How Enneagram 3 Parents Raise Children


Being a parent is challenging but also gratifying work. It’s important to remember that parenthood is a journey, not a destination. 

As your children grow and change, so will your parenting style. What works for a newborn won’t necessarily work for a preschooler, and what works for a preschooler won’t necessarily work for a teenager.

Enneagram Type 3 as Parents

Parenting essentially prepares children for independence in the future and guides them to self-discovery. For Enneagram 3, parenting means encouraging and cheering for their children. They want their children to be happy and successful and constantly push them to be their best.

Children of these personality types are often organized, productive, and responsible. They may be exposed to various extracurricular activities, as their Enneagram 3 parents want them to have well-rounded experiences. These children learn early on that hard work pays off. They may grow up to be successful in their chosen field, thanks to the encouragement of their parents.

But threes are success-oriented. So, they can sometimes inadvertently push their goals and visions of success onto their children. They may end up losing touch with their children’s interests, affecting their relationships.

While some children may respond well to pressure and achievement, others might find it exhausting. It’s crucial for threes to always step back and perform self-reflection on who their cause is serving, especially as children become more aware of their unique desires and goals.


enneagram 3 as parents
Photo by Caleb Oquendo

As a parent, an Enneagram type 3 brings many strengths. They are confident and have high expectations, resulting in their children achieving amazing things. Three’s high energy and efficiency allow them to get a lot done in a short amount of time. This can be helpful when it comes to parenting tasks like getting the kids ready for school in the morning or getting them to bed at night. An Enneagram 3 also uses effective methods and is often very organized. This can be extremely helpful when it comes to things like discipline or creating a daily routine for the family.


However, some potential weaknesses come along with being an Enneagram type 3 parent. For example, their focus on productivity and achievement can sometimes result in their neglecting their own needs. This can lead to burnout and resentment.

This personality type may also have difficulty showing affection to their children. An Enneagram three may be more likely to express love through actions like doing things for their kids or taking them on special outings rather than through words or physical touch. This can be a problem if their children crave affection and attention.

Dealing with Emotions

Enneagram 3 parents may also find it challenging to deal with their children’s emotions. They may have difficulty empathizing with their children or understanding their own feelings. This can be a problem when it comes to comforting them when they’re sad or helping them deal with anger and frustration.

What is an Enneagram System?

The Enneagram System is a personality typing system that helps to describe how people interpret the world and manage their emotions. The system has nine personality types defined by a core desire or belief about how the world works.

The core desires or beliefs of the different Enneagram types drive their fears and motivations. They shape the worldview of a person. Their basic desire or belief also affect their perspective on the world. While these core values are not incorrect, they tend to limit people’s perceptions.

Personality Type

Each personality type describes how people manage their emotions and interpret the world. Enneagram comes from two Greek words: Ennea, meaning nine, and Gramma meaning something written or drawn. The Enneagram can be helpful for people in many different situations, including parents who want to better understand their children.

What is an Enneagram Type 3?

An Enneagram Type 3 individuals are defined by their desire to achieve success and have a positive self-image. Threes appear ambitious, confident, and goal-oriented to other people. But Enneagram threes are unsure of their self-worth and may need positive reinforcement for their accomplishments.

Characteristics of an Enneagram Type 3

An Enneagram 3 is also known as an Achiever. They are keen on setting big goals and are highly adaptable.

Healthy Threes

Healthy threes are competent and humble. They are also confident and want to feel valuable. A healthy three is willing to help others, making them popular among their peers. They tend to prioritize work-life balance by taking life at ease. They also accept constructive criticism from others.

Average Threes

Average threes are image-conscious and tend to look for ways to demonstrate their expertise. Their core fears prompt them to work hard and accomplish as much as possible. They consider achievements as status symbols and use social media to express themselves.

Unhealthy Threes

Unhealthy threes emphasize success too much up to a point where they can compromise their values. They may become jealous and demonstrate unhealthy levels of competitiveness. Unhealthy threes focus on seeking reassurance and approval from others. If they cannot achieve this, they start to shut down. They may even sacrifice personal growth as they lose their sense of self.

Core Motivation

The core motivation of Enneagram 3 is the need for admiration and attention. They aim to become significant and successful. Threes fear becoming worthless, and this basic fear pushes them to set high standards. The fear of failure also drives them to achieve their goals to seek approval from their social circle.

As parents, Enneagram 3 parents must be careful not to put too much emphasis on their children’s achievements. They are known for being energetic and driven. But they may be too focused on their own goals to connect with their children emotionally truly. They should also avoid putting pressure on their kids to live up to their expectations. Instead, threes should focus on providing support and encouragement. Threes can be loving and supportive parents if they know their tendency to be self-absorbed.

Famous Enneagram 3 Personalities

famous Enneagram 3 as Parents
Michael Jordan has led the Chicago Bulls to six championships. He’s also regarded as the best basketball player ever. (Photo credit to NYTimes)

Many famous personalities became role models for many people. These results-oriented Enneagram-type threes have achieved a lot of things in life. Some famous Enneagram 3 personalities include Emperor Constantine, Michael Jordan, Andy Warhol, Rachel Berry of Glee, Don Draper of Mad Men, Sting and Tom Cruise.

Enneagram 3 parents can train their children at an early age by setting goals and encouraging them to become successful. But they should also let their kids know it is okay to fail as long as they learn from their mistakes.

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