3 Tips for Introducing Your Kids to The Enneagram

I had the opportunity to teach my first enneagram class to kids today. It is quite different from teaching adults. What I loved most was their curiosity and their open innocence. This is exactly why kids learn faster than adults. They follow their curiosities and they aren’t afraid to ask questions. Let’s talk about 3 tips for introducing your kids to the enneagram.

3 tips for introducing your kids to the enneagram
  1. Why we shouldn’t type them

Kids are still developing, and their brains are thought to keep on developing until they are twenty-five! Isn’t that just amazing!? Along with growing up, they are testing out strategies, finding their own patterns and coping mechanisms that could look like any enneagram number.

Usually type is hard to identify before age eight, in general… twelve is more likely for a type to be more clear. But the main issue here (not only with children, but all people in general) typing others robs them of the journey that is rightfully theirs. The journey of discovering who you are is highly individual in nature, and can only truly be discovered by the individual.

Coaches, friends, adults, and parents can be encouraging guides, but they need to remain in that “coach” role. The coach of a team doesn’t step in and shoot the basket for the team member. He stands on the sidelines with words of encouragement. The coach watches with acute awareness- the strengths and weaknesses of the players, guides them to reaching their goals, and allows them to discover what kind of player they really are.

2. How can you guide your kids to discover their type?

It starts with what you already do naturally, watching them, observing their character, behaviors, and what motivates those behaviors. When you become a student of your child, a world of opportunities open up for you in that relationship. As we know, all children are different and have different needs based on their unique make-up. You’ve probably been attuned to this since they were babies. One wanted to bounce and dance to get to sleep, and the other wanted slow back rubs and quiet singing.

You will probably start to see patterns emerge. However, don’t be too quick to label these patterns as their type, like we talked about earlier. It is important that your child feels ownership of the type they relate with most.

Once you understand the enneagram types well yourself, you can begin asking questions in regular conversation about what type your child relates to. I have a simple 10 question quiz for each type that works really well for kids. (grab all 9 types here). In fact, I used it with the students in my class to help them discover their types. It only takes a couple of minutes, and is great to refer back to later on.

It’s important to listen with a loose agenda. You don’t want to push too hard into discovering their type. that kind of pressure will definitely make certain types shut down. Let it be a fun experience, and one you are always coming back to with openness and acceptance.

Allow them to lead. After talking about all the types, they might be naturally interested (I have found this with my own kids). Let them lead the conversation and ask questions about what you see in them. I recommend revisiting the topic often to see how they are changing and developing. By the tween and early teen years you will definitely get a sense on what type they are.

3. The benefits of knowing your child’s type

I cannot stress enough how helpful it is to know the types of your kids. As stated earlier, we know that all of our kids are different, but understanding their enneagram type is almost like a cheat sheet for how to parent them.

For example, my type 5 son needs his personal space BIG TIME. He also needs more breaks from social interaction, and busy-ness. If I didn’t know all of these things are because he is a type five, I might force him into unnecessary pain and discomfort. Fives are known for having the least amount of energy on the enneagram, they are also a withdrawn type, and like their privacy. We have often dropped this son off at home many times after being out of the house for a few hours, because it wipes him out.

This kind of understanding honors your children and deepens your relationships with them. Just think… if your parents had understood your needs better when you were growing up. It makes a huge difference.

I’m not saying it is perfect… far from it. The enneagram is just a tool. We still have a lot of work to do as humans, but it definitely helps us understand each other better.

To get a full overview of each enneagram type, check out the basic packet of all 9 types:

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little bit about how to approach the enneagram with your kids. It can be an amazingly rewarding experience. I would love to hear how you use the enneagram in your family.

You might also like:

Is the year starting to slip away from you?

Get back on track with this ultimate planning journal: Organized Inspiration!

It is designed to help you get your goals, dreams, and idea on paper… and then make a plan to accomplish them!

My favorite section is the Project Planning Pages. This is where you can write down all the details of your project to make sure it gets done!

Grab it now, by clicking the photo below:

This awesome planner is also available on amazon if you prefer to order a hard copy (instead of digital download)