The Enneagram of Parenting

The 9 Types of Children and How to Raise Them Successfully

The Enneagram of Parenting

An Enneagram is a nine-pointed figure which originated in the ancient Middle East, and was adapted in the 1970’s to be used as a tool for understanding our own personalities, and those of others. In ‘The Enneagram of Parenting’ by Elizabeth Wagele, she explains that there are nine types of personality described by the Enneagram. As an adult we will have one personality type which dominates, however children may exhibit a few personality types before they settle on their adult personality.

To use the Enneagram as a parenting tool, one must first identify the personality type of each child:

  1. The One – The Perfectionist, self critical, serious and always trying to make themselves and others better.
  2. The Two – The Helper who is always putting others first, wanting to help and to be liked.
  3. The Three – The Achiever, tenacious, optimistic, trying to do their best and gain approval.
  4. The Four – The Romantic who is sensitive, creative, artistic and who loves beauty.
  5. The Five - The Observer with their curious mind and their ability to enjoy their own company.
  6. The Six – The Questioner, a worrier who may be moody, easily upset yet compassionate.
  7. The Seven – The Adventurer, an optimist who loves to be constantly entertained.
  8. The Eight – The Asserter who is an energetic leader, stubborn and authoritative.
  9. The Nine – The Peacemaker who hates confrontation and strives to make everyone happy.

So while, for example, an Eight will fight their corner to the bitter end, a Nine will give in to keep the peace. A Three loves praise and attention, but a Five will do anything to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

By understanding your child’s personality type, explains Wagele, you can understand how to parent them in a way that will work for both you and your child. So she explains why your child behaves in a certain way, and how to deal with a selection of common situations such as timekeeping, homework, friendship and eating in a way that your child will respond to.

Elizabeth Wagele is both an author and a cartoonist, and ‘The Enneagram of Parenting’ is filled with her cartoons illustrations. Her book is written in a humorous, entertaining and accessible way, and includes a section on how identifying your own personality type can help you understand your own parenting style.

The Enneagram of Parenting is available from and

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