Blue Papaya (for youth with extended perceptions) meeting
information, call Crystal Life at (630) 208-6001.
Recommended reading: The Secret Spiritual World of
Children by Tobin Hart, Ph.D.; The Care and Feeding of
Indigo Children by Doreen Virtue
We hear a lot these days about 'helicopter' parents, but in
their defense, I think their inclination to swoop in and protect
their children comes from a good place. After all, no one relishes
the possibility that her child may be heading into a painful
But unless your children are allowed opportunities for trial and
error while they're young, they may
miss valuable lessons disconcerting situations sometimes offer.
So unless you believe your children are in real danger, keep your
fear and discomfort in check and resist the urge to interfere, lest
you unwittingly squash their budding intuition. Instead, let them
learn from situations and "Let them learn how to love themselves,"
encourages Victor van Slee, co-founder of the youth group Blue
Papaya at Crystal Life in Geneva.
"Empower your kids," he adds. "Let them make choices."
Notice opportunities to let them have a say, even over something
as apparently trivial as deciding what to wear. Even young children
know what they like, what feels good. Think back to the last time
you did this. Remember the look of pride on your child's face? This
is how developing the skill of 'listening to your gut' is allowed
to blossom. It's that simple.
Continue reinforcing your child's budding intuition by
celebrating moments when she uses it, like when she notices that
her dog needs a hug or a friend needs cheering, for example. "How
did you know she needed that?" you might ask. And when apparently
negative things do happen, help your child to process them, calmly
and without judgment. Ask, "What about that situation felt 'off'?"
or "What did your gut tell you?"
Don't worry about how you'll handle these moments when they show
up. Relax and let your own intuition be your guide. The right
words-if any are needed-will be there when you need them.
But what if your child's experience extends beyond mere
intuition? What if he perceives things that others don't?
"When they tell their stories, listen," urges van Slee. While
there are no hard numbers on the percentage of children with
'extended perceptions,' television shows like A&E's "Psychic
Kids" and organizations like the ChildSpirit Institute, headed by
university professor and psychologist Tobin Hart, are helping to
People are beginning to accept that "All kids are born open,"
says Tammy Johnson, children's meditation facilitator and
co-founder of Blue Papaya, but many children are still told their
experiences are just figments of their imaginations, which inhibits
their intuitive side.
Nora, a member of Blue Papaya whose name has been changed to
protect her privacy, says she hopes that when these conversations
do happen, parents of kids with extended perceptions will "be
She says that getting involved with others who are like her has
helped her feel less isolated. But, cautions Johnson, children
should choose their friends wisely. This is great advice for any
child, but how? Encourage your children to "use their intuition,"
Ah, but of course. And for that to happen, dear moms and dads,
we need to get out of their way and let them.
Part 2 next month: Meditation for children
Jennifer DuBose, M.S., C.A.S., is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Batavia.
See more of Jennifer's stories here.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.