things.  Strangely these constipated episodes (that sounds weird) helped me understand this entire concept better.

As a parent, there’s really only so much we can do.  We love our children and we want to keep them from getting hurt and experiencing pain.  But sometimes protecting them from it doesn’t make them more capable.  Sometimes it doesn’t teach them the lesson.  And it’s not like we don’t warn them to begin with.  Experiencing the mistake for themselves is more powerful than any parental heed you can offer.  Sometimes, it has to happen over and over again for the lesson to stick.  Coach Pia says eventually it will, and eventually they will get it.  What’s important is that we as parents are there to see them through it, even if it means doing it over and over again too.

Whew!

Whew!

And so, after getting constipated for the nth time (and surviving), the lesson finally stuck.  Now she heeds my warning when I try to inject some form of fiber into her diet and she refuses.  She takes a pause at the thought of her “butt-butt” being “owie”.  I suppose the wheels in her head have finally clicked, because she miraculously agrees to eat the food I offer, and is eager to drink MORE glasses of water.

Thankfully, we’ve not had any episode since we left Manila.  And her food repertoire is slowly expanding to voluntarily include fiber.  It has gotten easier, but it was quite the journey.  And now hopefully it will soon become a lasting healthy habit, and I will not have to worry anymore about screaming, tearful potty sessions.

It’s funny what parenting lessons poop can teach you.

October 23, 2014
by mymommyology
0 comments

My Disneyland Workout

As a gift to our family, my parents-in-law gave us Annual Passes to Disneyland (and by default to California Adventure as well).  Who wouldn’t love such a generous gift?  The girls went bonkers at the thought of going to The Happiest Place on Earth “anytime” they wanted.

So that’s been my life for the last 9 weeks.  I have literally been to Disneyland and California Adventure nine (maybe 10) times.  My Instagram and Facebook friends have noticed it too.  They all ask the exact same question:  “Do you go every week?!”  Well, to be fair, it’s not every week.  Sometimes we go twice (yeeesh!).

How can we not get excited about Disneyland?  Who doesn’t grow up on Disney characters?  Sam and Jamie know them all, as I did growing up.  The tried and tested Disney Princesses, and the newer ones like Merida, Elsa and Anna.  Even the Disney Junior Characters like Sofia the First permeate our everyday lives.  The girls’ costumes and birthdays are often Disney-inspired.  And this was further reinforced with the family’s Disney Cruise  earlier this year.  Disney is really fun for people of all ages.

While that may be true, this is too:  It is EXHAUSTING for parents. Exhausting.

Can you see how thrilled I am?

Can you see how thrilled I am?

We live so close to the parks, the girls jump at every opportunity to go.  I figure that while the kids’ school schedule is still manageable, we’d go when possible.  And while sometimes I do get excited and I feel so lucky, I also feel the lasting effects the fatigue brings each and every time.

It’s a production number and a feat.  From the time you get to the parking structure, to the time you’re able to set foot inside the actual park, you’ve already lost 30-45 minutes.  Even the nearest lots require some effort getting children, bags and strollers up and down the escalators and buses.  And Disney is never without people (even their non-peak days, the parks still have a crowd!).

Then there’s the ordeal of getting on sunblock – repeatedly.  It’s that or the burning heat.  I’ve gotten quite the tan standing in line for the girls.  Of course once all is said and done, there’s the ordeal of washing it off hours later when the kids are cranky and tired.

There’s the walking, the carrying, the pushing of the stroller and the lining up everywhere.

Disney's newest product should be a parent's back massage.

Disney’s newest service should be a parents’ back massage.

Let’s not forget the multiple visits to the public bathrooms.  Ay!  I feel like I’ve stuck my hand in every single public toilet bowl there is.  Thank goodness each stall now has potty seat liners and somehow the maintenance of it all has been quite good (so far!).  Watch out though, the automatic flush is pretty strong… and it sprays.  Eww!

At the end of each visit  no matter how long or short, my body is aching in so many different parts.  I don’t want to move the next day.  I seriously hope I’m losing weight from all of these Disney trips.  I don’t think the visits will end anytime soon as the girls haven’t tired of it.  In fact… they may never tire of it.

The nice thing about the annual pass though, is that there’s no rush to see everything all at once.  We get to explore each land in detail, and ride the rides we want to when we want to.  (Quick update:  Now Elsa and Anna’s Frozen Meet and Greet is only a fast-pass.  You need to get to the park early enough to grab a ticket, which will tell you what time to come back.  These tickets?  They usually run out at 10AM every morning and that’s all they have for the ENTIRE day!).  We’ve discovered some nice thing we’d never have gone on if we were pressed for time.

Do you know where this is? ;)

My first time to find lost pirate treasure!  Do you know where this is? ;)

There have been days when we didn’t do any rides at all, and we just trekked to meet one character after another.

Some of the usual, and some of the not-so-usual characters!

Some of the usual, and some of the not-so-usual characters!

There’s always something new to be learned in Disney.  On this last trip, the girls have recently added the Marvel Avengers to their repertoire.

I must admit, he's quite hot for a God of Thunder! ;)

I must admit, he’s quite hot for a God of Thunder! ;)

It’s made Daddy ecstatic.  I can imagine, he’s been playing with dolls all this time, FINALLY he can share his own favorites with his kids! ;)

This Halloween has been quite interesting too with its Villains theme.

Love them.  Love them.

Love them. Love them.

They are AWESOME.  And so in character!  We once witnessed an impromptu “agrument” between the Evil Queen of Snow White and Merida.

There’s a specific area in the Halloween Carnival where you can “conjour a villain”.  It’s cool.  I think we’ve been in line thrice in the last two weeks.  In all of my memory of Disneyland, I’ve never seen a villain walk the streets.  It’s always been the chipper protagonists and perfect princesses so it’s quite refreshing.  I can’t wait to see what they do for Christmas!

Sam has also recently discovered Tim’ Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.

Jack Skeleton and Sally

Jack Skeleton and Sally

These are things I’d never have thought to introduce to her.

As we go, I learn some new things too.  I’ve found this app called MouseWait, which gives you the wait times in each ride and restaurant.  I also found a Crowd Tracker Site which predicts the crowd levels on that specific date.  I’ve learned how to work through some of the long lines especially when there’s more than one adult present.  And when we ride “favorite rides”, I always try to find something new I never spotted before.

"Small World" has updated to include some favorite characters too.

“Small World” has updated to include some favorite characters too.

I’ve also found some hidden character spots!  Jasmine and Aladdin’s oasis for instance, isn’t even on the map that they give out at the entrance.  It took a little scouting around but eventually we found them.  And Jamie is a happy camper for it.

Jasmine, the Genie and a very happy Jamie.

Jasmine, the Genie and a very happy Jamie.

An Annual Pass for those that live near Disneyland is definitely worth it.  There are discounts too on food and merchandise (and we do save a lot when we flash the annual pass for food!)

It's where Jamie got her favorite bow and arrow.

It’s where Jamie got her favorite bow and arrow.

The more we go, the more I appreciate the brand that is Disney.  It’s amazing how everything just runs almost to perfection.  Every single person you talk to, from the street cleaners to the parking attendants, to the ride attendants, it’s clear everyone knows their role and their place.  And the customer service is excellent.

There’s always a new discovery to be made at Disney.  I’m floored with how they’re able to keep it relevant and fresh each time… I cannot begin to imagine the planning that goes into each part of the park all year round.  And it’s amazing how each experience (no matter how crowded) stays with you for life.

Disneyland really is a magical place.

October 21, 2014
by mymommyology
2 Comments

Adjustment Phase 1A: A School for Sam

It’s the Adjustment Series again. :)  Can ya blame me?  With each move I need to re-wire my brain.  I told my husband I hoped this would be the last though in a LOOONG time, because I think another move will just cause me to short-circuit!

Where do I begin.

While the main reason for relocating to LA was for Jamie’s over-all health (and secondarily for my husband’s career), the biggest concern for me was Sam’s future school.  I’d gotten quite comfortable with the fact that she was adjusting nicely to my alma mater.  She was grade 1, was starting to make those life-long friendships we all know begin in grade school… and she was doing well.  Everyone loved her — teachers, classmates and community helpers alike.  The system was working for us (and you know me with routine and predictability!).

And to think when we moved to Manila, I had stressed over the school choice too!  Now after going through it a second time around outside of my comfort zone, I realize that choosing a school in Manila is (was) a walk in the park.  Who was I kidding?!

We started our school search months before we even confirmed our relocation plans.  While my husband searched the net, I talked to Moms I knew and trusted.  After all, we’re not the first family to do this!

My first instinct was to move Sam to a private school, which so many people said was crazy.  And that was the first mindset shift.  They made me realize that in a developed country like the US, there are good public schools.  Read:  Free tuition.  And websites like Great! Schools had a listing and some ratings and reviews public schools, complete with all the facts.

I have this bookmarked for life.

I have this bookmarked for life.

Then a good friend pointed me towards the API Index.   It’s a statewide measurement of all the public schools in the various cities.  Apparently it is a well-known trusted index.  I was advised to look for schools that ranked 800 and up.

Somewhere along the way, another friend sent me the list of California Distinguished Schools, which honors some of the exemplary public schools in the state.  Of course who parent wouldn’t want to send their child to those schools?

I was taught to look for this symbol when visiting a school.

I was taught to look for this symbol when visiting a school.

Here’s the other thing I had to wrap my head around:  We needed an address that was within the zoned district of the school.  (Say what?!)  Meaning to say we needed a home before we found a school.  But we also needed to pick a school so that we could look for a home.  And while this “law” is common to other states in the US, it wasn’t familiar to me.  In Manila, you could live in the deepest recesses of the province, wake up at 430AM and go to school in the city by 730AM!  But that’s besides the point.

Of course, each school had a maximum capacity too.  So if your chosen school was at full capacity, the school district would assign your child to another school in the district that was possibly of a lower ranking.  By the time we’d confirmed our move though, most of the schools we looked at had closed enrollment.

Then there was her age.  Sam is admittedly a year younger than her current batchmates, because she missed our school cut-off by 29 days.  She had a guidance assessment and they saw her fit to go into the level she’s in now.  Here, it’s not the case.  The district will look at your date of birth and last completed level, and all transfer students will start with the students of their age level.  So if it were up to the system, Sam was going back to Kindergarten.  When I spoke to some administrators, they said the Department of Education is strict about the ages because of the bullying, and it would have to be at the discretion of the school’s Principal.  My reply was always – my daughter may get bored in Kinder and then SHE may be the bully!  Plus, the only thing that excites her about moving is because she understands she’s going to continue in Grade 1.

With all these considerations I was about to go nuts.  It was a long process.  I was worried about putting Sam in a lower ranked school and then moving her again a year after.  I felt that was too much of an adjustment, be it private or public.  I seriously considered home school, but that scared ME more.

All of that said and done, my husband and I finally decided on a district with schools that were all ranked in the above-average level.  That way even if we couldn’t get into our California Distinguished school of choice, it would still be a school that was top ranked.  He would have to drive 35 miles to work (which is far by LA standards they say), but we decided it would be better for the kids in all aspects.

My husband left 6 weeks ahead, and he found a school (and an apartment near it) that had a slot for Sam.  It was a year-round school, which was ANOTHER jolt to my system because I didn’t even know I had to consider that!  Apparently there are two “schools of thought” (pun intended) about traditional and year round schools.  There are pros and cons to both systems, but in any case, the only school in this wonderfully ranked district was the one with the year-round calendar.

When we arrived two months ago, school had already been in session.  We had our alma mater’s full support that she could handle the 1st grade, and they backed it up with OLSAT test results as well as assessments and personal recommendation letters from her teachers.  And thankfully, this particular school has taken Sam in at 1st grade.  It was ranked a 10 on Great Schools, and has an API Index of 942.  It was a California Distinguished School in 2010, but aims to get that distinction back soon (which is good enough really)!

She's being led to her new classroom.  I followed holding back tears.

She’s being led to her new classroom. I followed holding back tears.

She started immediately 5 days after we’d arrived.

I snuck this note into her lunchbox.

I snuck this note into her lunchbox.

She’s made some friends and according to her teacher, has no problem adjusting at all.  I went through Sam’s Mindprint results with her, and in the last few weeks the teacher has seen and verified on her own that Sam is quite the exemplary student.  Phew! 

There are days Sam tells me she still eats alone and is shy about joining the other kids.  She misses her old school and her friends back home.

Sam's Manila classmates gave her and another friend a send-off before we left!  So sweet.

Sam’s Manila classmates gave her and another friend a send-off before we left! So sweet.

She doesn’t cry about it though (which makes ME want to cry even more)!  What else can I do except take it in stride and hope that time will help.  Everyone here seems welcoming and very friendly after all.

I may have lost a couple of years of my life going through this transition, but I did learn a lot.  And with Sam doing so well, I’ve recently discovered there’s still MORE to learn about the education system in this country.  That is a happy problem I shall willingly take on. :)

October 19, 2014
by mymommyology
2 Comments

A #BetterMe and A #BetterParent with the Enneagram

Once a week I still aim to share some of the life lessons I’ve learned along the way.  This is a post long overdue too!

I’ve always taken a personal interest in personality tests (yes, even the quizzes in the magazines.  I secretly do the Facebook ones too — heeheehee!).  I used to do it for me.  And then eventually it was used to understand my husband-then-boyfriend, better.  Now I do it because I want to understand my kids, and how I can be a better parent to them.

Of all the “tests” that I’ve had to answer or use — from Myers-Briggs, to StrengthsFinder, and even the Love Language test, I keep coming back to the Enneagram most of all.

Here it is!

Source:  The Enneagram Institute

I first learned about the Enneagram from my spiritual mentor Ester.  She had a whole document, and when I read it I was overwhelmed.  So I attended some seminars on it at Don Bosco many moons ago.  The thing about that is, you’re discovering yourself and others of your type in a room full of strangers.  So while some of it was educational, a lot of it was still intimidating.  And at the end of it all, I still didn’t fully grasp the 9 different personality types.  In fact I re-took the test at different points in my life, and I got even more confused because it would shift between two or three numbers.

Fortunately, I found out that my good friend Jake is an Enneagram guru.  In fact he teaches it in his leadership classes at the Ateneo Graduate School.  Jake, Kris’ other half, is a triathlete and the producer behind shows like Green Living TV and Gameplan (which is now back and getting bigger and better!).

GameplanTV, a nominee for best Fitness Blog from the most recent Tatt Awards!

Jake is left most with the rest of the GamePlanTV hosts and co-producer Paolo Abrera.

Jake teaches it because he believes that a person who knows himself better and is more self-aware can be a better leader.  And wouldn’t the world benefit if there were better leaders out there? (Go Jake!)

Photo credit:  Conci (Blairbitchbunny)

Photo credit: Conci of The Blairbitchbunny

Ever since then Jake has been my Enneagram guru and go-to person.  And he was happy to hold an intimate #BetterMe session with the other SoMoms on it.  As pre-work, he had us all take the free online test  to get a baseline of our numbers and personality types.

Photo credit:  Jen of Next9 / Attached at the Hip

Photo credit: Jen of Next9 / Attached at the Hip

As I mentioned before, the Enneagram is a test that “divides” the way we type or classify people into 9 different personality types.  It was started by Don Riso and Russ Hudson who eventually founded the Enneagram Institute.  I don’t know much more apart from the fact that the Enneagram also shows the relationships between the types, and the underlying motivations for specific actions.  Like any other tool, the Enneagram is key to better self-knowledge and self-awareness, and is the most comprehensive that I’ve found so far.  It’s fascinating!  There’s always much to learn.

Source:  Enneagram Institute's FAQs

Source: Enneagram Institute’s FAQs

The trick is not to get overwhelmed by the lines and arrows.  And maybe think of assessing yourself (and your number/s) in 3 buckets.

Find Your Center.  Focus on the highest number first, which will be your “center”, or your default.  The test will help you determine your highest number.  If you hit two or more, read through the descriptions and see which ones resonate most with you, particularly the motivations.  One other way, Jake says is to also check physical manifestations and symptoms.  Normally head people (types 5, 6 and 7) often get migraines or bad headaches.  The ONE types on the other hand look very put together, very prim and proper.

Study the WingsFrom that which is your center, check the two numbers on its right and left.  As a “2” for instance, my wings are 1 and 3.  Meaning, I’d have to consider the good and bad traits of the 1 and the 3 as how they blend in with the personality type of the 2.  With Jake’s help, I understand now that this was where my initial confusion stemmed from.  As a younger form of myself, I related more to the 3, the Achiever.  When I became a parent, my 1 wing stood out more.  But Jake was the first one to point out that my motivation and behavior was that of a 2.  So  it’s possible that life stages and situations will make you exhibit the traits of another type, but in the end you still go back to your center.

Learn the Integration and Disintegration.  And now for the arrows.  If you look at this Enneagram diagram, you’ll see that each number has an arrow which “points” to another number in the circle.

The arrows point to a number is its Disintegration.  The arrow coming from a number is the Integration.  Capisce?!

The arrows point to a number is its Disintegration. The arrow coming from a number is the Integration. Capisce?!

In my case 2 for instance, a Healthy version of myself will integrate with the positive qualities of a 4.  As a Helper, I “automatically” give of myself and have a hard time saying no, sometimes to a fault.  I can learn from the 4 (the Artist), to sometimes put myself first.   The opposite is also true and an unhealthy 2 will disintegrate and exhibit the negative traits of an 8.  I rarely get mad but when I do, I explode — just like an 8 would.

It’s all a lot to take in, but definitely worth the time to understand.  And it’s one of those things you can keep going back to (as self-understanding takes time!).  What’s nice about learning it with an intimate group of friends, is that now you all have the same language.  In fact some of our conversations have statements like, “It’s because she’s a 6,” as the only explanation.  Or, “That is the 1 in you talking.”  It helps keep you self-aware when other people can help you using tools you understand.

Now as for the parenting part of it… the Enneagram Institute says that it’s difficult to use the testing and typing for children under the age of 14.  That’s because they’re not fully aware of who they are yet, or why they do things.  But as a parent, Liz Hill (from the Enneagram Administrative Support) says, ” the most important thing is to begin to understand how you fit with whatever type your child is — that’s where the work is for you!”  They have a whole section on parenting in their website if you’d like to check it out.

There is no perfect number or better number.  You can’t change the number that you are.  To quote the wise professor Jake:  “You learn these things so that you can be the best version of your number as you can be; for yourself and for those around you.”

Thank you “Sir Jake” as always.

See Jake and the Gameplan team’s work on www.whatsyourgameplan.tv.  Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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