Fostering Children’s Inner Guidance
Intuition can be viewed as a spiritual GPS that keeps us connected to our divine selves and supports us on our life’s path. Unlike our logical minds, intuition is free of the constraints of the conditioned, egoic mind so it can offer insights and instructions that come from our greater, divine consciousness. Unfortunately, we live in a society that emphasizes logic and fear over the instinctive, loving call of our intuitive guidance. Nurturing their child’s intuition is one of the most important things parents can do to support them in living joyful and fulfilling lives.
Intuition comes in many forms; it is different for each individual. Some people experience their intuition as body sensations, such as a strong pull in a certain direction or a sinking feeling in the stomach. Others have the gift of intuitive empathy, sensing the feelings of others as if it is happening to them—a “gift” that can at times be very confusing. Intuition may also reveal itself as a wise inner voice, or a full-body sense of knowing. We can also connect with inner guidance through dreams and from signs and synchronicities that appear to us in our waking hours. There are no limits to the ways in which we can experience this divine form of guidance.
Children are more naturally in touch with their intuition than adults because they have not endured years of social conditioning that separates them from their intuitive knowing. Some children are more intuitive than others, but everyone can learn to connect with their intuitive guidance. There are some things that parents can do to help foster their child’s intuition.
Be an Intuitive Role Model
Children learn by example. If they see that their parents honor and value their intuitive guidance, they will feel more able to do the same. Parents can create an “intuition-friendly” household by adopting a family culture that supports intuition and intuitive ways of knowing and values intuition in addition to intellectual prowess and achievement. It is also important for parents to examine their own beliefs and experiences with intuition. Many of us harbor fears of our own intuition because we may have been misunderstood or even punished as children for sharing our intuitive insights. Understanding these issues can help us avoid passing them onto our children.
Create Inner Space for Intuitive Guidance
Intuition comes through best when we quiet our thinking minds and tune into the present moment. Practices like yoga and meditation are both excellent ways of stilling our minds. Other great ways to quiet the mind are spending time in nature; being with animals; listening to music; drawing; and engaging in simple, repetitive exercises like walking or swimming. For children especially, intuition is closely linked with imagination and play. Children need plenty of downtime to engage in free play and quiet reflection. It is important to match the child’s lifestyle to his or her innate pace. While some children are naturally fast-paced and like to be very busy, others need a fair amount of downtime and will become stressed when they are overscheduled.
Normalize Intuitive Experiences
Children need to know that intuition has a place in their lives, and to develop ways to express and honor their intuitive guidance. Parents can help by listening to their child, and valuing and validating their child’s intuitive guidance without making a big deal about it. Introducing age-appropriate vocabulary can help children to express their intuitive experiences (e.g., vibes, “icky” feelings, hunches). Parents can also use active listening to pick up on the words their child may already be using to describe their intuitive knowing. Finally, parents can teach their children how to distinguish between the voice of intuition and the voice of fear. Intuition, unlike worry, usually comes through in a clear, calm manner, without a strong emotional charge.
Create an Emotionally Supportive Environment
Children need an emotionally safe environment to grow and thrive. Children who feel safe with all of their feelings, including the so called “negative ones”, are better able to connect with their inner guidance. Parents can support their children’s emotional development by creating a household that is peaceful, and relatively free of stress and conflict. Speak with your child calmly, rather than yelling. And, as much as possible, set clear and consistent rules and routines. All children, but especially those who are highly intuitive, may tap into the emotional lives of their parents, and can often pick up on their parent’s feelings and thoughts, even when they remain unexpressed. Parents can work on dealing with their own emotional baggage to prevent their children from inadvertently sharing the load.
Victoria Shaw, PhD, LPC is a licensed professional counselor who combines her training in psychology and counseling with her intuitive gifts. Connect at 203-254-3403, VFShawPhD@gmail.com or VictoriaShawPsychotherapy.com. See ad, page 33.Edit ModuleShow Tags