"In all our efforts to provide "advantages," we have actually produced the busiest, most competitive, highly pressured and over-organized generation of youngsters in our history -- and possibly the unhappiest. We seem hell-bent on eliminating much of childhood." -- Eda J. Le Shan, U.S. educator, and author of The Conspiracy Against Childhood
hildren have changed, and that no old model, no matter how well it used to work, is going to work now. The '50s and '60s are now gone, and with them, an old culture of innocence has passed, as well as a world with half as many people. The Indigos are a product of human evolution, and they offer hope to all of us.
Against all odds, humanity seems to have bypassed all of the millennium prophecies and Armageddon doomsday scenarios. Instead, we now stand at a crossroads of consciousness where our children are informed, wise, and are primed for a different kind of parenting and schooling. They face a world where tolerance is beginning to show itself in brand new ways, and where old paradigms of politics and religion are starting to look like shams to them.
Integrity is often number one on their humanity radar, and when they don't see it, even at a young age, they react. Sometimes when they don't find it at home or at school, they retreat, turning inward as they attempt to discover what else the world may offer, or better yet, what they might create themselves through their anger and rage that might work better.
Some young people, who are as frustrated as we are, want to communicate what their ideas are on this subject, also. After all, they're living it! Sometimes we think that young people are in a vacuum, and that only we as adults can meet, have committees, write books, and solve this dilemma. But more and more, teens and young adults are gathering by themselves, driven by their own sense of responsibility, and yes -- even writing books. Here is one we highly recommend, written by a very young man. It's called Ending School Violence: Solutions from America's Youth, by Jason Ryan Dorsey. This is what Amazon.com has to say regarding Jason's book:
Compiled by America's foremost young speaker, twenty-year-old Jason R. Dorsey, each section is packed with youthful insight and action-oriented solutions. Working with over 150,000 youth from every background across America, Jason deals directly with their experiences, challenges, and opportunities daily. To help our youth, we must learn directly from them. We must shape our schools from the inside-out, students first, because they are the ones that create and suffer from school violence.
Begin Parenting in a New Paradigm
If you have a toddler and you're reading this, then you're fortunate. You have the ability to begin parenting in a new paradigm. You get to truly discover your child, and revel in their acceptance of things that are new and very "Indigo-like." (Editor's Note: More about Indigo Children.)
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Many of you, however, have children who are older. They are preteen or teen, and some have already decided that you are only one step above dog poop. They roll their eyes every time you talk to them, shuffle their feet and stare at the floor instead of looking you straight in the eyes, and communicate the unspoken body language of "Yeah, whatever." Then when they're finished with their non-listening session, they're out the door to a private life you only hope is something you would approve of.
It's time for the interaction of a lifetime -- a forced meeting where you drop your shield and hope it's not too late. Chances are it won't be. Inform your children that you want to talk. Ask them to choose a good time. Tell them you'll need an hour. Demand that they set a time for this, and then don't let anything disrupt this schedule -- not anything. Right away, you're showing your kids that this meeting is more important than any other errand or family matter. Be prepared for the possibility that they'll protest strongly (putting it mildly). But insist.
Talking With Your Children
Sit down in front of them with a notepad, and ask them to look at you while you talk. Start by telling them that this is not a lecture where they're going to be disciplined, talked down to, or berated. Tell them that more than anything else in the world, you want to be their friend. Then ask them to tell you what isn't working for them.
Posture yourself for openness. Don't expect a miracle, but above all else, be unconditional in your acceptance. Remember, this meeting is about them, not you, so don't tell them how it was when you were a kid. Don't lecture. Don't get mad. Don't flinch when they tell you things that are blatantly wrong or exaggerated or even hurtful. Remember, if they really open up, you're hearing life straight from the horse's mouth, right or wrong. Let them rant about you. Let them complain about everything, even if it's not fair for them to. Take notes. It shows you care. Listen ... just listen.
In the end, don't do the expected thing. Don't retaliate point by point. Not yet, anyway. Understand that most of what was presented stems from what they're feeling, which is the whole point of the meeting. Get creative. Ask them to elaborate on what's important to them -- something you might be able to help with. Perhaps they feel you're too strict; too old to understand their music; not appreciative of their fashions or their friends; or not loving, caring, or smart enough.
Questions to Ask Your Children
This first meeting should end with a set of questions. Each case is different, but here is a sample of what you might ask:
1. "What can I do to improve your life?" They may respond by stating things that are absurd or way off base. It doesn't matter. You're creating a catharsis for your children -- a safe place -- and it also allows them to vent. You're also starting to develop a new and fresh bond that wasn't there before. Swallow hard and listen. Remember, just because you're listening doesn't mean you're going to do everything they're asking for.
2. "Are there some compromises that we can work out? What would you do if you were me?" This is thought-provoking and also tells your kids that you're serious. They may actually have a chance to make their lives better, so they may take advantage of this opportunity. Since you're not in a vacuum (hopefully), some of the areas of discussion won't shock you. So be prepared with some compromises, and start negotiating important issues.
Be ready to give something. Try to remember how you were in your youth, and put yourself in your kids' place.
3. "Is it too late for us to be friends? Will you promise to come to me if you need help? Will you meet with me again like this?" These are the big questions, and they represent the primary reason for this initial talk. Your kids may give lip service to these questions but not be ready yet to answer truthfully. The reason? They don't trust you! This is hard for any parent to hear, but it's true. Many preteens and teens are far more trusting of someone they've known less than a year who is their own age, than the parent who gave birth to them.
A number of these special meetings may be needed, and the children will eventually get used to the fact that:
* the meetings don't turn into fights. (This has to be a promise you make to yourself, and it will take wisdom and great self-restraint on your part. If fights do occur, even once, then you have effectively undermined this entire process. We told you it wouldn't be easy. . . .)
* you don't blast them.
* they can actually talk to you without everything blowing up. Just be present and listen to their feelings. Don't ever define them during these times. This is not a time for lectures, or even adult wisdom. It's time to sit and listen.
Eventually, according to what many parents have told us, you will be able to talk about school, their friends, their music, and many other topics that you may slowly draw out of them or that are revealed ... yep, even sex. The result? Your kids acquire a friend called Mom or Dad. Some parents even go the extra mile. They'll attend a concert with their kids, go shopping for clothes, and so on. It might not be what you personally want to do, but your children will never forget it -- ever. Is it worth the effort? Yes! After all ... don't you want your children back?!
No Matter Where You Live, Communication is Essential
You might live in an affluent neighborhood or a ghetto. The school your child attends might be an honors school or one where there's a daily weapons check. One of the interesting things to note is that most of the widely publicized school killings were not in ghetto schools, but instead represented upper-middle-class neighborhoods. The ghetto children tell us that they have killings too -- just not as dramatic -- and the events don't make the evening news.
Each situation is different. The chances are that families who are in survival mode are more apt to communicate better with their children. The kids are engaged in tasks and responsibilities very early in life, and therefore have a better opportunity to dialogue with their parents. Even in this situation, however, the procedures listed above are still needed at some point. Eventually, some of the big questions have to be asked to make kids understand that no matter what your situation, their input is needed.
Be Willing to Be Open and Lovingly Truthful
Are you a single parent? That means that you don't have as much help. It also means that your situation is common to many others in your same situation, so it's not unique. You can still make this work with small children or a teenager. It simply means that the approach must be slightly different. You might need to request additional help on their part to make it work. Questions can be asked such as: "Do you know why we're alone?"
Without bashing the mate that may have left (since quite often the children visit him or her), try to openly discuss what happened in simple terms. The loss of love, addiction to substances, infidelity, and many other seemingly adult subjects may be openly discussed in simple ways. You might be very surprised by how much a child does understand. It will also bond the two of you. Don't make the other partner "wrong." Explain to the youngster how you feel about what happened, not who did what to whom.
If a mate has died, then carefully talk about death in general. It's real and "in your face." You can't ignore it and just hope that someday your kids will understand everything when they're grown. Speaking about death takes away much of the misunderstanding and fear. Not speaking openly about the death of someone close to you often creates a situation where your kids may think it (death) is so bad and so dark that it might come for them in their sleep any day (or worse, that somehow they were responsible).
Discuss how much you miss the departed mate and how it feels to you. If the mate was lost when your kids were old enough to be aware, then be open to grieving together. We have heard reports that some very small children have heard a mother speak of how it felt, and they hugged and hugged the mother -- telling her it would be "okay." They actually went into "nurse" or "mother" mode. This is a real friend. End the conversation by promising to make things better, and decide what that might mean. You've just created what we like to call the "joy team."
A Meeting of the Minds Between You and Your Child
Do you have a school that is giving you or your child problems? Are they using an old paradigm of teaching and can't see what is really happening with your child? What can you do? Repeated meetings with teachers and counselors can only go so far. Some schools (we are told) will eventually list you as a "difficult parent" if you hang out in their offices enough. What can you do?
The answer, of course, is to try and transfer your kids to better schools or institute home schooling. The reality, however, is that this is not always possible. The law, your financial situation, where you live, and so on, often prohibits this. Many parents have told us that the answer (again) is a meeting of the minds between you and your child.
Become their "homeroom." Commiserate with them when things don't go well with a teacher or with some bully at school. Let them always know that they have an understanding conduit in you, and that although neither of you might be able to change the situation, you can both laugh or cry about it together. Set aside a time to talk, then do a lot of listening. Don't let a busy schedule simply wipe out the opportunity. You'll be amazed what this will accomplish. It often disarms the situation, or better still, gives your kids courage for the next day. Then everyone feels bolstered and ready for tomorrow. Think about it.
Closing the Generation Gap via Communication & Understanding
Why is this so hard? One reason is that these kids have spent their lives with you. They really know you! They know what you look like in your underwear, and how you look in the morning even before the mirror sees you. All your addictions, bad habits, and mistakes are right out there. This makes it tough to talk, or communicate in any fashion. Sometimes the older children act more like unwilling roommates in a prison than loving family members.
But you remember what happened after the teenage years, don't you? You woke up one day and wondered how your parents suddenly got their "smarts" or when they calmed down? They didn't change -- you did! You were probably about 23 or 24. In other words, there is hope, and often growing up naturally tears down the walls that existed during those awkward times. But waiting is not an option. Many parents have reported that the so-called generation gap was closed up to a great extent via the techniques we've listed here, and that getting their kids to trust them was the best gift the universe ever gave them. It was a win-win situation, where the benefits were clear to everyone.
Guidelines Shared by Other Parents
I guess this is to say, as authors on this subject, that we know it's difficult, and we salute your courage as you evolve alongside these new Indigos. To make this procedure more palatable, we will report what some parents have told us:
Never lie. As we've mentioned, Indigos are extremely intuitive. They can tell if you're not giving it to them straight, and distinct chasm is created between you if you aren't. Even a half-truth that parents tell their children to shield them from harsh reality isn't a very good idea anymore. Can't pay the rent? Worried? Don't share your fears, but go ahead and tell the truth if your kids want to know something. Then follow up with some kind of positive, reassuring message for both of you: "We'll work it out -- we're a good team. This, too, shall pass." (Or words to that effect.) Your kids are better off knowing why you are upset, rather than wondering if it was something they did to cause it. The truth is always best. Try to posture it with integrity and honesty, and your kids will understand.
If there's a crisis, then pray with them! Include them as much as possible -- not in your fear process -- but in your reality and in your hope for a solution. Inform them about important family matters before final decisions are made. Although in reality, kids may not be able to influence major decisions (for example, if you and your spouse need to move), but by including them in the discussion, they'll feel that they're not just being pushed and pulled by circumstances. If they're privy to your decision processes, they'll be more likely to accept the situation without blowing up. You also might get insight into any fears they have with respect to certain situations, prompting you to take action that you might not otherwise. What's the result: Your kids will remember all their lives that their parents trusted them enough to include them in this way.
Try to understand what gives your kids joy, and then ask them if you can occasionally participate in some activities of theirs. Perhaps your children engage in a hobby that you think is stupid, unproductive, or juvenile. Think back to when you were a kid, and create some tolerance here. Go with them to places where their interests lie -- even if there's nothing there for you. If you don't understand anything about it, just tell them so, but be open to explanation. Skateboarding contests ... strange fashions . . . offensive (to you) music ... inane comic book conventions ... vegan restaurants ... extreme sports ... tractor pulls (oops, sorry ... that's a husband thing) ... anyway, you get the idea. Try to get involved with your kids without violating the "Don't bring a parent" rule. This means that there are some activities that you absolutely must not be a part of -- and they'll let you know what these things are rather than suffer the ridicule of their friends. Ask them, "Is this something you would rather do with your friends?" They'll always tell you.
Barter with your kids. Take them somewhere they couldn't go without your driving them, paying for them, et cetera, and in return, ask them to go somewhere with you -- perhaps a play, a quality movie, or a symphony concert. When you both give a little, a partnership of sorts is established.
Discipline: Use it sparingly, and make it clear what your boundaries are. Try to make sure that the rules of the family are commensurate with the times, and are not necessarily what you were subject to when you were growing up. Times change, so make certain you know all the fact before you automatically say no to something that might now be acceptable to society -- and even to most other parents.
Don't just post the rules -- discuss them! The lines you draw and the expectations you have with respect to meals, TV viewing, curfews, computers, games, and dress codes will be much more acceptable if you and your kids talk about them face-to-face. Again, some bargaining with your child might be a good idea, and might help them understand that you're reasonable and trying your best to make things work for everyone.
Respect their feelings, and try to balance discipline and rules with love. In the end, you are the parent, so if you have to make a choice that your kids don't like, let them know why you made that decision, then stick to it. After all, adults face this type of situation in their lives all the time. You might remember what it was like at work if you were ever demoted, criticized, or fired (gulp). To some degree, these are the same emotions that your kids feel when they lose a bargaining point or don't get their way.
Reason and Logic. To put it simply, growing up ain't easy, but having loving, understanding, and fair parents will always bring reason and logic to any interaction, dispute, or discussion. Discipline used to be "Do it or else. Do it because I said so." Now it's "Do it because you're in a family where we work together" or "Do it because we respect each other."
Children have rights. The U.S. is founded on majority rule and minority rights. You might have to point out the way an entire nation has been able to live together for 225 years, and the beauty of a system where not everyone always gets their way. You are the majority, and your kids represent the minority. You may win, but they have rights, too.
Touch your kids often. Yep -- even the teenagers. This actually helps them get back into their bodies. Dads, do it enough when they're young, and they won't back off nearly as much later. Even the boys will accept a hug from you. If you never did it before, then start. Let them push you away the first few times. Do it anyway. They will eventually accept it. And they might even give it back -- eventually!
The experience of raising children is perhaps the greatest test of any human being. It is also the greatest reward. There are many paths and many outcomes, many stories and many reactions. Sometimes things don't always turn out the way we wish, but as you face this enormous challenge, the question is: How will you handle it? With love, compassion, and reason ... or with dissension and ill will? The choice is yours.
©2001. Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hay House, Inc. www.hayhouse.com
This article is excerpted from the book:
An Indigo Celebration: More Messages, Stories, and Insights from the Indigo Children
by Lee Carroll & Jan Tober.
An Indigo Celebration is a group of stories, articles, and insights into the Indigo child phenomenon. We wanted to stop for a moment and celebrate these kids -- how they think, how they act, and what they're bringing to our lives. This book is not only meant to entertain, but also to inspire, teach, and provide meaningful insights. Indigo children are part of the positive transformation and shift of the new millennium -- and this celebration of them is one we hope you will share in.
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About the Authors
Jan Tober has been an active metaphysician all her life. Over the past 25 years, she has worked as an intuitive counselor, hands-on healer, channel, meditation facilitator/leader, Reiki Master, co-founder of the Church of Awareness (San Diego, California), and co-facilitator of the Kryon workshops and seminars throughout the world. Jan is the featured singer/composer on several channelled meditation albums. She has also recently released "Teknicolour Tapestry," a musical album accompanied by harpist Mark Geisler and bestselling Canadian artist Robert Coxon. e-mail: [email protected]
Lee Carroll and his spiritual partner, Jan Tober, started the "Kryon light groups" in Del Mar in 1991 and quickly moved from a living-room setting to a Del Mar church. You can visit at www.kryon.com. Also on the Website is an on-line magazine where new Kryon and Indigo-related articles are featured regularly. Lee is the author of nine Kryon books, and is the co-author (along with Jan) of The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived. The Indigo Child Website is: www.indigochild.com. Lee continues to write from his home in San Diego, living with his wife, Patricia, and his Maltese dog, Mini. e-mail: [email protected]