We are all psychic, but not to the same degree. And, there are many types of psychic skills and forms of awareness that we have and others do not, and vice versa. Often our abilities manifest at very young ages since the connections among our thoughts, intuition, and imagination co-mingle and, only later, become more distinct through social conditioning or, all too commonly, external repression.
This article will explore some thoughts about raising highly intuitive children, both from my perspective as a highly intuitive child/adult and as a parent of a highly intuitive child. All parenting is challenging, but not in the same way or to the same degree.
Degrees of Difference
Intuition, like thought, or physical skills exists for all of us. But to what degree matters. We can all run, but some of us can run faster and farther than others. And the number of people who can run a marathon or a 40-yard dash in an elite time is minuscule compared to those who cannot. We all process information, but not at the same speed or with the same degree of comprehension. There are those among us who think at elite speeds and tremendous depths.
Highly intuitive individuals, children especially, exhibit elite levels of emotional sensitivity and a form of intelligence that intersects the mind and feelings in profoundly useful ways. Therefore, the highly intuitive person detects emotional shifts in other people well ahead of most people. The highly intuitive child will “know” that mom or dad is upset while others are oblivious. They will also detect the emotional fluctuations in their peers or siblings.
While intuition is a valuable asset in life, high levels of intuition can prove problematic without proper recognition at an early age and guidance from parents or for parents who have highly intuitive children. You may be a parent of a highly intuitive child and facing the realization that your child will move through the world in a much different way than his or her peers.
Growing Up as a Highly Intuitive Child
Mid-range intuition is fundamental to general and enduring success. My parents were both intuitive within the normal range, but closer to the high end than the low end, which would help account for their overall success in life, along with various other factors (like race, intelligence, education, and so on). Therefore, within the dynamic of their circumstances, their natural intuition helped them maximize their opportunities and success.
My story is outside the norm because I am adopted, which accounts for 2% of the child population, and likely a smaller percentage when I was adopted in 1968. Now that I can look back on my childhood, I can see how the choices my parents made, as well as their efforts on my behalf, helped me succeed rather than be overwhelmed as a highly intuitive person.
Originally my parents wanted to adopt two boys and planned to adopt another son after my adoption. However, they moved from the state of Virginia to South Carolina not long after I was born and the adoption process varies from state to state. Their hopes of adopting another child so we would be close in age did not materialize because they would have to start the process anew and it would likely take much longer. As a result, I ended up an only child, which worked in my favor.
My parents were also a very steady, but not overbearing influence, encouraging me to be social, and not reactionary when I was withdrawn, which was much more frequent than among my peers, even other only children. I not only had the circumstances of being alone but needed the time alone. I can remember being overwhelmed around people and other children much faster than my peers.
My threshold for emotional impact from others was simply lower and my parents, intuitively, figured out that I did best with gentle pressure, constantly applied instead of the higher demands I saw among peers, some of whom had no problem with the pressure while others were like me and crumbled or chose extreme coping mechanism (like the early use of drugs and alcohol).
In other words, my parents did not necessarily understand or know the full extent of my sensitivity, but they made intuitive choices of their own that respected and allowed my intuitive abilities to grow and flourish naturally.
Raising a Highly Intuitive Child
Our societies have normative values and we all know, both consciously and subconsciously, where the middle range happens to be. For this reason, we have phrases like “on average” or “most people”, and these phrases apply correctly. On average, a significant number of Americans eat fast food daily (37%). The number of people who choose restrictive healthy nutritious lifestyles are “outliers”.
An outlier is someone at the edge of or well outside the normative middle. They are “a person or thing situated away from or detached from the main body or system” (dictionary.com). Highly intuitive children are outliers and struggle when treated as “normal”. One of the easiest ways to identify whether or not you have a highly intuitive child is to see how they react in situations compared to the majority of their peers or the normative measure.
If you know you have a highly intuitive child, then realize that your parenting experience will also fall outside the norm, requiring you to make adjustments that could easily be viewed by other parents as spoiling or “giving in”. In other words, your highly intuitive child’s status as an outlier will force you to become an outlier parent or make you need to work much harder to apply normative values to your child.
The important values for all children are consistent regardless of low or extremely high intuition; and they include: developing self-confidence, high self-esteem, and self-sufficiency. It is often the way and duration needed to get a highly intuitive child to those goals that are very different. Below are some suggested writers and thinkers to help you as a parent if you know or need to know if you have a highly intuitive child:
- The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine Aron
- The Aware Baby by Aletha Soulter
- The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori