January 12, 2006

Indigo children.

Here's an interesting article about "indigo" children:
Indigo children were first described in the 1970's by a San Diego parapsychologist, Nancy Ann Tappe, who noticed the emergence of children with an indigo aura, a vibrational color she had never seen before. This color, she reasoned, coincided with a new consciousness.

In "The Indigo Children," Mr. Carroll and Ms. Tober define the phenomenon. Indigos, they write, share traits like high I.Q., acute intuition, self-confidence, resistance to authority and disruptive tendencies, which are often diagnosed as attention-deficit disorder, known as A.D.D., or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or A.D.H.D.

Offered as a guide for "the parents of unusually bright and active children," the book includes common criticisms of today's child rearing: that children are overmedicated; that schools are not creative environments, especially for bright students; and that children need more time and attention from their parents. But the book seeks answers to mainstream parental concerns in the paranormal.

"To me these children are the answers to the prayers we all have for peace," said Doreen Virtue, a former psychotherapist for adolescents who now writes books and lectures on indigo children. She calls the indigos a leap in human evolution. "They're vigilant about cleaning the earth of social ills and corruption, and increasing integrity," Ms. Virtue said. "Other generations tried, but then they became apathetic. This generation won't, unless we drug them into submission with Ritalin."
I don't like all the Ritalin, but this new age stuff is worse. And it's painful to see the pandering to parents who lack objectivity about the bratty dimension of their own children.
[D]isruptive behavior has a purpose, said Marjorie Jackson, a tai chi and yoga teacher in Altadena, Calif., who said that her son, Andrew, is an indigo....

"The purpose of the disruptive ones is to overload the system so the school will be inspired to change," Ms. Jackson said. "The kids may seem like they have A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. What that is, is that the stimulus given to them, their inner being is not interested in it. But if you give them something that harmonizes with the broad intention that their inner self has for them, they won't be disruptive."
I agree with this criticism of the schools, but this indigo business just makes the criticism seem like part of a big mass of self-delusion and nuttiness. Thanks a lot, new agers!


HaloJonesFan said...

My small cat is unusually bright and active, acutely intuitive, and self-confident. He is noted for his disruptive tendencies and is highly resistant to authority. My response has been to put spare change in a jar and shake it whenever the little bastard jumps onto the counter. (My large cat is a lazy tub of guts. No discipline problems there.)

The boys:

ChrisO said...

This week's New Yorker has an interesting article (that doesn't appear to be online) about the suicide of a 14-year old gifted child in Nebraska. His parent weren't exactly whack jobs, but they clearly bought into some of this stuff, and dealt with people who were way into it. It's a sad article.

Henry said...

Back in Edwardian days there were religious leaders convinced that a nice little war would "[clean] the earth of social ills and corruption, and [increase] integrity"

Peace, war, some nuttiness never really goes away.

Parental Unit said...

I have an "Indigo" daughter myself. She is incredibly bright, extremely active, occasionaly intellectually lazy in her school work habits, often rebellious and not afraid to challenge authority. She will choose TV hands down over reading (which my wife and I are working on). She's in second grade. While I recognize the need to foster the overwhelming good traits and gifts she obviously has--I also recognize the need to encourage some restrait and discipline. That's called parenting.

If she wants to save the world later on that is fine with me too-but right now I want to focus on getting her ready for the third grade.

Parental Unit said...

I don't like Ritalin either--so to that extent I agree. I also agree that most active disruptive children need to be properly challenged--a thing many of our primary schools fail to do. But "help" like this from the New Agers is really no help at all. While I am not into "discipline" as an alternative to drugging them, a lot of kids need to learn a little more personal restraint too.

Dave said...

So what's the difference between New Age type thinking and traditional religious thinking?

I think both allow their adherents to reject objectivity.

The Krishnans said...

Damn!! And I thought my toddler was a brat when all along he was using his energy to let us know that he was an "indigo" child.

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

It's fitting, I think, that the article is in the Fashion & Style section.

Happy birthday!

onelmom said...

It IS painful to read about "parents who lack objectivity about the bratty dimension of their own children," but it's even more painful to meet them in person, especially when your own merely human child is playing with their little savior.

Yesterday, a friend told me about a visit she and her husband had with a group of Mormom missionaries who came knocking. Inevitably, the talk turned to family and children (our friends have two under two), and my friend made a comment about her toddler daughter's challenging behavior. One of the missionaries was a young woman (prob. a college sophomore) who gasped, "How can you look in your precious daughter's innocent eyes and see anything but good?" My friends burst into hysterics.

When the Mormon missionaries have given up the notion of original sin, that is saying something about the culture.

This friend is an anomaly in my parenting circle. Most of my peers really do believe that their children arrived perfect, and are slowly being corrupted by the world around them. Boy does that seem like a tough way to live- constantly fretting about the impact of external forces on your child's fragile psyche.

Maybe I'm just overly in touch with my son's bratty dimension, but it sure does take the pressure off. And it reminds me that my job is twofold- to protect him from the world, and to protect the world from him.

"She said that schools should treat children more like adults, rather than placing them in 'fear-based, constrictive, no-choice environments, where they explode'."

Last I checked, the adult world was a fear-based, constrictive environment where choices are often limited. How about let's treat them like children, and give them boundaries while they mature. The daily flareups of childhood are nothing compared to the explosions I've seen when a young adult learns the hard way that the world will never love or appreciate him as much as mom and dad do.

And exactly how are children who have been artificially sheltered from conflict going to answer our "prayers for peace?"

Smilin' Jack said...

This is nothing new. We had "indigo" kids in my school too...only back then it was called "black and blue," and they were that color because we beat them up a lot.

Anonymous said...

Yes, except in this case, Indigo Children were first documented over 50 years ago.

Indigos, they write, share traits like high I.Q., acute intuition, self-confidence, resistance to authority and disruptive tendencies

Pete said...

Whoa, let's not be too hasty about Ritalin. We're a Ritalin success story, thank you very much. Our lovely, angelic daughter was finally diagnosed as ADHD after struggling for years in school. And spare me, please, the lectures of properly stimulating her, okay? Believe me, we - her teachers, her pediatrician, tutors, private school - tried everything and nothing worked as well or dramatically as Ritalin. A lot of people have anecdotal evidence about the over-prescription of Ritalin but no one can point to any studies that show this is being done. Our daughter needs Ritalin to function just as much as anyone who needs blood pressure or cholestrol medication, insulin, or even eyeglasses or contacts, to help them cope what's otherwise lacking in their physical makeup.

Gordon Freece said...

Sounds like the kids are spoiled rotten. They think they should always get to have everything their own way, and they figure they've got nothing to learn from anybody. I've met kids like that. They were usually the children of Quaker/hippyish baby boomers. The kind of people who want to be told that their lazy, narcissistic little brats have a special aura, are genetically superior, and are never at fault for anything they do wrong.

Some of these kids were bright, but that's not why they were "difficult". They were difficult because they'd been raised by useless narcissists to be useless narcissists.

And Mom and Dad just couldn't figure out where it all went wrong.

Gordon Freece said...

Dave, I think the difference between new age thinking and traditional religious thinking is that the latter usually demands that you work at being a better person (by the religion's own definition, of course) than you naturally are. Judging by the new agers I've known, their thing was more about shopping around for a set of beliefs which made them feel good (and they're still looking, and looking...).

Ask a nun about what Catholicism entails: It's not supposed to be easy, and it's not supposed to make you feel good about yourself. Quite the opposite. There are people whose practice of Christianity (or Islam, or you-name-it) is a search for prosthetic self-esteem, but I'm not sure I'd call that "traditional".

So, neither one exactly advocates rigid adherence to the scientific method in dealing with every aspect of life, but atheists don't do that either. And by encouraging you to consider the possibility that you are no damn good and you need to change, I think traditional religion arguably has a better claim to objectivity in that one area than the new agers do.

Dave said...

P. Froward--thanks, that's an astute response to my question.

Anonymous said...

Ooh! Those Quakers make me so angry! What with their anti-recruitment drives, and their presidents and now their rotten child raising ways! We need to keep an eye on them. I say we surveil them.

Can I count on your support?

Tyler Simons said...


I'm not sure that I understand the points that you're trying to make. Can you be more clear?

Henry said...

onelmom, Mormon doctrine explicely rejects original sin. The young missionary's exclamation is comically consistent with her theology.

Of course, most Mormons with kids know better and would laugh just as hard as your friends.

I have to say, my 4-year-old sure fits the indigo description. On occasion he likes to draw on his face with magic markers, making him a literal fit. Now that I know he's a leap in human evolution, I guess I'll just get out of his way.

Kirk Parker said...

What Pete said! Naturally, my experience, like his, can be called "anectodal evidence" or "first-hand experience", depending on how one wishes to spin it.

OddD said...


That's kind of interesting viewpoint. "Prove to me that all the kids who are being drugged don't need need to be drugged." Your personal experience (which I don't challenge) notwithstanding, the burden of proof really ought to go the other way.

And I assure you, you didn't try everything. (www.iahp.org)

Coco said...

"I have to say, my 4-year-old sure fits the indigo description. On occasion he likes to draw on his face with magic markers"

What a coincidence - my 4 year old likes to draw with markers (thnakfully we only have color-wash) on her little sister's face.

Aspasia M. said...

What's up with bashing Quakers? Talk about religious intolerance!

FYI: American Quaker sects have a long and distinguished history. Quakers were heavily involved in the 19th century anti-slavery movement and supported women's voting and property rights. (See Susan B. Anthony.) Their colleges, such as Oberlin, were among the first to admit African American students in the 19th century.

(Meanwhile, several other colleges and Universities, which will remain unnamed, did not admit minorites until the late 1960s and early 1970s.)

Gordon Freece said...

quxxo, geoduck2: That's what most of the Quakers and hippies I've known have been like in their personal lives, and the hippie-Quakers have been the worst. In my experience, as I said.

Don't like it? Become a hippie or a Quaker and behave better.

I said nothing at all about their politics, but since you mention it, geoduck, Quakers in general have a long history of pacifism. It wasn't Quakers who ended slavery in this country, or put a stop to Hitler.

I didn't intend to suggest that Quakers were any different from hippies in general, but looking back at what I wrote, I wasn't at all clear. Sorry about that. For the record, I believe that you can be an idiot without being a Quaker or a hippie. Look at Pat Robertson, for God's sake.

Anonymous said...

I said nothing at all about their politics, but since you mention it, geoduck, Quakers in general have a long history of pacifism. It wasn't Quakers who ended slavery in this country, or put a stop to Hitler....

I didn't intend to suggest that Quakers were any different from hippies in general

Alert! Quaker-Hippie-Facists hate America! Gitmo. Gitmo. Gitmo!

Anonymous said...

First They Came for the IslamoFascists

First they came for the IslamoFascists
and I did not speak out
because I was not an IslamoFascist.
Then they came for the HippyQuakerFascists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a HippyQuakerFascist.
Then they came for the DemocratFascists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a DemocratFascist
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.
Senator Right Reverend John Republican Fascist, DDiv.

rafinlay said...

quxxo: I assume your favorite president, then, is the Quaker Richard Nixon.

Gordon Freece said...

Quxxo, I'm starting to wonder if you didn't misread the word "pacifist". But that's just a guess. I'm keeping a very open mind on the subject of just what exactly you're attempting to communicate (if anything), and why.

P_J said...

P Froward wins for best definition of the distinction between new age and religion.

Onelmom wins for best definition of parenting:

"...my job is twofold - to protect him from the world, and to protect the world from him."

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KCFleming said...

Pastor Jeff, I agree. Two great posts.

The errors of Rousseau-style parenting recur episodically, under differing guises. Spock was one such purveyor of the "noble savage" idea.

Every good Burkean parent knows the truth: that humans are savage savages that must become civilized in every generation anew.

The idea that I was born perfect, but society ruined me is a painful solipsism to watch unfold in an entire generation.

jeff said...

You may not like ritalin... but without it I wouldn't have made it out of 1st Grade.

Pete said...


Thanks for the reply and the link. I browsed the site and found the IAHP's stand, unsurprisingly, was generally against the use of Ritalin. (Correct me, please, if my characterization of them is wrong.) But while the author of the article I read offers her own experience in dealing with "brain damaged" children who are on Ritalin, she cites no studies to support her conclusions. Yes, Ritalin is a powerful drug and requires close monitoring. But some of the potential side-effects she cites are old myths with no scientific support.

I don't doubt you have a deep faith in the good people of IAHP. I'm sure they provide families with valuable help. But I think they're irresponsible to oppose the use of Ritalin when Ritalin has proven its effectiveness. I'd be interested to see if any studies exist that vigorously test the methods and outcomes of the IAHP as Ritalin has gone through.

Aspasia M. said...

Just to continue our discussion of religious "tolerance." I really don't think it's terribly wise or good manners to insult an entire religous sect. P. Froward isn't even debating theology. He's just throwing around insults for the hell of it.

P. Froward apparently doesn't know that Quaker churches can differ greatly in their religious "liberalism" or "conservatism." (Not that religious diversity in a sect excuses his off-hand insult of a entire religous sect.)

Read up on the abolition movement in America and England for the important role that Quakers played. (Or read about the history of Pennslyvannia for more info. on the important role Quakers played in Colonial American history.)

Unknown said...

Sounds wacky to me. Then again, some people believe in intelligent design . . .

Slac said...

You said it, Ann.

Right on the mark!

Gordon Freece said...

Geoduck, I apologize for assuming you could parse plain English. My bad.

I was very, very clear about the fact that I spoke only of people I've personally known when I referred to people behaving badly in their personal lives. This makes the third time I've said that.

Now, if you want me to insult an entire religious sect, I actually will, with one qualification: If you don't believe the theology, you're off the hook. But if you do believe it... here goes: Anybody who wishes Hitler had won WWII is a swine. And you can't be a pacifist without thinking we should not have fought. Pacifists are swine, full stop. There's nothing else to call it.

"Bad manners"? Bad manners is sneering at people who die defending your freedoms. Pacifists like to see themselves as something like aristocrats, too good to get their own lily-white hands dirty, but absolutely outraged when the "servants", who they despise, won't do it for them. They spit on the military, but demand to be defended. They spit on cops, but demand protection from crime. They're parasites. Utterly contemptible.

David said...

Beware of any pscychologist/psychoanalyst named
Doreen Virtue!

SWBarns said...

Human society is invaded by barbarians once a generation.

We call them children.

Call me crazy but I think "resistance to authority and disruptive tendencies" are charming traits in children. I have "unusually bright and active children" who are sometimes too resistant and disruptive but that's part of the fun of raising kids.

Brett said...

"Now, if you want me to insult an entire religious sect, I actually will, with one qualification: If you don't believe the theology, you're off the hook. But if you do believe it... here goes: Anybody who wishes Hitler had won WWII is a swine. And you can't be a pacifist without thinking we should not have fought. Pacifists are swine, full stop. There's nothing else to call it."

This is a stunning insult against men like Desmond T. Doss who refused to bear arms because of religious scruples, but served as a combat medic, saved tens of lives under extreme danger, and won the Medal of Honor for his bravery. You owe him and those like him an apology.

Jamie said...

"Resistance to authority and disruptive tendencies" are fundamental traits of children - and just because every child doesn't display them in the same way is no reason to assume every child doesn't experience them in some degree. I just love the tone: "You can tell my child is special because of how entirely out-of-control his/her behavior is. I of course do my best to foster this out-of-control behavior because s/he is obviously the True Child of My Heart, and I myself am resistant to authority and non-organic produce. Parents with less creative and individualistic children, who don't spend quite so much time feeling mildly embarrassed in public as I do [or more likely as my own parents do when they're with us - nothing my child does embarrasses me], will unfortunately never see their children evolve into Fully Self-Actualized Beings living over a convergence of ley lines -"

Sorry. Carried away.

benning said...

You can't mean that those children aren't just ever so special. Can you?

Good heavens! You mean they may simply be brats? Or worse, normal kids?


Sheesh! Indigo, my toches!

beautyyyy said...

hi. ADHD isn't real. either is ADD. parent's these days are fucking moronic. and if your kid is in second grade and choosing TV over books, cancel fucking cable. you idiot. TV is nothing but garbage. i bet you visit mcdonalds twice a week too.

the guy with the "ritalin success story"... HAHAHA. you're ridiculous. learn how to parent your child, not drug it. parents these days. looking for the easy way out.

indigo child

Unknown said...

We are a humble family of three. I hail from the Caribbean, and am an Indigo at 27, displaying 15 of the 17 traits. I lean twards the shamanic, and have frequent lucid dreams. I have also had three out-of-body experiences. My husband is American, and is a synesthete - he sees colours with musical notes. He was also diagnsed with ADHD, but his parents (thankfully) did not choose to medicate him. We are New Age parents. I exclusively breastfeed, and we co-sleep. I also use cloth diapers. Our child, born in February displays many traits of a Crystal. I had a natural birth with no drugs, and after 3.5 hours, my first child was born. I must say I enjoyed labour, as I felt I was in an altered state of consciousness. Tashi latched on and began nursing immediately after birth. At a few days old, she would respond to the emotions around her. After a few weeks, she seemed to perceive and respond to things that I do not perceive visually. She still does, and resonds to some type of entity/ entities with smiles directed to it/ them and even reaches for things that I do not see. People are unexplicably drawn to her everywhere we go, and she is discriminating in the way she laughs with some people and turns away from others. she is also highly sensitive. However nurturing we are of her abilities and consciousness, we are raising a hmble individual who will not be getting her way materially at all. She will, however, be challenged intellectually, and be always treated with a wealth of love and security. The main thing is that she is allowed to fulfil her evolutionary objective. I plan to homeschool for a while. Any advice would be welcome. Email me at babeewade@yahoo.com please.