Why Supporting Children's Intuition Is Important to Their Success as Adults

By Catherine Crawford
 
happy child - it is important to encourage a childs intuitionParents work hard at ensuring their children learn the skills they need to succeed in life. Caught up with the demands of making meals, checking homework, and negotiating sibling rivalry, why add tracking a child's intuition to the list? 
 
The answer is because a child's intuition, also known as the sixth sense, may be much more important in the life of a child than many people realize. Intuition helps alert us to danger, provides guidance in decision making, and even helps us in problem solving by being able to jump quickly to the solution–bypassing rational, linear steps. For these reasons, and so many more, it is crucial 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 result in disrupting the clear connection to this inner compass.
 
All children are intuitive, but some are highly intuitive and experience more intuitive messages, or perceptions, with greater frequency than other children. Highly intuitive children often are unusually aware of the needs and feelings of friends, parents, siblings, and pets. They may frequently translate the unspoken needs of younger siblings and pets with striking accuracy and even pick up on the predominant feeling of a group of people as they enter a room. Others may tune into an unspoken family conflict, or tell someone to "be careful" before stumbling into an unknown situation.
 
From my psychotherapy practice where I work with both highly intuitive children and adults, I can tell you that the support an intuitive child receives growing up makes a significant difference in how an adult intuitive integrates this ability successfully into daily life. Intuitive children who are raised with respect for their insights and are taught to manage the stressors that can emerge with this trait grow up to be healthy, balanced intuitive adults.
 
On the other hand, highly intuitive children who learn to regularly suppress their intuition suffer consequences of reduced self-esteem, self-doubt, decision-making confusion, and difficulties with interpersonal boundaries as adults. The reason for these problems is largely because if and when a child stops listening to and trusting her intuition, then she is suppressing the connection to her vitality and inner truth. When a child stops respecting her own inner compass, she is more likely to defer to what other people want of her–even at the expense of her own health, boundaries, and better judgment.
 
Parents can help keep intuition strong in their children, and help solidify this gift for life, by adopting a few supportive behaviors.
 
· Maintain a positive attitude when children voice their intuitions. Kids who are very specific with their intuitive insights–such as specific predictions that soon come true–can surprise or frighten parents and trigger strong emotional responses ranging from awe at one end of the spectrum to shock at the other. Intuitive kids are quite perceptive and if they notice that their intuitions are upsetting to parents, or that they receive unusual praise for insights that seem perfectly natural to them, they may either silence their intuitive perceptions or use them to get attention in order to feel special.
 
· Stay open and responsive to what emerges with the child's intuition. Overlooking, discounting, or denying a highly intuitive child's inborn trait can also mean that this child can't engage in valuable conversations with her parents about her truest experiences, nor can she problem solve with parents about the potentially stressful components of this trait.  
 
· Pay attention to your child's health. If your highly intuitive child is acting out with angry outbursts, is vulnerable to dramatic mood swings, or is suffering from unexplained aches and pains, he may be reacting to the constant inflow of feelings and information from the outside world. These children need to learn how to manage stress, recognize others' emotions without taking them on, and protect their health. By understanding that your child's symptoms are real and related to outside stressors, you can help him find healthy ways to express feelings.
 
·  Give your highly intuitive child loving support. Perceptive children call for perceptive parenting, and with attentive parenting, you help a highly intuitive child thrive. Giving an intuitive child your loving support while she grows up will help her trust herself as she launches into adulthood. It will also help to ensure that she'll have this powerful part of her personality intact as an adult and not have to work hard at excavating her true self at a later date. 
 
catherine-crawfordBiography
Catherine Crawford, LMFT, ATR, is a licensed marriage and family therapist and registered art therapist specializing in the needs of intuitive empath children and adults.
 
Her new book is The Highly Intuitive Child: A Guide to Understanding and Parenting Unusually Sensitive and Empathic Children (Hunter House, 2009). 
 
Her website is www.lifepassage.com

 

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Comments on Why Supporting Children's Intuition Is Important to Their Success as Adults Leave a Comment

January 2, 2015

eja rad @ 3:01 am #

Referring to the following passage:

"Intuitive children who are raised with respect for their insights and are taught to manage the stressors that can emerge with this trait grow up to be healthy, balanced intuitive adults."

Do you say that "intuition" is a trait?

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