Do you think you have an enneagram type 4 child? Read this blog for everything you need to know about parenting the enneagram 4 as a child!
Enneagram 4 Child Overview
The enneagram type four child is called The Individualist.
Traits Of An Enneagram 4 Child…
- Possibly Melancholy
- And Whimsical
Signs Your Child Is An Enneagram 4
- They are very in tune with their emotions and can express them creatively
- Can worry a lot about their image
- Go through a lot of “phases”
- Sensitive, get their feelings hurt easily
- Want to be seen as the center of attention for being unique
- Try to take on the parent role, sometimes parenting the parent
- Can become hyper-independent to do what they want
What The Enneagram 4 Child Wants
- Core Desire: To be understood, unique, and important
- Core Fear: Being misunderstood, unimportant, and forgotten
As an enneagram 4 child, their core desire comes from the fear that if they aren’t unique, people will forget about them. Going with the masses and hiding their emotions don’t come naturally to them.
All an enneagram 4 child wants is to feel like they have a place in the world.
They often seek this core desire by creatively expressing themselves to stand out or by being the life of the party. They also can swing between becoming hyper-independent to find a place amongst others or clinging to parents because it’s the only place they feel important.
What An Enneagram 4 Child Needs.
So what do enneagram 4 children need? First, a 4 child needs their core desire of individuality by doing things that make them expressive and in touch with themselves.
This could be creative expression, a hobby, a sport, or spending time in thought.
But the enneagram 4 child also needs to embrace both their wings. A type 4 child will feel ill at ease if they don’t spend time achieving goals (for their 3 wing) and have time in their mind for their 5 wing.
And finally, an enneagram 4 child needs to embrace the healthy traits of their growth numbers.
Stepping into a giving role, helping others, practicing compassion (, embracing the enneagram 2,) and creating more order in their life (taking on the enneagram 1) is extremely important for the enneagram 4 child.
What An Enneagram 4 Child Struggles With
As a part of the shame triad, type 4 kids struggle with worry. They worry about their appearance, they believe that they must have the perfect image to be wanted. And this doesn’t always mean they dress clean-cut.
When a type 4 child feels that they aren’t wanted or accepted, they’ll defend their emotions by isolating themselves from peers or repressing their authentic self to fit in.
Because of this, enneagram 4 children can struggle with feeling alone and unwanted.
An Example Of This…
I had a friend growing up who was an enneagram 4 and went through a lot of phases growing up, a martial arts phase, twilight phase, fashion phase, and regal phase. She felt like she had to create a special persona to be liked.
The struggle she had was that she felt as if she had no value to the group unless she maintained unique interests. I distinctly remember her throwing big birthday parties every year with different themes and no matter how much fun everyone seemed to be having, she often felt alone and misunderstood.
Sometimes, this leads to emotional outbursts or a “crisis” to get people to pay attention to her more.
Enneagram 4 Child In Stress
Enneagram 4 children go one of two ways in stress…
- Option 1, they become selfless and silent. Stepping into the negative Enneagram 2 qualities. Instead of embracing their individuality, the type 4 child in stress forgoes the things that make them unique and tries to fit in.
- Option 2, which is rarely talked about, is a 4 child in stress can become a perfectionist and emotionally detached, taking on the unhealthy aspects of the Enneagram 1!
Overall, the Enneagram 4 in stress gets the feeling that who they are will not be accepted and so they choose to hide who they are and self-sacrifice to satisfy others.
An enneagram 4 child is most likely to go into stress after feeling judged in a conversation or being left out. They feel that they are going to lose what they have so they shield themselves by withdrawing from the world.
Signs Of A Stressed Enneagram 4…
- They’re playing the role of “caretaker” or parent for others
- They don’t share their ideas & creativity with others
- Constantly refining their image
- Withdrawing from people
- Or vice-versa, seeking out people for validation
- Won’t share how they feel, claiming they’re “fine”
- Unrealistic plans or no plans at all
- Changing who they are to fit in
- Putting on a facade of confidence but feel insecure
- Can’t figure out what they want
- Melancholy/low energy
A type 4 goes into stress by having their childhood wound triggered. A situation happens (,or many situations) where their childhood belief of “my authentic self is too much for people, I’m unwanted” is brought back to the surface and so they go into survival mode to avoid being harmed.
Enneagram 4 Child In Health
The word I like to use to summarize the enneagram 4 child in health is choose. The Individualist child, who is so in tune with their inner environment, learns that they are not subject to whatever comes at them. They learn that they can choose what they want to do, feel, and be.
A type 4 child in health will choose what they want to feel in a situation, rather than being overwhelmed by their strong feelings. They choose who they want to be rather than what seems to be acceptable in their social groups. A type 4 child chooses everything they want in their life instead of feeling stuck to what they’re supposed to be!
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Signs Of A Healthy Enneagram 4…
- They show up authentically wherever they go
- Know what they want and go after it
- In touch yet detached from their emotions
- Gratitude and calm
- Not isolating themselves from the people they love
- No excuses for why they don’t do what they want
- Empathetic and understanding
- They can plan and organize their life
- Not feeling stuck in their head
- They embrace the little things
The 4w3 child fulfills their core desire of individuality by becoming well-liked and taking center stage. A 4w3 child wants to achieve and be seen as unique because of it.
They take on the appearance of The Achiever in some aspects, meaning that they seem social, loud, competitive, and ambitious. They love being on stage and under the spotlight. 4w3s are extremely social and they love to flaunt their individuality anywhere there are people watching.
If your child is a 4w3, it is vital that you are making time for them to be with people who allow them to put aside their need to win and make them feel understood.
Enneagram 4w5 Child
The 4w5 child fulfills their core desire of individuality by isolating themselves from the crowd. It is extremely important to the 4w5 child that they have their time and resources.
The 4w5 child is called “the bohemian.” This is going to be the more introverted wing and they take on the appearance of The Investigator in some aspects, meaning that they seem quiet, calm, eccentric, withdrawn, and curious.
A 4 wing 5 child cares more about spending time creating and being in their mind. 4w5 kids feel comfortable by themselves. They love to write stories, write poetry, journal, read, draw, paint, build, etc.
Nurturing An Enneagram 4 Child
So how can we nurture enneagram 4 children?
Growth for an enneagram 4 child isn’t just about being organized and ignoring your emotions. It’s about learning balance and becoming stable.
It’s hard to be an enneagram 4 child in this day and age. There are so many different forms of chaos being thrown at them that it can be hard to remain grounded, neutral, and aligned with what you want.
Help your type 4 child recognize when they are being controlled by their emotions or the need to be accepted. Can you help them remain detached and centered? How can they honor what they feel yet not obey what they feel?
Ask your type 4 “can you try to feel your feelings and let them go? What do you want to feel right now? Can you do anything to feel that way? What can you do to get out of your emotions and connect to your physical body?”
Parenting Checklist For The Enneagram 4 Child
- Above all else, make them feel understood and seen
- Listen to what they feel
- Value their perspective and creativity
- Encourage their goals
- Give them their space and alone time
- Push them to interact with people who love them for who they are
- Teach them emotional detachment (not dissociation)
- Help them keep their life organized
- When they worry about appearance, make more time for their hobbies and activities that fulfill them
- Help them build their self-worth
- Give them a place to walk to the beat of their own drum
They need individuality for their happiness. How can you give them a space to be themselves and not seek approval from others?
What tips or questions do you have about raising an enneagram 4 child? Comment below and let us know!
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- Mindfulness For Enneagram 4s
- Enneagram 4 Self Care Guide
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- Enneagram 4w3 VS 4w5 Comparison: Which Wing Are You?