The Enneagram and Parenting

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How does your Enneagram Type impact motherhood and your parenting style? Knowing your type can help you understand yourself more, and in turn, get to know yourself better as a parent. If you’re curious about what your Enneagram might say about your parenting style, read on.

enneagram and parenting styles

Have you heard of the Enneagram? Knowing your Enneagram number has exploded in popularity the past few years as a new personality test.

The Enneagram is essentially a modern amalgam of multiple ancient personality theories and ideas, breaking them down into 9 primary personality types, each assigned a number. Unlike other personality tests, The Enneagram looks at your personality based on how you interact with others. It also encourages growth and identifies unhealthy and healthy behaviors within each of the nine types.

I discovered the Enneagram a few years ago, and learning more about my personality typology was a turning point for me when it came to personal growth. I absolutely love how much my type truly fits me to a T. I’m a 2 wing 3, and learning more about my Enneagram has been so helpful to me in my personal and professional life.

Did you know that knowing your Enneagram type can also impact (in a great way) you as a mother? For this post I worked with Certified Enneagram Coach and mom of 3 Shannon Anderson of The Helpful Enneagram. Like me, Shannon is also a 2 wing 3 (love it!) and is passionate about helping individuals become self-aware and have healthy relationships, so that in turn they can be a better parent.

enneagram coach Shannon Anderson

Shannon shares about her own journey, “One of my deepest passions in life is to help women become more confident, and to have greater self-awareness and love for themselves. I believe when you lead from a place of love, you lead yourself and your children better.

Becoming a mother was terrifying for me. I knew I wanted a family of my own, but I was never very confident I would be any good at being a mother. Just four years into it, I found myself having many outbursts of anger and my need for control was out of control. By then I was pregnant with my 3rd baby and I had a two-year-old and a four-year-old, so both hands were full.

By God’s grace I discovered the Enneagram and it was so clear that I identified as a Type 2 (the helper). I was helping friends, helping my children, helping my family, but NOT seeking help for myself. The Enneagram helped me see myself, and my motivation so clearly. This began my journey to become a more confident mother.”

Knowing your Enneagram type can help you not only understand yourself better, but also your triggers, strengths and motivation as a mother. New to the Enneagram and don’t know your number? Click here to take a free enneagram test to discover yours! 

The Enneagram is a psychological and spiritual system that explains nine personality types. It is a profound tool to help people discover their motivations for why they think, feel, and behave the way they do. 

It’s important to note that self-awareness is not meant to shame you, but rather to bring your awareness to things you may be doing unconsciously and be more compassionate with yourself and others. I’m a strong believer that one of the best gifts we can give our children is a Mama that is self-aware. When we shine light on things that are kept in the dark, they can no longer harm us or the ones we love!

Related: Nature Color Wheel Activity

enneagram types for motherhood
Created by Deanna Talwalkar of @mirabellecreations

The Enneagram and Parenting: How Your Type Affects Your Parenting Style

There are 9 different enneagram types. Knowing your Enneagram type can be a lot of fun when it comes to insight and self-discovery. It can also help you when it comes to having a greater understanding about yourself, your behavioral patterns and ways to grow in everyday life.

As parents, knowing more about our own different personality types can be a valuable tool for our own growth to be the best parents we can be. The Enneagram can be a valuable tool for motherhood.

Read on for more about each of the different types and parenting struggles you might run into and tips that can help from Shannon of The Helpful Enneagram!

Motherhood and The Enneagram: Parenting Tips Based on Your Enneagram Type

Type 1 – The Reformer

Ones are usually perfectionistic, idealistic and self-controlled. They are incredibly organized but not incredibly flexible.

Parenting Struggle: It’s up to me to fix things and make everything right

You can see things that need to be improved and you like things done a certain way. This can bring up tension with your children because well, kids are messy! Try to let go of the small things that your children don’t do right such as wearing winter boots or not putting their toys away the exact way you want them to. I know I know you are probably cringing reading this! When you give yourself permission to not have things perfect then you can spend more time having fun and being silly with your children. Laughter is healing!

Type 2- The Helper

Twos are typically generous, can be possessive, and strive to please others. Type 2s consistently take care of everyone else and are known as the “helper parents.”

Parenting Struggle: It’s not okay to have my own needs.

You can be so concerned with the lives of your children that you don’t take care of yourself.
The best thing you can do is be a mother to yourself. What I mean by that is check in with your heart daily, ask yourself “what do I need more of or less of today?”

Type 3 – The Achiever

Threes are known to be driven, ambitious, and image-conscious. They live for success.

Parenting Struggle: It’s not okay for you to have your own feelings or identity.

You can be so afraid that you won’t be successful, and not seen as valuable apart from what you do and accomplish. You may also push excessive pressure on your kids to be high achievers. This can look like coaching your kids on becoming successful in whatever area it is they are interested in. Instead, you can encourage your child that they are loved not because of what they achieve, but because of who they are, your beloved child.

Type 4 – The Individualist

Fours can be sensitive, dramatic, and temperamental. They are also known as the most emotionally honest of all the enneagram types.

Parenting Struggle: It’s not okay to be too much.

You can be a mother who encourages your child’s creativity and individualism. You see their uniqueness, and you want to bring this out in your child. You may demand that your kids are fully aware of their emotions, simply because that’s a strength of yours. Remember your child is not exactly like you and may not be aware of their internal world yet.

Type 5 – The Investigator

Fives are known to be introverted, isolated and secretive. They value truth and knowledge above all else.

Parenting Struggle: It’s not okay to be fully present.

You may be a mother that can easily disengage. You may need a lot more time to process your feelings. The constant demand of motherhood can really deplete you. Remember you need to recharge your battery. You have the ability to be an amazing mentor. You can model curiosity by just being you!

Type 6 – The Loyalist

Sixes can be suspicious, responsible and anxious. They anticipate potential problems before they happen and try to prevent them.

Parenting Struggle: It’s not okay to trust or depend on yourself.

You may be a mother that seeks guidance or counsel from others outside of yourself. You should be aware that you could be teaching your children not to trust their own intuition. Give your child the ability to fall down and get back up again, and try not to constantly remind them what could go wrong.

Type 7 – The Enthusiast

Sevens are typically fun-loving, scattered and easily distracted. Type 7s are the risk-takers and the life of the party.

Parenting Struggle: It’s not okay to depend on others for anything.

You may be a mother who is constantly looking for exciting things to do to entertain you and your children. Feeling bored or trapped at home especially with small children isn’t always fun, but sometimes it’s needed. Be aware that children like having a schedule for security.

Type 8 – The Challenger

Eights are usually decisive, and can be aggressive and confrontational, but they seek justice. They enjoy a good argument for the sake of streamlining a decision.

Parenting Struggle: It’s not okay to trust or be vulnerable.

You may be a mother that is tough and resilient, but you may also demand your children to be tough and little justice fighters. You have to be careful that you are not allowing yourself to be vulnerable with your children.

Type 9 – The Peacemaker

Nines tend to be trusting, passive and optimistic. They have the ability to see all perspectives, and work to keep the peace.

Parenting Struggle: It’s not okay to assert yourself or think much of yourself.

You may be a mother that believes your children won’t listen to your guidance. If you easily merge with another mother’s opinion on how to parent, you could become easily overwhelmed and slow to realize your own feelings. Be aware that you could put off things that need to be addressed with your kids because you don’t want to create relational discord.

Related: Budget Friendly Date Night Ideas for Parents

Enneagram Books

Want to have a deeper level of understanding about motherhood and the enneagram, as well as your own child’s type? Here are a few great book recommendations to check out:

The Enneagram of Parenting: The 9 Types of Children and How to Raise Them Successfully by Elizabeth Wagele 

Better Parenting with the Enneagram: Nine Types of Children and Nine Types of Parents by Ann Gadd

Know Your Parenting Personality: How to Use the Enneagram to Become the Best Parent You Can Be by Janet Levine

What Your Enneagram Type Says About Your Parenting Style

Our parenting personality is as special (and complex) as we are. Each of us has a unique way we approach our own children and family members, many times based on our Enneagram type. What did you think about the parenting advice that Shannon shared above?

The enneagram of parenting can be helpful for many of us. Remember: there’s no such thing as a perfect parent. But by knowing our parenting strengths, weakness and how they intersect with our own children’s personality traits, we can become better parents.

If you want to learn more about your Enneagram Type and are interested in diving deeper into the Enneagram and learning how it can help you in motherhood, you can reach out directly to Shannon via on Instagram. Shannon’s company offers Enneagram coaching for individuals, couples, groups and corporate partners.

What’s your Enneagram type? How has it impacted you as a mother? I would love to hear from you!

enneagram and parenting

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