Do you think you have an enneagram type 8 child? Read this blog for everything you need to know about parenting the enneagram 8 as a child!
Enneagram 8 Child Overview
The enneagram type eight child is called The Challenger.
Traits Of An Enneagram 8 Child…
Signs Your Child Is An Enneagram 8
- They are always looking to push themselves (probably more than they should)
- Easily assertive
- Likes to be in control when playing with other kids
- Highly independent, to the point of being hard to control at times
- Verbose, can seem argumentative
- Struggles to show vulnerability
What The Enneagram 8 Child Wants
- Core Desire: Intensity, Challenge, Independence
- Core Fear: Vulnerability, Weakness, Loss Of Control
As an enneagram eight child, their core desire is to have intensity and challenge. This core desire comes from the fear that “if I show weakness or vulnerability, I will be harmed.”
All an enneagram 8 child wants is to challenge themselves and be in control of themselves. This can be a strength or a weakness.
They often seek this core desire through sports and acting independently, or picking up projects that they can do on their own.
What An Enneagram 8 Child Needs.
So what do enneagram 8 children need? First, an 8 child needs their core desire of intensity by doing things that make them challenge themselves physically and mentally. This could be going mountain biking, doing mind puzzles, or working out.
But the enneagram 8 child also needs to embrace both their wings. A type 8 child won’t feel fulfilled if they don’t have some fun/newness (for their 7 wing) and find peace/zen time for their 9 wing.
And finally, an enneagram 8 child needs to embrace the healthy traits of their growth numbers.
Finding time to take care of themselves and open their heart chakra (, embracing the enneagram 2,) and withdrawing into their mind (taking on the enneagram 5) is extremely important for the enneagram 8 child.
What An Enneagram 8 Child Struggles With
As enneagram 8s are apart of the Anger Triad. They express this anger verbally as a bodyguard for their softer emotions. Since type eights believe “vulnerability is weakness,” type 8 children can be hyper-independent and overextend themselves. Leading them to be aggressive, stubborn, and burnt out.
In short, enneagram 8 children can have trouble allowing themselves to rest, express their emotions, and be a team player (which is important to be able to do as part of a family unit.)
An Example Of This…
I was once hiking with this wonderful family who had an enneagram 8 child. It was a very hard hike and none of us packed nearly enough food + water. The type 8 child, understandably was getting very tired and frustrated but didn’t want to show it.
They were getting very short-tempered with their siblings and everyone else on the hike and wanted to be alone. Eventually, the type 8 child slowed down and softened enough to take the food we offered them which made all the difference for us to finish the hike.
Enneagram 8 Child In Stress
Enneagram 8 children go one of two ways in stress…
- Option 1, they become withdrawn and reserved. Stepping into the negative Enneagram 5 qualities, take less action and become focused on attaining more information that they seemingly don’t need whether it’s through studying more than needed, watching TV, or reading.
- Option 2, which is rarely talked about, is an 8 child in stress can become “selfless,” taking on the unhealthy aspects of the Enneagram 2! They try to take care of all duties on their own and end up feeling like a victim.
Overall, a type 8 child in stress also becomes more critical. Instead of embracing their compassionate side, they see everything as logic and facts, including other people’s emotions. The type 8 in stress is ruthless and harsh.
Signs Of A Stressed Enneagram 8 Child…
- Drawing into their mind, appearing to have “brain fog”.
- Aggressive and rude
- Struggle to work with others
- Physically burnt out
- Passive-aggressive behavior
- Pushing others away
- Hyper-analyzing themselves and their actions
- Challenging themselves to the point of exhaustion
- Lack of motivation or obsessive motivation
- Appearing silent
- Constantly tired
- Trying to control others
A type 8 child goes into stress by having their childhood wound triggered. A situation happens (, or many situations) where their childhood belief of “I cannot be weak or incapable” is brought back to the surface and so they go into survival mode to avoid being harmed.
Enneagram 8 Child In Health
The words I like to use to summarize the enneagram 8 child in health is pause and soften. The Challenger child, who is so great at pushing themselves, will pause and listen to how they are feeling and thinking. Not forgoing their intense personality entirely but they feel safe enough to remember to rest and practice compassion to all every day.
The enneagram 8 child at their best appears to be calm and present, rather than living “one-step-ahead” of everyone else.
They reflect on their actions, and realizes life isn’t meant to be lived in fast-forward. A healthy type 8 child realizes that they are worthy of rest and they channel their intensity into the the things that really matter.
Signs Of An Healthy Enneagram 8…
- Make time to rest daily
- Can express their feelings
- Controlling less, but controlling what matters most to them
- They express their emotions
- They listen fully before they speak
- They practice healthy moderation
- Communicating through conflict rather than running away from it
- There’s a sense of awareness of what others feel
- They channel their intensity into things that benefit their health
- They have chill hobbies
Enneagram 8w7 Child
The 8w7 child fulfills their core desire of intensity via fun and adventure.
This is going to be the more extroverted wing and they take on the appearance of the enthusiast in some aspects, meaning that they seem intense, social, expressive, spontaneous, and fun-loving.
8w7 kids are extremely social and they love to debate with anyone they meet, this can make them seem like they are trying to start a fight but they truly don’t see the harm in the argument. 8w7 children have trouble sitting still. They are always searching for the next new thing whether that is a new sport, hobby, or class in school.
The 8w7 child love to be social. If your child is a 8w7, it is vital that you are making time for them to be with people who allow them to be vulnerable and have fun.
Enneagram 8w9 Child
The 8w9 child fulfills their core desire of challenge to protect those they love and those who can’t protect themselves. It is extremely important to the 8w9 kids that they have things under control and can take care of everyone.
This is going to be the more introverted wing and they take on the appearance of the peacemaker in some aspects, meaning that they seem levelheaded, calm, protective, stable, and orderly.
The 8 wing 9 child cares more about spending time leading and using their bold nature to defend “the little guys.” They love to protect, stand up against authority, and rally people together.
Type 8w9s prefer to have fewer but deeper friendships than big social groups so it is vital that you are helping them find those people who they feel relaxed, welcome, and authentic around.
Nurturing An Enneagram 8 Child
So how can we nurture enneagram 8 children?
Growth for the enneagram 8 child isn’t just about forcing them to talk about their feeling and be nice. It’s helping them realize that our emotions control our perception of reality.
Help your type 8 child recognize both their emotions and others’ and say “okay, I already know what [person] is thinking and feeling but I’m going to actively choose to pause, speak my thoughts calmly & kindly, and listen so everyone can feel understood.”
Encourage your type 8 to slow down and cultivate presence!
Ask your type 8 “what if you treated yourself like someone you loved? Does it feel scary to let yourself be soft?”
Parenting Checklist For The Enneagram 8 Child
- Support them in their desire to challenge themselves
- Mentally challenge them and “spar” with them
- Use logical and compassionate communication with them to encourage them to communicate the same
- Make them feel seen as strong and capable as much as possible
- Give them an “un-stuffy” space to be human, they don’t want to feel suffocated by your nurturing
- Make communicating your emotions feel normal
- Help them cultivate chill hobbies
- Give them a healthy anger outlet
- Treat them as equals whenever you can, talking down to them is a big trigger
- Plan “rest days” to make chilling easier for them
- Find new challenges for them to embrace (that aren’t attached to achievement)
Ask your type 8 “What if you allowed yourself to rest? What if by allowing yourself to rest now, you can chase more challenges later?. These are the steps to helping an enneagram 8 child thrive.
What tips or questions do you have about raising an enneagram 8 child? Comment below and let us know!
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