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Nurturing your Child's Intuition 

A book digest by VerDella Denwiddie

Have you ever hunted exasperated for the shoe your toddler misplaced while his worried tears or distracting behavior only added to your frustration?  Why not allow it become a game? Tell him to close his eyes and ask the "shoe-finding angel" to guide him to where he left it. Watch his intuition kick in, since he has not yet learned to use only his five physical senses.  In The Wise Child, a spiritual guide to nurturing your child's intuition, Sonia Choquette, explores the unlimited opportunities we have to nurture and guide our children to develop and apply their intuition. Children can use their intuition to find lost articles, choose healthy friendships, be more creative in their play and get spiritual guidance on any number of important issues. Parents can be more at ease while watching a youngster grow confident and self-reliant.   

One giant void in parenting and education of our young is helping them to be aware of and to use their intuition. Intuition, the sixth sense by which we respond to our environment, is a gift with which every soul is born.  Intuition makes a newborn react to sudden, loud sounds and to grasp a nearby finger or breast while nursing. Intuition makes a toddler cling to a loving parent when strangers come near and cry when forced to pose with Santa or the Easter bunny. Intuition helps a child to make independent decisions and to steer away from potential danger. Intuition can help a child become confident and wise, knowing that the tools needed to conquer the unknown and unknowable are always at hand. 

Why, then, do parents often dismiss or override a child's natural attempts to use intuition? Why do our schools value teaching students to ingest, manipulate and regurgitate facts, over using intuitive perception to discover and gain ways to understand and actually change situations that confront them. The answers are many and varied. Intuition is often confused with instinct and placed low on the scale of human development. It is confused with highly developed forms of psychic ability and dismissed as weird and irreligious. It is classified as unscientific, controversial or too subjective to be used in traditional educational settings. Most of all, intuition is simply not well understood or utilized in our society and thus is not a tool of choice when either parenting or in a more formal learning environment.

When should we teach our children to use their intuition? Well, intuition is not a learned behavior. However, we may help even very young children to be aware of this boundless gift. The best way to do so is to nurture and be openly expressive in the use our own intuition. There are three critical stages to nurturing intuition: expanding our awareness, embracing and honoring intuitive experiences and actively seeking intuitive support from the universal source. Although intuition is considered a sixth sense, it should not be used to "tune out" the other five senses. On the contrary, the five senses complement and support our intuition and are sharpened by our use of it. 

As an example, give a child a dish of food that is unfamiliar to him or her.  Notice how they examine it with all of their available senses. Notice how they may still reject it without tasting because they just "know" that they won't like it. It is that intuitive fear of the unknown at work. Later, ask a child to help you cook a meal that is unfamiliar. With your child, feel, smell and see how various vegetables and meats and more subtle herbs and spices come together. Invite the child to taste as you go along and ask for help in intuiting ways to fine-tune the meal and perhaps to give it a name.  Note the difference in the use of intuition, not to warn but to enhance the mood and to anticipate further enjoyment.    Children learn by doing and by observation. Once we are comfortable with our own commitment to using intuition, we need not wait for a special time or place to introduce our children to it. They will notice and respond in accordance with their own level of comfort and budding understanding.    Children are often well ahead of adults because they do not have to unlearn conflicting behaviors and beliefs. When adults sense that something may be wrong with an absent loved one, we often dismiss it as over-protection or needless worry. When we introduce a young child to a friend of ours and they shy away, we are embarrassed for their "rude" behavior and chide them into more acceptable responses. By doing such things, we rob ourselves and our children of the innate safety valve that should go hand in hand with normal social interaction. We can instead learn to test our vibrations to find out whether needless worry or preventable danger is at work. We can respect our children's boundaries and help them to develop social skills at their own pace, while not diminishing the value of their intuition.

Let's take a close up at how we may help ourselves and our youngsters become aware of using intuition to choose healthy friendships, be more creative and get spiritual guidance, all the while, just having fun.   Be aware and present! Let the home be reflective of the temple within!  "True intuition is the consequence of clear and accurate observations of the here and now. It is these accurate observations, once turned over to the subconscious mind, that lead to the most advanced insights." The author tells the story of a divorced client who sees his children only on the weekends.  However, during one weekend visit, he sensed that his son was ailing, despite the child's stating that he felt OK. The dad followed his hunch and soon took his son in for a complete physical. The child was found to have leukemia, at an early stage. He received treatment and went into remission. 

Since intuition is listening with the heart, it is important that we develop open and loving relationships with those we love so that we may more easily tune in. Here are some ways to be present with your family while developing those relationships. 1. When you leave work, leave work. 2. Go for a walk with your child and hold hands, if possible. 3. Have a family meal and bring laughter, listening and joy to the table. 4. Have family story time, using stories from your childhood or about your family. 5. Don't allow non-urgent phone calls to interrupt family time. 6. Make up bedtime stories as an alternative to reading them. 7. Turn off television and radio and spend more time in conversation and family activities. 8. Do projects with your children such as gardening, building and painting.     If you would have an honest, open child, be honest and open, even about difficult situations. Children are naturally intuitive and can sense tension among adults. While they do not need a detailed account of family squabbles or personal matters, pretending that they are non-existent may cause young people to act out their frustrations and create their own secret and oftentimes unhealthy diversions. It is better to make clear and brief statements that include assurance that the child is not to blame and that you (and your mate, if appropriate) love him or her unconditionally. Then, make every effort to resolve the offending issues. 

Be in the moment. When a child runs to us in apparent fear or anger, we often ask first "what happened", rather than stay in the moment of what is happening now. Pay attention with your senses and listen with your heart.  Hear what is not being said as well as what is said. Create a sacred space for acceptance and healing in the moment. When this is not enough, ask the universal source for guidance and help. When your child is a major player in the situation, do so aloud and in your child's presence.

Lastly, recreate your home as sacred space, physically and spiritually. Keep it clean and clutter free. If you choose to hang pictures, know that your heroes will be your children's heroes; choose carefully what you will display. Enlist the help of all family members. Respect designated private space, play areas and family space. Create an altar for yourself, using keepsakes and sacred objects, and help your children to do the same if they are interested in doing so. Include soothing music, aromatherapy and live plants or caged animals in every room to enhance the healing atmosphere throughout your home. Above all, encourage family members of all ages to reveal who they are in the moment and respect that. Refrain from judging and criticizing them for having different ideas and different beliefs.  Embrace what you have and more will be given! What might you do if, while sitting comfortably, you suddenly sense that an absent child or loved one is in danger? Should you try to get in touch with the person or just worry until you hear from them? What might you do or think if you later find out that the person was fine? These are some issues we face as we begin to embrace intuitive moments and meet with false alarms.  First, we need to understand that everyone has a personal vibration to which loved ones can and often do connect. We should also understand that our connections are filtered through our minds, emotions and existing patterns of response. What we sense may be our own fears about the person, or a psychic "disconnect" with him or her founded by those fears or by the child's own desire for greater independence. 

What can be done? Stay in the moment; that is all you have. Focus on your heart and think of your loved one. Say the name in silence or aloud and ask the Divine Spirit to surround that person with pure light of loving protection. Imagine the light filling up the person's entire being and the space surrounding and see him or her in complete safety and peace. If this is all that you can do it is more than enough. If there is some way to intervene further, such as a phone call with an honest offering of what you are feeling, then do this as well. And, when the person returns unharmed, know that it still may not have been a false alarm. Your prayers may well have averted the danger.   You may also diminish false alarms by developing more sensitive vibrations?  On a daily basis, pay attention to whatever vibrations you feel; for where attention goes, energy flows. Keep a notebook nearby and jot down hunches, vibrations and similar experiences, especially about those with whom you have close emotional connections. Check these out when you can and note the outcome. Laugh if you are totally off and celebrate your successes. Know that your successes will multiply.

Practice the following bonding exercises with your children to strengthen the psychic lifeline between you. Place one hand on your heart and the other on your child's heart. Close your eyes and breathe gently. Notice what you sense about your child's energy and ask the child to share what he is feeling physically, mentally and emotionally. Share what you are sensing as well with your child, but don't be overly analytical or attempt to be too exact.  Massage your child's feet and ask her to massage yours. Notice the energy you feel coming from the child's body and how that energy affects your own.  Sit, hold hands and breathe quietly with your child. Create other exercises that help you get in touch with your child's energy field in a loving responsive way.    

Be playful, be creative, be intuitive! Remember the toddler who is shy of strangers and afraid of the Easter Bunny?  He is only protecting his aura from perceived invasion by an "alien."  Respect this but help the child to understand his protective field. As early as seems feasible, introduce your child to the auric field. Ask him to place his feet solidly on the ground and breathe quietly. Then, holding his hands in front of him, palms facing each other a few inches apart, ask him to slowly move his hands in circles and describe the sensations he feels.   After practicing this for a bit, have him move his palms towards and away from one another, again slowly. As he becomes better able to feel his own aura, allow him to sense yours. Walk towards one another until your auric fields touch. Do this slowly backwards to see how close you get, without looking, before you feel the other's aura. Practice walking away until you feel disconnected. Create other auric games. 

Afterwards, show your child how to cleanse the aura. This is helpful when children find themselves in uncomfortable situations or around strangers.  Even when someone with whom they feel safe is also there, they may need to politely excuse themselves or ask privately to be taken away. (The author tells the story of a client whose son felt "spooked" in the presence of a family friend. A few years later the person was arrested for attempting to sexually assault a child.) Once they remove themselves from the intrusion, they may go into a private space, or outside and stomp, shake their hands vigorously or jump up and down. Show them how to replenish their energy from the earth by imagining that pure energy from the earth is rising into their bodies through their feet or down through their heads.  

Creative tools include making a miracle box to hold wishes, dreams and intuitive hunches. These can be written as an annual ritual or as the need arises. Each issue should be written on a separate piece of paper. Be sure to let your child know that the universe does not operate on our time scale so that she won't become impatient for results. When the dream or hunch materializes, remove the paper and ceremoniously discard it with gratitude, humility and joy. Other creative intuitive endeavors are card games that emphasize concentration, guessing who is phoning before the phone is answered, playing games with blindfolds or guessing the contents of treasure boxes. You may even intuit your way through the plot of a family video if you can do so without disturbing others. This can be great for older children who can keep paper and pen nearby and anticipate events before they happen. Be sure to laugh loudest at your own misses so that your child may learn to laugh at his. 

Above all, do not miss opportunities for helping your youngster turn inward to verify or validate external experiences. Let her know that her closest friend is her intuition, when trusted friends and family members are not nearby. Whether it is a situation or a person, apparent friend or unknown stranger who sets off the alarm inside of her, she should listen and respond in a manner that ensures her own or another's safety.

When all else fails call on the spiritual powers! This is not placed last to diminish its importance. On the contrary, intuition is clearly a spiritual practice. But know that just our aura is a clear indication that the our body is supported and enlivened by spiritual forces, so are there benevolent and powerful spiritual forces beyond ourselves that support and enliven the world as we know it. You may discuss these forces in whatever manner is acceptable to you and comfortable to your child. But assure him that turning it over to the universal divine forces for resolution may surmount any difficulty. It may be as simple as deciding between two coveted summer vacation choices or as formidable as facing a difficult separation from a loved one. It may, of course, not include cheating or manipulating someone else's freedom to choose. Simply state the issue as clearly as possible, state the discomfort to be removed or the desired outcome and ask for guidance to reach the desired goal or another which may be better for the child from the soul's point of view. Then dismiss the worry and proceed as though a favored outcome is promised. Listen to the intuitive voice within and consider changing directions if the inner voice suggests it. Intuition is the muscle of our spirit. The more we use it, the more powerful it will become.       

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