There are nine different “types”—find out which one you identify with.
Your Enneagram type could be the key.
No matter your children’s ages and stages, parenting is not for the faint of heart. While it’s impossible to raise well-rounded, well-adjusted, emotionally healthy children perfectly, the Enneagram can provide helpful insights. It sheds light on your unique parenting style and the strengths and weaknesses that come with it to help you better understand yourself and shape your kids’ hearts.
A deep understanding of your Enneagram type and the motivations driving your thoughts, feelings, and actions can strengthen all your relationships, especially your relationship with your children. To find out more about your type and to start your journey toward healthier parenting, take the free assessment here.
Type 1: Type 1s raise their children with a strong sense of personal responsibility and firm boundaries. They are consistent, moral and truthful, expecting their kids to adhere to their code of principles and conduct. Striving for honor and excellence, they help others see errors and uphold justice. However, Type 1 parents can struggle to relax, play with and enjoy their children due to their constant need to do what’s right. Children of Type 1s can feel pressure to be perfect, believing they must be “good” to be worthy of love.
Type 2: Type 2s are nurturing, affectionate and caring, giving their children a strong sense of confidence and security. They take a genuine interest in their kids, coming alongside them through acts of service and advice. They go out of their way to meet their kids’ physical, mental and emotional needs. However, their overwhelming burden to care for their children can lead them to ignore their own needs and self-care. Relationally, they can feel hurt or insecure when their child requests autonomy.
Type 3: Type 3s are optimistic and goal-oriented, raising hardworking and accomplished children. They are responsible, consistent and well-organized, giving parenting their all, just as they do every task in their lives. However, their focus on achievement and keeping a polished image can make their children feel pressured and unworthy, believing they’re only as good as their last accomplishment. Type 3 parents can live under constant pressure to measure their worth and their children’s worth by what they do, not who they are.
Type 4: Type 4s feel and care deeply, encouraging their child’s creativity, self-expression and unique qualities. They bring beauty and depth to the parent-child dynamic, understanding their child’s emotions and authenticity. However, their propensity toward intense feelings can make them melancholy and even depressed. They often question their value and feel disconnected and fundamentally flawed. Their children can bear the burden of their vast emotions and envious nature, believing they must prove themselves special and unique to gain acceptance.
Beth McCord is the founder of Your Enneagram Coach.
Type 5: Type 5s are perceptive and innovative observers who walk through life with a craving to learn new things. They teach their children to be inquisitive, objective, practical and make wise and calculated decisions. However, they experience the world as an intrusive and overwhelming place. Feeling that parenting demands too much of them, they can focus their attention on conserving their energy and resources to avoid depletion. This can make them extremely private and emotionally distant from their kids.
Type 6: Type 6s are hardworking, dependable and trustworthy, allowing them to raise obedient and responsible children who promote the common good. Viewing the world as a dangerous and uncertain place, they are hyper-vigilant protectors of their kids, constantly scanning the horizon for things that could threaten their safety and security. Their anxiety can lead them to assume the worst, projecting their fears and doubts onto their children as a means of protecting themselves.
Type 7: Type 7s are enthusiastic, optimistic and adventurous. They live life big and are eager to show their children all the new experiences that the world has to offer. They see endless possibilities and innovation all around them, and they expect their kids to keep up with their relentless pace. They can overschedule activities and outings and show minimal interest in the more quiet, mundane aspects of parenting, leaving children feeling unsettled. Their constant need for stimulation can lead their kids to believe they value new experiences more than them.
Type 8: Type 8s are big-hearted, assertive and protective, making their child feel safe from the world. They fiercely adore their children and are willing to go to great lengths to help them succeed. They feel an intense need to guard themselves and their kids against betrayal and powerlessness by always having an invincible exterior and minimizing personal vulnerability. They can struggle with being too blunt, confrontational, insensitive, domineering and cynical in their parenting style, leaving children feeling controlled or intimidated.
Type 9: Type 9s are warm, gentle and non-judgmental, giving their children acceptance and security. Patient and easy-going, they long for harmony and bring a sense of calm and empathy to the relationship. They are natural peacemakers because they can sympathize with all points of view, and they ensure their kids are respected and heard. They manage stress by withdrawing or numbing their feelings, dreams and desires. To avoid conflict, they “go along to get along” and can struggle to provide consistent discipline and emotional availability to their children.
Knowing how you’re hardwired can help you avoid common parenting pitfalls and negative patterns, as well as strengthen your positive attributes to help you grow into the best parent you can be.
Beth McCord is the founder of Your Enneagram Coach, one of the most prominent Enneagram programs that helps you discover, explore and become your best self while simplifying the truths of the Enneagram. Connect with Your Enneagram Coach online, on Instagram, or listen to the podcast.