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The term, ‘Indigo children’ refers to a popular belief within the New Age community that most of the children being born today are part of a new stage in human evolution, and that they posses certain specific traits designed to help them deal with the challenges humanity will face in coming generations. Proponents of this theory believe that many of the children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD are actually part of this new generation, and that their education and care needs to be handled in a certain way so that they can manifest their gifts to their highest potential.
According to Lee Carroll and Jan Tober, editors of the first major book on the subject, the following is a list of common traits of Indigo children:
– They come into the world with a feeling of royalty (and often act like it)
– They have a feeling of “deserving to be here,” and are surprised when others don’t share that.
– Self-worth is not a big issue. They often tell the parents “who they are.”
– They have difficulty with absolute authority (authority without explanation or choice).
– They simply will not do certain things; for example, waiting in line is difficult for them.
– They get frustrated with systems that are ritually oriented and don’t require creative thought.
– They often see better ways of doing things, both at home and in school, which makes them seem like “system busters” (nonconforming to any system).
– They seem antisocial unless they are with their own kind. If there are no others of like consciousness around them, they often turn inward, feeling like no other human understands them. School is often extremely difficult for them socially.
– They will not respond to “guilt” discipline (“Wait till your father gets home and finds out what you did”).
– They are not shy in letting you know what they need.
First the skeptical view. As many have noted, this list is general enough to apply to almost any child, at least some of the time, so doesn’t really seem to indicate a new stage in evolution. And additional questions arise from the fact that many proponents of the theory think at least 90% of children born in recent years are Indigo children. If that is the case, what are they being compared to? When are they not around their ‘own kind’? And, even allowing that this generation exhibits some specific traits, where is the proof that this is part of a new incarnational cycle? Who says it is not the result of sociological shifts in the ways kids are raised, or television, or the foods they are eating (or not eating), or any number of other factors that are different from when their parents (like me) were born?
On the supporter side, the Indigo Children theory is primarily put forth by intuitives, astrologers, and others working in the area of consciousness and energy healing. However, many experienced childcare workers, social workers, and teachers say they also recognize these trends, and have come to believe in the Indigo Child theory to some extent, even those that do not subscribe to other New Age beliefs. Part of the complication of sorting through this subject is that so many people have latched on to it to support there own individual agendas. Problems arise from the fact that lists like the one above are ‘scrubbed’ of any reference to the children’s energies and intuitive abilities, because the authors are trying to reach a broader audience outside the New Age community, particularly the parents of ADD and ADHD children, in order to offer them alternative options (besides Ritalin, that is.) That is a worthy goal, but without some of the psycho-spiritual descriptions of what defines an Indigo child, there often doesn’t seem to be enough details to assess the trends claimed.
These details do emerge in the more energy-oriented descriptions of Indigo children. The term ‘Indigo’ came from an intuitive who attempted to classify human energy systems according to the colors of their auras in the 1980s. She observed that many of the children being born at that time had a kind of energy pattern that she had not seen before. Over time, she (and other intuitives) saw more and more of these children being born, until it hit the current levels, where most children born are believed to be Indigos. Many claim this generation has a warrior-like spirit that is unique. As intuitive Doreen Virtue puts it in her book The Care and Feeding of Indigo Children, “It’s almost like they are in boot camp being prepared for combat.”
While many people are uncomfortable with certain aspects of this theory, and especially with the expectations being placed on these children, it is gaining greater credence in the mainstream because of the solutions put forth by its proponents – that our schools need to be overhauled to deal with today’s children, that drugging our kids is NOT an answer, and that today’s children need to be properly prepared for the world, and problems, they are going to inherit.
Lisa Erickson is a mom, meditation teacher, and writer. Visit her blog http://www.MommyMystic.wordpress.com for spiritual book reviews and information on meditation and spirituality.
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