Welcome back to Dry Gables, Sparklers! It’s so nice to return to a familiar place with our good friends the Denkens, the Herz Family, and the Bauers as they teach us how to be our best selves — and how to navigate even when we’re not our best selves. In short, our Dry Gables friends show us how to be human, and how to live in community with compassion, gratitude, and love.
Each time we go to Dry Gables together, we explore a different facet of how our children’s various personalities express themselves and how we as their guardians can celebrate, honor, and best support them. Our Dry Gables folks are lucky to have each other — and we are fortunate to have them, as well as the Enneagram, to guide us. The Enneagram is a complex and meaningful model of human personality. It offers us a road map which can be very useful in helping us to identify who we are at our best and what blocks us from being able to access the natural gifts that bring us to a place of happiness and greater ease.
The stories in this collection, Dry Gables: Good Neighbors, give us insights into how we resolve conflict and strive to get our needs met — and what we do when they are not met.
In Dry Gables Season Three: Good Neighbors, we ask the question
“How do our children try to get their needs met in relationships? And when their needs go unmet, how do they cope with difficulty?"
The story collection “Get It Done” features our town Pony Express driver, Jane Meyer (a Denken), Dry Gables blacksmith and founder Johann Bauer, and town mayor, EB Herz. All three of these fine folks assert themselves in order to get what they want, get a certain need met, or to navigate when they are coping with a challenge. They are not our shy community members. They are bold, strong — and they “get it done.”
In our story, these three friends are traveling to the new capital of South Dakota, Pierre, to have the town officially incorporated. Jane, Johann, and EB are chosen to represent Dry Gables. Jane is selected because she has social connections, EB because of his political prowess, and Johann because of his straightforward approach. Each has their own individual way of asserting themselves, and each of the three tries to get their needs met in their own way:
In Part One: Jane asserts herself by getting to know everyone in town and using her social skills to ask for help on behalf of her town.
In Part Two: Johann strides in and makes demands of the South Dakota select board.
In Part Three: EB tries to impress and use the wheels of politics to manipulate the South Dakota leadership.
Perhaps you will recognize some of these tendencies in your own child. Do you notice that your child tends to either charm, persuade, or manipulate when they want something or if they are concerned about not having their needs met?
What Jane, Johann, and EB have in common is that:
They each experience some degree of challenge identifying and processing their feelings.
- They often feel that what is happening is happening in relation to them.
They tend to ‘fill the space” and expect others to respond to them.
In short, they each respond to stress by making themselves the center of attention.
Children who respond to stress like Jane might introduce fun and engagement to avoid feeling uncomfortable. They are assertive about satisfying their appetites for what is new, exciting, and adventurous.
Children who respond to stress like Johann face a situation head on — and they use their power to get what they need or want. They are very protective of themselves and also of those they care about. They like to control what is happening in their environment.
Children who respond to stress like EB like to be noticed for what they have accomplished in order to get their needs met. This helps them to feel valid and deserving of getting what they need or want, even if it means being in competition with others.
If your child has a bit of Jane, Johann, or EB in them, your invitation is to consider what it is that would satisfy their fundamental needs or what might be creating some difficulty for them.
You might ask yourself:
For those who see Jane in their child: Is she seeking reassurances that she is safe and secure, and is she having trouble relaxing? If so, remind her that her needs will be taken care of, and give her opportunities to focus and be still.
For those who see Johann in their child: Is he looking to be in control and to protect? If so, remind him that he is respected and that he can use his big heart to help others.
For those who see EB in their child: Is he seeking validation that he is worthy and significant? If so, remind him that he is loved for just who he is and that he is a human “being,” not a human “doing.”
We all have needs We all have desires We all face challenges
The trick is understanding those needs, desires, and challenges … and then discovering who we authentically are in the midst of them … and then living with others in community! This is the task of being fully human. This is the task of being a good neighbor.
- respect each other.
- love each other amidst differences.
- have compassion for each other’s vulnerability.
DRY GABLES’ CHARACTERS and the ENNEAGRAM
In our Dry Gables Series, the Enneagram Personality Types are represented in the following story characters:
The Bauers: Dry Gables’ Crafters
Type 8 Blacksmith: Johann Bauer
Type 9 Baker Marta Bauer (Johann’s sister)
Type 1 Carpenter Wilhelm Bauer (Johann’s nephew)
The Herz Family: Dry Gables’ Service Leaders
Type 2 Nurse Liesl Herz
Type 3 Businessman/ Mayor Ernst Bernard (EB) Herz (Liesl’s nephew)
Type 4 Teacher Seamus O’Connor (Liesl’s husband)
The Denkens: Dry Gables’ Connectors
Type 5 Typesetter/ Newspaperman Max Denken (son of Franz and Lena Denken)
Type 6 General Store Owners Merchants Franz and Lena Denken
Type 7 Pony Express Driver Jenka (Jane) Meyer (Maiden name: Denken)
To learn more about the Enneagram, click HERE!
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About the Author
Meredith has been working with adults and children of all ages for the past 25 years as a Waldorf Teacher and Educational Consultant. She received a B.A. with a focus on child development and child psychology from the University of Michigan, in 1984, an M.A. Ed from Washington University in 1987, and her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from the Lehrerausbildung (Teacher Training) in Nurnberg, Germany in 1989. She was certified as a Living Inquiries Facilitator in 2014, and she completed her formal teaching certification with The Enneagram Institute in 2014. Her work in the classroom and with individuals and groups is designed to help people of all ages to drop self-limiting beliefs to live a more joyful and compassionate life.