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Are you parenting an Indigo child?

What is an Indigo child? The term "Indigo Child" was coined by psychic and synesthesiac Nancy Ann Tappe, who classified people's personalities according to the color of their auras. Usually each universal age is accompanied by a life color, and during each such age there is a prevalence of people born during that time with that corresponding life color.

At the moment, most adults are either blue or violet, the two colors with the qualities most needed in this the violet age of transition. During the next age, the Indigo Age, Indigo colors will be the norm and as a result more and more children are being born with that life color. Thus Indigo children are the current generation being born today and most of those who are 8 years old or younger.

Wendy H. Chapman, a teacher with 14 years experience in gifted education and the founder of Metagifted Education Resource Organization, says that Indigo children "have very unique characteristics that set them apart from previous generations of children. Indigo children are the new generation of children who are very talented or gifted in one or more ways, on a higher level of spiritual understanding right from the start."

She also says that these are children who are often rebellious to authority, non-conformist, extremely emotionally (and sometimes physically) sensitive or fragile, highly talented or academically gifted and often metaphysically gifted as well, usually intuitive, often labelled ADD, either very empathic and compassionate OR very cold and callous, and are wise beyond their years.

Tappe agrees that these children are easily recognizable, usually by their unusually large, clear eyes. She also says that they are extremely bright, precocious children with an amazing memory and a strong desire to live instinctively.

Not only is their behavior different to children of previous generations, but their diet and feeding habits are different. Many Indigo children are very fussy eaters and many are allergic to wheat products, sugar, excessive dairy, and even fruit juice. They will also not want to eat very much.

Julie B. Rosenshein, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and Indigo consultant who works with ADD, Indigo and highly sensitive children and adults. She says that "most Indigos are actually allergic to many of the foods they eat such as wheat, dairy, sugar, and food dye/additives." She suggests that you have your child tested by an allergist to find out what foods need to be eliminated from their diet. Make a game of going to the health food store and trying the wonderful products available at the stores (i.e. substituting soy milk for regular milk, or Stevia for regular table sugar.

Try to buy organic produce and meats when possible and limit intake of sodas (with sugar or any other artificial sweeteners) and fruit juice unless freshly squeezed at home. Many children have dips in their blood sugar levels which can be helped by eating mini protein based meals throughout the day, avoiding cakes, cookies, breads, and simple carbohydrates that give them a quick energy high followed by a low shortly after.

This is a problem that Marcelle Falconer, mother to Maxine, 2, can identify with. She says that she believes Maxine to definitely be an Indigo child. Maxine displays several Indigo traits the most striking of which is her attitude towards food and eating.

As an infant Maxine was an extremely poor eater - she point blank refused to eat and would not even open her mouth unless she was hungry. Marcelle took her to several doctors for allergy tests and other forms of treatment and it was found that she is allergic to dairy and wheat and is also asthmatic. Nowadays, Maxine, likes to choose her food and is very specific about what she will and will not eat, which is a huge step up from hardly eating at all.

Falconer says that before she understood about Indigo children she found trying to discipline her daughter very frustrating. Maxine just didn't listen and would constantly challenge authority. Falconer says "she just refused to do what I wanted her to, she would throw tantrums and point blank refused to do what I asked. I then read the Lee Carroll and Jan Tober book and from then on started to explain why I wanted her to do what I asked. Now she responds immediately; but it has to be said, only as long as she thinks my reason is sufficient. She also doesn't really seem to need other people. She will quite happily entertain herself for hours on end and is always doing her own thing."

Maxine is also an extremely strong-willed child. Everything is "no, Maxine do" - from choosing her clothes and dressing herself each day to choosing her own dinner. As Falconer says, being the parent of an Indigo is never dull. "She definitely keeps us on our toes," she adds.

How to recognize an Indigo child
According to Lee Carroll and Jan Tober, authors of The Indigo Children, common traits of Indigo children include:

  1. They come into the world with a feeling of royalty (and often act like it).
  2. They have a feeling of "deserving to be here", and are surprised when others don't share that.
  3. They have difficulty with absolute authority (authority without explanation or choice).
  4. They simply will not do certain things; for example, waiting in line is difficult for them.
  5. They get frustrated with systems that are ritually orientated and don't require creative thought.
  6. They often see better ways of doing things, both at home and in school, which makes them seem like "system busters" and non-conformists.
  7. They seem antisocial unless they with their own kind.
  8. They will not respond to "guilt" discipline ("Wait until your father gets home and finds out what you did").

How to parent an Indigo child and get the most from your gifted child
Wendy H. Chapman has compiled a guide for parents and teachers, here are some of her suggestions:

  1. Respect them
  2. Give choices
  3. Give them freedom to develop, balanced with supervision and safety limits.
  4. Do set limits to protect them, but not arbitrary ones.
  5. Tell reasons and explain why.
  6. Give them complete explanations to the level they will be able to understand.
  7. Do not talk down to them.
  8. Be honest with your children. Tell the truth. They will know if you are not.
  9. Don't try to manipulate them. It won't work.
  10. Don't use guilt, fear or hate as a controlling tool.
  11. Be fair and also be consistent. If you say no, make sure you have a good reason and don't give in.
  12. Admit when you make mistakes.
  13. Respect any psychic skills they develop, even if you do not understand them.
  14. Be open to learning from them.
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