“The best way to preserve a child’s vision is to let them see things their way rather than yours.” ~ Jacob Liberman.
the knowing/sensing of something beyond time, space, reason, the use of prior knowledge and the five senses. It is the gateway to your soul.
Intuition is your birthright. As children you freely connect to your intuition so naturally that you don’t even know it is intuition. It is an everyday awareness permeating your existence that you are intimately connected with and a part of. Life feels magical and your environment is filled with endless possibilities.
It doesn’t take long before you lose this sense of presence and wonder. Soon you are more engaged in limited thinking and the responsibilities of life than your joyful, endless playground.
You can support children to stay connected to their intuition and all its possibilities by practicing the keys below. In the process, you will return to that place yourselves where intuitive awareness is at the forefront of your reality.
1. Live Intuitively
“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.” ~ Dr Benjamin Spock
The best way to invite children into their intuition is by modeling intuitive living yourself. It is important to be aware of how much room you create for your own intuitive insight and how freely you act on it in your day to day life. When you don’t listen to your intuition it impacts your well-being which then impacts your children. By modeling intuitive living, you automatically invite children to do the same. Practice the 22 Keys to Intuitive Living for more guidance how you can model and teach intuitive living to children.
2. Permission & Safety
Create safety for children to explore and express their intuition. Children sublimate their intuition because it is not safe to trust it anymore. Between being continuously told what to think and do, and the need to be responsible and “realistic”, it is no wonder intuition has little room to breathe. You automatically create permission and safety by living intuitively, listening and acting from your heart, and by inviting and honouring the expression of their inner truth.
3. Naturally Creative, Resourceful & Whole* (*Created by The Coaches Training Institute)
“Love is seeing someone as they really are, and being with them in that place without judgment.” ~ Lynda Austin
How you relate to children begins with how you see them. If you see children as being empty vessels that you must fill, then there is little room for their intuitive voice. However, if you see children as naturally, creative, resourceful and whole, then a world of possibilities opens up for the child. You acknowledge they have a voice, wisdom and gifts to share, and a purpose for being here. By seeing them as who they really are, you hold them much bigger and support them to grow up with clarity and confidence.
“Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, your spirits expand.” ~ Sue Patton Thoele
How much of your Self are you bringing to children? The more present you are within your Self, the more present you will be with others. Taking a deep breath, slowing down, and noticing if the mind is wandering away while children speak are all helpful when engaging them. It’s important to pay attention to your attention, and where it lies in any given moment. Children can feel when you are not present with them, and so your capacity to listen and be in their world without the need to impose an agenda serves their trust in us and their intuition.
5. Educate & Affirm (where necessary)
Children who engage their intuition and make self-affirming choices do not need us to teach them anything. They are already doing it. However, children who demonstrate a lack of self-worth or trust in themselves may benefit from us affirming their inner wisdom. You can gently remind them that they are wise souls with an inner guidance system. You can point them to look within for their inner guidance instead of giving their power to others. And you can teach them that intuition is a resource that supports the love and care of Self and humanity, and that when choices are made from intuition it serves the greater whole. Remind them, only when necessary, that intuition is there for them always, in all ways! Trust your intuition to know when to do so.
“Children learn how to make good decisions by making decisions, not by following directions.”
~ Alfie Kohn
When you get curious with children you open a door into their heart. They look within and connect to their feelings and knowing. They uncover values, desires, gifts and dreams, and insight into their life path. They vocalize fears or blocks that may be impeding progress in a certain direction. And they learn to trust their resourcefulness and capacity to make decisions for themselves, instead of relying on others. In order to be curious you must suspend your expertise. You must self-manage your need to fix, rescue or advise, and instead see children as capable of knowing what is best. Open ended questions starting with What, more than How, engage intuition the most. Examples include, What does your heart want? If you could wave a magic wand, what would you create today? What’s your favourite thing about that? What would that be like?
7. Values & Desires
Your unique values and desires are inextricably linked to your intuition. They point to your passions, life balance and towards a purposeful life. By noticing when children are most engaged and enthusiastic, and being curious about what they enjoy most, you can deduce what their values and desires are. You can then create learning agendas and frameworks that fit their unique personality, and help them make choices that are aligned with their authentic Self.
“Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down the water. Through an active, reciprocal exchange, teaching can strengthen learning how to learn.” ~ Loris Malaguzzi
You have an agenda and so do children. They arrive on this earth with a soul agenda, and with the tools necessary to participate in their own unique way. It is therefore vital that they are given every chance to express their needs and desires such that they begin to formulate and express their inner purpose. Whether it is a learning or play agenda, allowing children to be an active participant in the decision making process validates their intuition and sense of Self, and helps them pave a road to authentic and fulfilled living. Co-creating requires a dose of humility because some level of control needs to be released on your part, as well as recognizing that you may not have all the answers.
“The wider the range of possibilities you offer children, the more intense will be their motivations and the richer their experiences. You must widen the range of topics and goals, the types of situations you offer and their degree of structure, the kinds and combinations of resources and materials, and the possible interactions with things, peers, and adults.” ~ Loris Malaguzzi
Intuition is the creative design department of your mind. It is where you imagine, dream outside the box, consider new possibilities, and feel inspired. When children are bound by too much structure and weighed down by expectations of what to think and do, their capacity to exercise their creative mind is limited. However, when children explore and get messy, and reflect on what they learned and what is true for them, they strengthen their critical thinking mind and their capacity to be innovative and imaginative.
Encourage children to express their inner truth in creative ways. As Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education founder Loris Malaguzzi points out, the child has a hundred languages and s/he cannot be limited simply to reading, writing and arithmetic to express him or herself. Help children find a form of expression that feels safe and natural to them, such as art, storytelling, music, drama or movement. Ask them questions about what they shared, what it means to them, what’s important to them about what they’ve discovered, to help them express more and deepen their connection with their learning and their Self.
Certain language supports accessing and expressing intuition more fully. I feel…, My heart/intuition/gut is telling me…, My sense is…, It feels right to… are all language of the soul. Also using the word Play instead of Work helps to keep things light and inspired – Play with this instead of Work on this; Homeplay instead of Homework; Playsheets instead of Worksheets. You can guide children to live intuitively by modeling this language yourself, asking questions using this language (What does your heart tell you? What do you feel?), and encouraging them to use the language themselves.
“Children first realize they can make a difference when parents listen, then respond with sensitivity.” ~ Elizabeth Hartley-Breyour
Take time to welcome all creative contributions, all expressions of Self. Celebrate them as statements of personal truth, learning and growth. Being sensitive to appreciate and include, without shutting children’s ideas down or making them wrong, keeps creative energy flowing and their feeling of self-worth alive. They are more likely to continue valuing and sharing their opinions in the future. Celebrating is one of best ways to live in the Spirit of Yes And!
13. Slow Down & Breathe
“Pausing to listen to an airplane in the sky, stooping to watch a ladybug on a plant, sitting on a rock to watch the waves crash over the quayside – children have their own agendas and timescales. As they find out more about their world and their place in it, they work hard not to let adults hurry them. You need to hear their voices.” ~ Cathy Nutbrown
The typical household and school are amassed with frenetic energy. Busy lives, busy schedules, getting to that next task, and hopefully finding some time to rest and re-gather amongst it all. In the space between your busi-ness lies your intuition. It speaks quietly from the background and requires you to create room for it so it can be heard. Slowing down and taking deep breaths are simple steps you can take to create inner and outer space for your intuition. You can support children to do the same by modeling this, and gently encouraging them to slow down and take a deep breath as well.
14. Free Unstructured Time
Building upon Key #13, children do not experience enough free, unstructured time to play anymore. Computers, video games, television and organized sports limit, if not stifle, the capacity for children to be creative, spontaneous and adventurous. There needs to be greater importance placed on unstructured time where children can explore the simple things in life like the great outdoors, or their imagination, without being whisked away to the next organized activity or agenda. They will grow up with less frenetic energy and with a greater appreciation for life’s little things. And it will be easier for them to stay connected to the spaciousness of their heart, where the voice of intuition is heard.
“Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling
that you cherished them.” ~ Richard L. Evans
Children are meant to play, and to learn and grow through play. When you take this away from them, when you impose too much academia and responsibility on them, they become little adults instead of children. Encourage them to unplug from technology and play outside. Take them into nature where the stillness invites presence and the vastness invites adventure. And play with them. Take time every day to play with them, even if it’s only for five minutes. They won’t be young forever, so do it now, and allow their playful spirit to remind you of your own. When you remember to play, you remember your Self and the intuitive voice that lies within.
“While you try to teach your children all about life, your children teach us what life is all about.” ~ Angela Schwindt
When you see children as vast, unlimited beings of creativity and insight that have come here with innate gifts and an inner guidance system you realize that as adults your responsibility is to support them to actualize all that is true for them. You must grow beyond simply providing for children and preparing them for the future, to playing with them and hearing them in the now. You must not only educate their intellectual mind, but create room for their heart’s intelligence to educate you and our world. And you must make inner reflection and self-care a priority so that you live from your heart and inspire your children to do the same.
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Check out Vince’s book: Let the Fire Burn ~ Nurturing the Creative Spirit of Children, A Children’s Book for Adults