Do you think you have an Enneagram type 3 child? Read this blog for everything you need to know about parenting the Enneagram 3 as a child!
Enneagram 3 Child Overview
The enneagram type three child is called The Achiever.
Traits Of An Enneagram 3 Child…
- And Diplomatic
Signs Your Child Is An Enneagram 3
- They take failure harshly, expecting themselves to always succeed
- Can worry a lot about their image
- Even if shy, they want to be liked
- They can appear “intimidating” as they get older
- If they’re not good at something first try, they become obsessed with being the best at it or not doing it at all
- Struggle to rest, always pushing themselves to become the best
What The Enneagram 3 Child Wants
- Core Desire: To be the best, achieve, and belong
- Core Fear: Failing, being unaccepted, and betrayed
As an Enneagram 3 child, their core desire comes from the fear that if they aren’t the best then they are unworthy of love. Flaunting their authenticity and “chilling” doesn’t come naturally to them.
All an Enneagram 3 child wants is to feel like they are good enough for others. And in their head, that requires being the best.
They often seek this core desire by competing in sports and academics. Even though the root of their core desire is to be wanted by a group, they can often go to such lengths to become the best that they push themselves away from people.
What An Enneagram 3 Child Needs.
So what do Enneagram 3 children need? First, a 3 child needs their core desire for achievement by taking on intrinsically driven challenges that make them like a winner.
This could be an athletic feat, a self-growth goal, or a creative pursuit.
But the Enneagram 3 child also needs to embrace both their wings. A type 3 child will feel ill at ease if they don’t spend time taking care of loved ones (including themselves) and practicing creative self-expression for their 4 wings.
And finally, an enneagram 3 child needs to embrace the healthy traits of their growth numbers.
Stepping into more relaxation (, embracing the enneagram 9,) and building connections (, taking on the enneagram 6,) is extremely important for the enneagram 3 child.
What An Enneagram 3 Child Struggles With
As a part of the shame triad, type 3 kids struggle with being image-conscious and authentic. They want to be liked and accepted by the group.
From a young age, they’re taught to believe that who they are isn’t enough. They believe that they have to be the best and hide their authentic self to be liked.
When type 3 children feel that they aren’t wanted or accepted, they’ll focus on achieving even more, thinking “Then I’ll be enough.”
Because of this, enneagram 3 children can struggle with allowing themselves to rest and being burnt out.
An Example Of This…
My sister, who runs Making Mindfulness Fun with me is an enneagram 3. When we were young, we both did competitive gymnastics. As a 3, she excelled faster than me but regardless, she never felt good enough.
My mom always tells us the story of how my sister would cry if she was late to practice because, as a 3 child, she was worried that she wasn’t going to be good enough if she was late.
Enneagram 3 Child In Stress
Enneagram 3 children go one of two ways in stress…
- Option 1, they become tired and selfless. Stepping into the negative Enneagram 9 qualities. Instead of achieving their real dreams, they get pulled into people pleasing, achieve what society or others want them to, forgo their sense of self, and end up burnt out
- Option 2, which is rarely talked about, is a 3 child under stress can become a people-pleaser and defensive, taking on the unhealthy aspects of the Enneagram 6!
While rest is something 3 kids desperately need, type 3 in stress becomes like the 9 in that they forgo their true desires and choose numbness over real rest.
They will lay on the floor doing nothing because they are so burnt out, scroll through social media, or sleep excessively yet still feel tired.
An enneagram 3 child is most likely to go into stress after pushing themselves too hard.
Signs Of A Stressed Enneagram 3…
- They’re constantly tired yet not resting
- Silencing their thoughts amongst a group
- Lack of inspiration
- Focused on extrinsic achievement
- Repressing their feelings
- Won’t share how they feel, claiming they’re “fine”
- Changing who they are to fit in
- Taking on more responsibility than necessary
- Never feeling good enough
A type 3 child goes into stress by having their childhood wound triggered. A situation happens (, or many situations) where their childhood belief of “I have to win to be loved” is brought back to the surface and so they go into over-achiever mode to avoid being abandoned.
Enneagram 3 Child In Health
The word I like to use to summarize the enneagram 3 child in health is enough. A type 3 in growth will feel a strong sense of inner knowing that they are enough. They know when they’ve done enough and it’s time to rest.
A type 3 in growth will not only see themselves as enough for others but see others as enough for them. The driven and professional type 3 embraces trust, authenticity, and, most importantly, support. An enneagram 3 in growth learns that they are worthy of connection as they are and without achievement.
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Signs Of A Healthy Enneagram 3…
- Showing up as their authentic self
- Speaking their true thoughts
- In touch with their feelings
- Allow themselves to have fun
- Connecting with friends
- Aligned with their goals
- They don’t feel the need to “do more”
- Being creative
- Finding presence
- Enjoying the little things
- Respecting their mind and body’s needs
The 3w2 child fulfills their core desire of achievement by becoming well-liked by others. A 3w2 child has more of a desire to be the star or center stage.
They take on the appearance of The Helper in some aspects, meaning that they seem kind, giving, and selfless. 3w2s kids are social butterflies and they love to put together community events, throw parties, volunteer, etc.
If your child is a 3w2, you must be making time for them to be with people who allow them to step into your authenticity and make them feel less image-conscious
Enneagram 3w4 Child
The 3w4 child fulfills their core desire of achievement by being the best in a way that is aligned with their individuality/creativity. It is extremely important to the 3w4 child that they know who they are and what they can offer to the world.
The 3w4 child is called “the professional.” This is going to be the more introverted wing and they take on the appearance of The Individualist in some aspects, meaning that they seem more artistic, calm, and whimsical.
A 3-wing 4 child cares more about spending time creating and being in their mind. 3w4 kids want to be seen as the best at whatever creative avenue they take.
Nurturing An Enneagram 3-Child
So how can we nurture Enneagram 3 children?
Growth for an Enneagram 3 child isn’t just about letting go of goals. It’s about learning to be present and find more enjoyment in life by building connections.
The core of a type 3 child’s growth means learning to set less future success goals and start looking at what their goal for living is. (Defining their values). What do you want your life to feel like? What’s the big picture desire?
Help your type 3 child recognize when they are feeling unworthy or burnt out. Can they notice when they are chasing success because they feel like they’re not enough?
Give them space to be vulnerable and open. Ask your type 3 “What would you do if you didn’t feel the need to win? What if you already saw yourself as a winner, how would you feel?”
Parenting Checklist For The Enneagram 3 Child
- Be curious and playful with them.
- Give them diversity in experiences
- Help them set goals that aren’t attached to extrinsic results.
- Teach them to build their self-worth
- Give them space to be vulnerable and open
- Help them rest
- Make time for friends they can be authentic with
- Teach them to trust
- Make time for creativity without having to be the best
- Challenge their capabilities in a carefree space
- Help them not get caught up in everyone else’s opinions
They need achievement for their happiness. How can you give them a space to be the best but not for the sake of being accepted?
What tips or questions do you have about raising an Enneagram 3 child? Comment below and let us know!
- Using The Enneagram In Parenting
- Mindfulness For Enneagram 3s
- Enneagram 3 Self-Care Guide
- Gift Ideas For The Enneagram 3
- Enneagram 3w2 VS 3w4 Comparison: Which Wing Are You?