I have included this topic in the wider subject of positive thinking because in my experience most children love to use their intuition. Noticing information that lies beyond the scope of their five physical senses is a natural gift for many kids. A gift that can all too easily be squashed, or suppressed by other people who do not share their insights.
It’s also a subject very close to my heart. I can still remember the pain of ridicule from my own childhood as I attempted to share my intuitive insights. How I would have loved to be surrounded by adults who could have helped me honour those skills and then integrate them in a safe and healthy way into everyday life. Instead, like many children, I learnt to keep quiet for fear of misunderstanding, or ridicule and it took many years to undo that suppression. This is why I believe that having the ability to recognise intuitive insights and the confidence to speak out about them is very much a part of having a healthy and positive mindset.
A child’s intuition, or sixth sense, can be much more important to them than many of the adults around them may realise. It can help alert them to danger, support their decision-making, or even help them to jump quickly to a possible solution without relying on rational thinking or logic alone.
These are just a few of the many reasons why it’s so important to help keep intuition alive in children. If a child’s relationship to their intuition is derailed because of judgment from others, or fear of looking foolish, it can eventually disrupt their connection to their inner compass of understanding.
Here are a few suggestions to help you begin to recognise and then nurture the intuitive abilities in the children around you.
As an aside, all of these suggestions are equally relevant to sensitive adults too. There is no right, or wrong way, to help bring out the gift of intuition but it does require some creative thinking at times.
All children are naturally intuitive but as with any other skill, some children are better at it than others. So, what signs and signals might a highly sensitive child display?
Some of the more common signs you may notice include their ability to pick up easily on the thoughts and feelings of others. They may show their sensitivity by expressing the unspoken needs of the people, or even the animals around them. They may also find it harder to tolerate noisy, or crowded places as they easily suffer from sensory overload.
Many intuitive children also show natural precognitive abilities such as being able to sense danger ahead of time, or being able to guess your thoughts, or sense your plans for the day ahead before you announce them. They may even have the annoying habit of finishing your sentences for you.
This list is by no means exclusive and you may well have some suggestions of your own that you would like to add but it is a useful starting point.
Of course, when children do express their intuition openly there is a danger that they can become the focus of ridicule, judgement, or suspicion and the result is that they quickly learn to suppress their intuition or keep it a secret.
The danger here is that they can eventually be tempted to shut down their intuitive gifts altogether in an attempt to be normal and fit in. Worse still is that in learning to ‘shut down’ and defer to what other people expect of them they are learning to suppress their own inner truth and eventually this can lead to reduced self-esteem, self-judgement, or a lack of confidence.
So how can you help to nurture the natural intuitive abilities of the children around you?
Firstly, it is important to treat their intuition as an entirely normal form of communication. Even if you don’t share their ‘insights’ it is always helpful to gently explore what is being said without judgement or undue criticism.
For example, you could aim to expand the conversation with open-ended questions such as “That’s interesting, tell me more”, or “How do you feel about that? This gives you a simple way to help them express themselves fully and freely. You might even like to share some of your own intuitive experiences with them too.
It is especially important to give children permission to speak openly about their insights whilst at the same time passing on the understanding that in some circumstances it may be wiser to keep their observations to themselves. In other words, if your child is old enough to understand this concept, explain that not everyone around them may share their gifts to the same extent as them and may not always understand them.
If their gifts of intuition and sensitivity seem overwhelming at times then you can also help by offering practical suggestions for stress management. Amongst my favourite techniques are simple ‘energy hygiene’ exercises to teach them how to keep their energetic boundaries clean and intact by recognising which thoughts and feelings are really theirs and which belong to other people.
Helping children to distinguish their own feelings from the emotions of others and to become aware of the quality of their own energy as it flows through their body during the day is a hugely valuable skill to develop. You will be teaching them to recognise what people, situations and things strengthen and enliven them and what depletes them.
You could also bring in other family members to make intuition a group activity. There are often precious things that can be learnt about how other people use their intuition too. In fact, any steps you can take to help your child recognise how their intuition most strongly catches their attention is an immensely positive mind skill to develop.
It is about teaching them to trust the signals of their inner yes and no.
It is never too late to support your child’s intuition. There is no set formula and you don’t need to be an expert to be of help. All you need is an openhearted approach and genuine willingness to bring their skills forward.
By teaching your children to put their intuition into action, you will be helping them develop a skill that they can access every moment of the day for the rest of their lives.
Have fun encouraging the children in your life to develop their intuitive intelligence and before you know it, they may well be teaching you how to have fun with your intuition too!
Try this exercise for yourself a few times, just to get the feel of how easy it is to use. Then have fun teaching it to your children too.
Intuitive traffic lights
Bring to mind a topic or question that you would like intuitive guidance on and just for the purpose of this exercise, ask yourself a closed question that must be answered either yes, or no.
For example, rather than asking ‘what is the best time to call a busy friend?’ ask, “is now a good time?” repeating the process with other options if you would like to.
Hold your question in mind and imagine a set of traffic lights in front of you. What is the first image that you ‘see’ or just get a sense of? A red light or a green light?
Trust the first image that comes to mind.
If you have difficulty in visualising the colours, ask yourself if the answer is red, amber or green?
Which words do you hear first in your mind? Just as in real life, red is taken as an indication to stop, or not now, amber means wait, or proceed with caution and green means go.
Some people struggle to see colours in their mind’s eye and if this is the case then simply ask to be shown a gauge, or scale ranging from zero, the equivalent of a red traffic light, through to ten which would equate to a green light for go. There again many people just like to get a sense of a number from one to ten to indicate the potential of the situation.
Aim to avoid judging or analysing the intuitive insights you gain during these exercises. If you engage your logical mind in asking if the information makes sense you will take yourself out of your intuitive mode immediately.
Have fun practising this technique with simple decisions you need to make on a daily basis. It’s fun, easy to use, highly accurate and your children will love it.
People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong…
Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?
Thich Nhat Hanh