The Joy & Wonder of the Indigo Child
By Keisha Freed-Tafari
Karen, was behaving strangely. Her grades were declining rapidly and Karen refused to do her work. There were inconsistencies in her learning behavior. She would learn very rapidly and then shut down; she was restless and unable to focus. After describing her behavior to a counselor, it was suspected that she may have ADD/ADHD and that she needed testing. Karen’s mother had reached a point of despair and hopelessness.
Approximately a year later, Karen’s grades had picked up and she was enthusiastic about learning. What happened? Two of Karen’s relatives in her environment were constantly at odds with each other and Karen had been feeling confused about the discord. When the problem was removed, she began to perform well in school again. Her mother, recognizing the injury, began to nurse her daughter back to health with loving attention and encouragement. This Indigo’s unexplainable behavior brought attention to a thwarting situation that needed to be healed for everyone in her environment.
Since the nationwide premiere of the movie, “Indigo,” a whole lot of buzz has been going around about the Indigo child. It is not simple to sum up in a page or two what an Indigo child is. However, if you are riddled with confusion about your child’s phenomenal but challenging character, chances are your riddle has been solved. You are the appointed guardian to an Indigo child.
Indigos are believed to have first arrived on the earthly scene since the early eighties. Put pretty plainly, Indigos are not the children you were when you were a child growing up. In fact, you might say that they seem more advanced or smarter than you were when you were a kid. Dr. Barbara Condron, faculty member of the School of Metaphysics, author of How to Raise an Indigo Child, and mother of 11 year-old Indigo, Hezekiah, experiences first hand the Indigo characteristics. "Indigo souls are souls that are highly intelligent," says Condron, "They are quick thinkers, they have a very strong will, and they have an awareness of why they exist in the world.”
Parents and teachers often experience difficulty in managing Indigo children because they don’t seem to understand who they are working with. Condron thinks children have outgrown the education system, and that their unwillingness to conform to an outdated system is what causes so many of them to be diagnosed with ADHD. “[However,] teachers [and child psychologists] are doing the best job they know,” says Condron. Recognizing and accepting that Indigo children are newly evolved children who require new methods and creativity, is the first step in making adequate changes for the Indigo.
Old traditional methods stunt their growth and well-being and so their reactions to these methods—non-conforming—stimulate either frustration or change on the behalf of the adults. Their obstinate refusal to budge from their idea of doing things may force parents and educators to move out of the old rut they’re in and grow. You must put on your thinking cap to have a win/win situation. Those who learn to play along will reap the great benefit of not only moving forward and changing, but also experiencing the joy and wonder of the Indigo!
According to Indigo Children by Jan Tober and Lee Carroll, there are four types of Indigo children. Look at these brief descriptions to see if your child may loosely fit into one of these types:
Conceptualist: The conceptual Indigo is more into technology and projects, rather than people.
Humanist: These Indigo children are hyperactive and have short attention spans as a result. They have interests in people and everything around them.
Artist: The Artist Indigo is more sensitive and have the ability to be creative in whatever they do.
Interdimensionalist: Usually larger than the other Indigos, they have outstanding confidence, believing that they already know or can do this or that.
Indigos are unique gifts to the world because they offer gifts that are far beyond the expectations of a simple child. The best way to share these gifts with you, dear readers, is by sharing my own and other’s experiences with these “wonder ones”.
Star Light, Star Bright
Although it wasn’t a typical Christmas play, “A Harry Potter Christmas,” the starring cast could have brought any dull holiday play to life with their shining talents, brilliance, exuberance, and apparent understanding of the insightful meaning of the play. Reciting their lines with ease and expression, this fourth/fifth grade Indigo crew drew awe from the audience with their sense of integrity, intensity, and passion. Indigos are bright, gifted and talented. And they do it all with amazing ease!
From the Mouth of Babes
Talent is only part of the package when it comes to Indigos. They are wise, like old souls. They can be talkative! But if you take the time to listen, the treasure you’ll find is worth the time.
My nine-year old son has been fascinated with ancient Egypt since kindergarten. In sharing his knowledge of King Tut, he said to me, “ I notice that when little kids, like King Tut get power, they use the power for themselves. They do stupid stuff like get a whole bunch of stuff (like money and gold) for themselves instead of helping the people in their country.” Listening to the wisdom of an Indigo will remind you what life is really all about!
Peek-a-Boo! I See You!
We have all seen babies respond to others differently. We now know that babies can sense fear or nervousness from a person who is afraid of holding the baby, but can be totally comfortable when held by a veteran mom who has the “right touch”. Indigos seem to keep this sense of knowing and seeing things in others. I have heard Indigos discuss how they are able to see things in their parents’ friends, each other, and strangers. For those who do not have the best intentions for the children, Indigo can see right through you.
Indigos’ strong will manifest as a strong self-esteem and personal power, and therefore they may desire control of situations. Your input into telling them who they are is not necessary. They already know! Because they believe in themselves, they know what they want and will at times become forceful in having what they want. For parents this can be embarrassing especially in public places amongst those who do not know Indigo.
I remember watching a mother who was conducting a brief meeting in her home struggle with her Indigo son. He was playing with a woman who needed to participate in the meeting. He would not allow her to participate in the meeting. There was much reasoning and compromise before the adult friend could be “borrowed”. Sometimes allowing the child to have control is best to deal with an Indigo’s willfulness. At other times, reasoning can be employed and you will find that Indigo understands logic and will follow through. To work out this particular problem, the mother replaced the woman momentarily while the she said her part at this meeting. This can be challenging if you believe that adults should always be the authority.
My niece is an Indigo who has physical and mental energy plus! She is rambunctious, adventurous, and at times daring in her physical feats. Having an active body and mind is not uncommon amongst some Indigos. They have a desire to live now because every waking moment is precious to them, and they must live that moment. In the classrooms, they are the ones who talk nonstop, refuse to stay in their seats, and cannot stand in line.
Unfortunately, some Indigos are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and drugged with medications that can alter their other faculties. According to Tober and Lee, there is some controversy about the education and psychology community labeling some Indigos as ADHD even when testing scores reveal high IQ scores either in all areas or in one particular area. This testing pattern may be baffling to psychologist and educators, but may indicate that the child may need other constructive methods of learning and skills other than medication as a sole remedy.
It may also be a clear indicator that the teaching system needs to be updated to meet the needs of these children as well as the need to change our lifestyles. "I think that our society has the attention deficit disorder [And] we blame our kids for it and our kids don't know enough to speak for themselves," says Condron. "Look at how we live, celebrating multi-tasking and driving down the road talking on cell phones.”
Children Should Be Seen and Not Heard
If you’re still living by this old adage, Indigo will challenge you! Self-expression and attention are necessary for these “wonder ones” to thrive. Knowing who they are, they will demand to be recognized as a person, a member of the family, and not be treated as a subject. The old taboo about “back talk” does not serve them well.
While on a 3-day field trip, I had several run-ins with an Indigo who felt he needed to express himself freely by telling adults that they “got on his nerves”. Knowing whom I was dealing with, I remained calm, and planned to employ reasoning to maintain a productive relationship. I called him to the side and explained to him that telling adults that “they get on your nerves” was not appropriate. Allowing him to speak his mind, he expressed in detail what was bothering him: he was only playing and that I was ruining it for him. After explaining that it was my responsibility to use my judgement to make decisions, and that I needed him to trust me when I make those decisions, he nodded in agreement. I discovered that explaining situations to Indigos and allowing them to express what is on their minds can help you be a friend to an Indigo, not just an authority.
Sensitive and Compassionate
Some Indigos are naturally sensitive to the needs of others. They feel another’s pain and want to make things better for the one who’s hurting. As a little toddler, I recall my son being concerned when his father or I was sick. He would take a moment to lay his hands on where it hurt. He seemed to do this meditatively and with care and gentleness. Believe it or not, he could make us feel better.
I Can Do It Better
At times Indigo know solutions to problems or have better ideas on how to get things done. Last spring I was making plans to plant flowers in the yard. After I had mapped out how I was going to arrange everything, my son and I went out into the yard. Attempting to give him a hands-on education, I began to explain to him what we were going to do. He listened intently. When I was done, he preceded to tell me what he had planned. Surprise! I had expected him to follow along like an automaton to my orders. It never occurred to me to let him have a part in the gardening plans. I listened to my son’s ideas and found that his were better. So I helped him create the garden.
Guardians of Gifts
Because we have been appointed to care for and guide these unique children in the world, it is important to recognize the valuable gifts that have been brought to us. Caring for Indigos is challenging, but the work involved is not only personally rewarding, but for the greater good for humanity. Children are truly our future. And to create a brighter future, we need to have a positive vision. Our Indigos are here to create this positive vision, but we are to guide them in the direction to do so.
If we do not understand these newly advanced children, and be able to fulfill their needs to become the phenomenal beings they are destined to be, then we will fail to create the vision. Let us understand them, listen to them, and provide constructive ways in honoring and developing them. We simply cannot do this through the old authoritarian ways of our parents and grandparents. Giving to the Indigo what he or she needs makes way for this greater future. "Indigos are great souls, potential Gandhis, da Vincis, Shakespeares, and Einsteins," says Dr. Condron, "Their success is up to society, we must be the change."
One last story.
From Ideal to Real
As my son and I were out shopping, he was confiding in me about a problem he was having in a relationship with a family member. Rather than asking him how he could solve the problem, I bombarded him with suggestion, after suggestion on how he should take a different approach in attitude toward the person. After some time, my son exploded and said, “You’re just saying all this stuff. You don’t really mean that!” Astonished by his explosive reaction, I became silent. All the way home, I kept thinking about what he had said because in my mind, I was being genuine in my suggestions. But I know that Indigo can see things when we cannot, and so I began to question myself about what I had said.
Days later, I finally saw it. He was right. In some of my own family relationships I was not practicing what I was preaching. He helped me to see that. Indigos do not fall for pretense. They expect you to do as you say and say what you mean. As parents, and society as well, we often have grand ideals, but may not follow them with action. With Indigo you are forced to put to action what you say you believe to be effective role models. We must bring the ideal (from our heads) to real (in the physical). There is no fooling them! An Indigo will send you back to the drawing board every time!
If you would like to know more about Indigo children, research for more information at www.indigochildren.com and www.som.org. To register for camps and programs for parents and Indigos call the School of Metaphysics at 417-345-8411.
How to Raise an Indigo Child: 10 Keys for Cultivating Your Child’s Natural Brilliance
By Barbara Condron
Indigo Children by Jan Tober and Lee Carroll
A student at the University of Alabama and the School of Metaphysics, Keisha Freed-Tafari lives with her husband and two sons in Birmingham.
©2002 School of Metaphysics