By Judith E. Lipson, M.A., LPC
I’ve been an educator for 25 years. I believe I’ve always been drawn to the children that we now call Indigo. What’s an Indigo child? There are several books with information regarding this group. Doreen Virtue in her book, The Care and Feeding of Indigo Children, describes them as having a birth date (typically) after 1978. She lists nearly 20 characteristics, many of which are the qualities that I use for identification.
As a special educator and educational strategist, I usually meet these children because they do not like school and don’t find themselves prone to academic excellence, but this is not the case for all Indigos.
Indigos do tend to have the following qualities:
- They seem older than their years in many ways (though some may also seem immature).
- They are described as ‘sensitive’ (especially the boys).
- They often have anxieties.
- They are self-aware.
- They are frustrated with their outside world because they know how things should be—in institutions, systems and relationships.
- They are frequently diagnosed with, or have the characteristics of, Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder.
- They are often artistic (music, visual, creative arts).
- Many are unsuccessful, unmotivated students because of the mismatch of their learning style to the teacher’s style.
Additionally, they feel alone and misplaced. They frequently verbalize their dislike for (or discomfort with) their school, peers, and/or community. They describe themselves as having few friends–or few individuals who truly understand them and think as they do. They are deep thinkers and tend to be bright. Their ability to understand their world may be greater than other’s their age, but their ability to cope with this awareness is compromised because they have neither the life experience nor the emotional maturation to handle what they know. These characteristics often lead to anxiety and depression.
Though many adolescents will attend concerts, and even mosh pits, they often verbalize that they do not like being in large groups. They do not usually understand why, but they know that they wish to avoid environments that include large numbers of people. Indigos don’t understand their inherent sensitivity. They are intuitive and pick up the emotions of those around them. But they don’t realize this. They are prone to anxiety and feelings of sadness due to their discomfort with their environment and their feelings of personal isolation. But much of their anxiety and depression is because they absorb “negative emotions” while in the presence of others. The source of their anxiety and depression may not always be from within, or the intensity of their emotions is not theirs. It is actually their ability to sense the emotions of others who are in their proximity.
The ability of the Indigo to absorb the emotions around them, leads to special difficulties during family functions. Harville Hendrix (relationship therapist and author of Getting the Love You Want) says that we choose our life partners (and frequently other significant people in our lives) so that we can heal our wounded-ness that we experienced in the relationships that we had with our significant caretakers. Indigo children sense the unexpressed conflicts and the unexpressed emotions of their parents, siblings and extended families. Again, they do not understand this sensitivity and the sponge-quality of their emotions. But they are acutely aware of the family conflicts and emotions and it makes them very uncomfortable. Indigos are usually only aware of all this at a subconscious level. They know that they feel “bad” when in the presence of their family or groups. They are responding at least as much to the body language of the individual as to their words and tone. Their discomfort is real! Thus they avoid and will frequently choose to isolate themselves from others, desiring to avoid family functions, “family time” or parent-child conversations, especially when the reward isn’t greater than the discomfort.
Sometimes these children think they are crazy because they perceive the world so differently than their peers and even other family members. I’ve found many to be intuitive with psychic abilities. Some have told me that they can see auras, that they have had precognition, and some describe seeing ‘people’ in their rooms, or faces coming out of their posters. (And I don’t believe they are hallucinating.) I am pleased that many of these children are aware that these abilities are ‘okay’ and some even find them exciting. But many others have not had the mentors to explain these perceptions and are terrified that they are nuts.
As you can see, many Indigo children are having a very difficult time on Earth. Supporting these children is imperative. I believe they are the seeds of our future; the future that we all strive for—a peaceful world that promotes and will maintain ecological and social responsibility. They know how to get us there. It is our responsibility to assist them through childhood and adolescence so that they can be healthy, productive adult citizens. Here are a few ideas for supporting Indigo children (whether they are in your family, classroom or live on your block):
- Teach them that they are ‘okay’ and help them to realize that they’re not crazy.
- Help them to recognize their uncomfortable emotions and experiences so they can bring them to a verbal level.
- Assist them in finding people they can trust to discuss their perceptions (emotional, extra-sensory, etc)
- Help them to learn relaxation techniques
- Teach them grounding techniques (possibly more beneficial than meditation for this population)
Many Indigos have a very difficult time in childhood and in education. They need to understand that as they grow closer to adulthood they will have opportunities to put their ideas for our society into action. Our job is to support their education and their mental health so they will be able to pursue their vision. Understand the Indigos in your life. Yes, they are willful and short-tempered, but it’s due to personal frustration and impatience with our world. They know at a deep level that they are responding to a much larger call than our requests of “do your homework” or “put out the garbage”. Reframe in your mind why they act as they do, and try the suggestions listed above to reframe their world for them.
I hold the Indigos in my life (and yours) in love and light. May they know and attain their purpose. May they reach this in peace and follow the gentlest paths that precede them.
Please also read the article on Sensitive Children for additional information about Indigo and Crystal Children.
Judy Lipson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and educational strategist in West Bloomfield. She helps clients of all ages who have learning difficulties; work or school related anxiety; ADHD; Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorders; and those who wish to Remember and Become Who You Really Are. Contact Judy at 248.568.8665 and firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit www. SpiralWisdom.net for more information.