Using The Enneagram In Parenting

Published Categorized as Enneagram
Enneagram Parenting

The enneagram is a powerful tool parents can utilize to help nurture their child but how exactly does it apply? Read this blog to find out tips for parenting each enneagram type as a child.

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Why The Enneagram Is Such a Great Tool For Parenting

We all have childhood programming, a combination of beliefs we form and are hardwired into our brain for survival.

Some of these beliefs are simple and valid like “if you hear growling, there’s danger.” But as we’ve developed as a society, so have our beliefs. We now have beliefs that tell us “we have to be perfect/giving/the best/unique/capable/cautious/positive/strong/harmonious or we will die.”

It’s not that we will actually die, it’s just that we’ve been programmed to believe some of our behaviors will lead to our survival and some won’t based on our childhood experience.

And so, these beliefs form our enneagram type. Our personality is a direct outcome of our programming.

Having an enneagram type is inevitable and having programming is inevitable. After all, we need it for survival.

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Discovering your children’s enneagram types can and will be extremely beneficial. By knowing your child’s enneagram, you discover their core desire, help them become aware of their beliefs, and can help them step into their growth.

Here’s what each enneagram type is like as a child and tips for parenting them!

Parenting The Enneagram Type 1 Child
What does a type 1 child need?

The Enneagram 1 As A Child

  • What The Enneagram 1 Child Wants: Justice to be upheld.
  • What The Enneagram 1 Child Needs: A space to be creative, spontaneous, and not feel like they have to be perfect

The enneagram type 1 is called The Perfectionist. Their core desire is for things to be perfect. Type 1s are known for being organized, orderly, and moral.

In childhood, the organization aspect of the type 1 can be less prominent which can lead to parents thinking their child isn’t a 1. But just because your child isn’t organized doesn’t mean they aren’t a 1.

In fact, morality is the strongest trait in type 1 kids. If rules are set, enneagram 1 kids expect them to be followed. If a sibling is acting irresponsibly, this will frustrate them because they value having order in their environment.

After all, the enneagram 1 is a part of the anger triad. Being a parent to an enneagram 1 entails helping your child work through a lot of repressed anger and frustration.

Advice For Parenting The Enneagram 1

Be true to your word. Type 1 kids have a strong need for honesty and order. Find common values and set rules for the household based on those so they can maintain the feeling of order they need.

Once they are having their core desire met, nurture an enneagram 1 child by helping them step into their growth number, and enneagram 7.

Create a space for them where they can be spontaneous and free spirited and ask them how they can release their anger when it comes up. When people frustrate them, (including themselves,) how can they practice compassion?

Parenting The Enneagram Type 2 Child
Type 2 children, a.k.a the miniature adults.

The Enneagram 2 As A Child

  • What The Enneagram 2 Child Wants: To be needed.
  • What The Enneagram 2 Child Needs: To connect with their own needs and desires. To learn to take care of themselves

The enneagram type 2 is called, The Helper. Their core desire is to serve others. Type 2s are known for being empathetic, giving, and nurturing.

In childhood, type 2 children can seem like “miniature adults.” For type 2 kids, they learn from an early age that they should take care of others over themselves.

Type 2 kids will take on the responsibilities of the parents and take care of their other siblings whether that’s by cutting their food, walking them to school, or making sure they are ready for bed.

Advice For Parenting The Enneagram 2

Type 2 kids struggle the most with knowing and meeting their needs. Your job as the parent is to help them notice what they need and give them space to learn to take care of themselves.

Also, remember that type 2 kids want to help. Allow them to embrace their nurturing nature in some areas of their life.

Once they are having their core desire met, nurture an enneagram 2 child by helping them step into their growth number, and enneagram 4.

Help type 2 kids stay in touch with their creativity and realize that they don’t have to be just a helper. Ask if they are giving to others from a selfless space or do they help people because they will validate them and make them feel important?

Its okay for them to give as long as it’s for the right reasons. What do they love to do? Help them make time for those things.

Parenting The Enneagram 3 Child
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Parenting The Enneagram 3 Child

  • What The Enneagram 3 Child Wants: To achieve.
  • What The Enneagram 3 Child Needs: A space to feel like they are enough. To build a sense of worthiness regardless of how they do. A place where they don’t feel image conscious.

The enneagram type 3 is called, The Achiever. Their core desire is to be the best, or at least, the best version of themselves. Type 3s are known for being driven, ambitious, and competitive.

In childhood, type 3 children can have a hard time with failure. They believe that if they aren’t winning, they aren’t enough. Type 3 kids are more driven to succeed academically or in sports than others.

Because they are apart of the shame triad, type 3 kids push themselves to the point of burnout or frustration because they feel unworthy of love if they aren’t #1.

Advice For Parenting The Enneagram 3

Be curious and playful with them.  Give them diversity in experiences and help them set goals that aren’t attached to extrinsic results.

Once they are having their core desire met, nurture an enneagram 3 child by helping them step into their growth number, and enneagram 6.

Give them space to be vulnerable and open. Ask them what they would do if they didn’t feel the need to win. What if they already saw themselves as a winner, how would they feel?

Parenting The Enneagram 4 Child
What does a type 4 child need from a parent?

Parenting The Enneagram 4 Child

  • What The Enneagram 4 Child Wants: To be understood.
  • What The Enneagram 4 Child Needs: To find what their authentic self really is. To challenge themselves, build confidence, and realize that, while their emotions are a part of them, they are not their emotions.

The enneagram type 4 is called, The Individualist. Their core desire is to be unique and understood. Type 4s are known for being artistic, emotionally in touch, and quirky.

The most common stereotype for enneagram 4s is that they are melancholy. While this can be true, it’s not always prominent in childhood. Oftentimes the type 4 children can be like a more creative type 2, very kind and giving but also creatively driven.

As a part of the shame triad type 4 kids struggle with worry. Specifically worry with their appearance, they want to have the perfect outfit out together to represent their identity and when they can’t get it right.

Advice For Parenting The Enneagram 4

Nurture their creativity and listen to their interests.  Set the intention of every interaction to understand how they feel.

Once they are having their core desire met, nurture an enneagram 4 child by helping them step into their growth number, and enneagram 1.

This can be helping them become more organized but what we’re really trotting to help type 4 kids embrace is the emotional balance type 1s seem to maintain.

Ask your type 4 “what if you felt your emotions and then let them go? What do you want to feel right now? Can you do to anything to feel that way? What can you do to get out of your emotions and connect to your physical body?”

Parenting The Enneagram 5 Child
Here’s what a enneagram 5 child is like.

Parenting The Enneagram 5 Child

  • What The Enneagram 5 Child Wants: To feel capable.
  • What The Enneagram 5 Child Needs: To get out of their head and into the world. To do things that take courage and interact with others.

The enneagram type 5 is called, The Investigator. Their core desire is to be capable and have knowledge. Type 5s are known for being introspective, logical, and reserved.

Type 5 kids can be surprisingly talkative when they are young. Especially with those they are comfortable with. Their reserved nature tends to come later in life. But overall, enneagram 5 children are easily recognizable by their logical mind and factual nature.

Advice For Parenting The Enneagram 5

Allow them time to be alone and in their head, as this is something they need.

Once they are having their core desire met, nurture an enneagram 5 child by helping them step into their growth number, and enneagram 8.

As part of the fear triad, type 5s struggle with fear of failure. This leads them to stay frozen and isolate themselves from the world. Take them outside their box and into the world. Get them comfortable with learning through experience.

Ask your type 5 “What if the only moment you have is right now?  What if you never researched again, went out in the world, and were fully capable? What would you do if you felt like it was okay to fail and try again?”

Parenting The Enneagram 6 Child
Type 6 children aren’t always worry-warts…

Parenting The Enneagram 6 Child

  • What The Enneagram 6 Child Wants: To feel safe
  • What The Enneagram 6 Child Needs: To build a sense of grounding within themselves that keeps them stable. To explore and step outside their box to see that the world isn’t all harsh

The enneagram type 6 is called, The Loyalist. Their core desire is to be safe and secure. Type 6s are known for being protective, cautious, and grounded.

Type 6 children need a lot of nurturing in childhood. Because so much of their ability to navigate their core desire in the future is rooted in their childhood experience.

While the enneagram 6 has been dubbed as the worry-wart, type 6 children don’t always take on their role. In fact, type 6s in childhood usually have a lot of anger and appear like the enneagram 8. They deal with their feelings of betrayal by guarding themselves and covering their hurt with anger.

Check out these candles for each enneagram type!

Advice For Parenting The Enneagram 6

Help them feel emotionally heard, this will provide the greatest sense of security for them. And help them build resiliency, both physically and emotionally. This may be through physically challenging them or by helping them build self love so others’ judgment doesn’t hurt them.

Once they are having their core desire met, nurture an enneagram 6 child by helping them step into their growth number, and enneagram 9.

Ask your type 6 “What if you know that everything was going to work out always? What if you fully loved and trusted yourself, would other peoples’ words affect you as much?”

Parenting The Enneagram 7 Child
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Parenting The Enneagram 7 Child

  • What The Enneagram 7 Child Wants: To feel positive
  • What The Enneagram 7 Child Needs: To learn that embracing negative emotions is healthy

The enneagram type 7 is called, The Enthusiast. Their core desire is to be have fun and feel joy. Type 7s are known for being energetic, playful, and social.

Type 7 children are the ones that seem to get into the most trouble. Their nature is to always chase the next fun thing which can also mean avoiding responsibilities.

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Advice For Parenting The Enneagram 7

They need people for their happiness, give them time to play and challenge themselves with others.

Once they are having their core desire met, nurture an enneagram 7 child by helping them step into their growth number, and enneagram 5.

But they also need to learn to be alone. Give them time daily to embrace being alone, unstimulated, and with their negative emotions.

Ask your type 7 “What if you saw your negative emotions as your friend rather than an enemy? What if you tried feeling and embracing negativity? What if you knew that negative emotions were only temporary, that they come and go?”

Parenting The Enneagram 8 Child
Here’s what a type 8 child is like!

Parenting The Enneagram 8 Child

  • What The Enneagram 8 Child Wants: Intensity
  • What The Enneagram 8 Child Needs: To practice compassion (to themselves and others), and get comfortable with resting. To see that vulnerability isn’t a bad thing

The enneagram type 8 is called, The Challenger. Their core desire is to have intensity and challenge. Type 8s are known for being bold, assertive, and argumentative.

Type 8 children are very independent and this can be a strength or a weakness. On one side of the coin, they are quick learners and are happy on their own. On the other side of the coin, they can be stuck in their ways and not good team players.

Advice For Parenting The Enneagram 8

Give them a space to physically and mentally challenge themselves every day. Support them in the challenges they take on.

Once they are having their core desire met, nurture an enneagram 8 child by helping them step into their growth number, and enneagram 2.

Show them that both rest and challenge are important by doing both yourself.

Ask your type 8 “What if you allowed yourself to rest? What if by allowing yourself to rest now, you can chase more challenge later?”

Parenting The Enneagram 9 Child

Parenting The Enneagram 9 Child

  • What The Enneagram 9 Child Wants: Harmony
  • What The Enneagram 9 Child Needs: To learn that conflict isn’t always bad. To learn that their desires matter. To challenge themselves, physically, mentally, and emotionally, to learn to embrace discomfort.

The enneagram type 9 is called, The Peacemaker. Their core desire is to have harmony and inner peace. Type 9s are known for being easygoing, friendly, and chill.

Watch our series on YouTube about each enneagram type as a child!

Advice For Parenting The Enneagram 9

Give them time every day to be peaceful and chill. You can do this by helping them create a morning routine, learn skills that help them stay centered, and simply just listen.

Make them feel safe to share their needs/desires.

Once they are having their core desire met, nurture an enneagram 9 child by helping them step into their growth number, and enneagram 3.

Help them challenge themselves every day physically and emotionally.

Ask your type 9 “What if you expressed your needs and desires fearlessly? What if you knew that your desires matter? What if you pushed through that uncomfortable feeling and found more peace?”

Overall, the enneagram can be a wonderful tool for parenting once you understand what you and your child’s enneagram type needs.

For a lot of parents I meet, there is a fear of boxing their child in to someone they are not by finding their enneagram. But I promise you, the enneagram will in no way limit you or your child as long as you keep an open mind.

Everyone has an enneagram, once you find out what your child’s is, you can nurture them more, love them better, and help them be happier.

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