Now, more than ever, it’s wise to encourage our children’s faculties of perception, some of which are called extra-sensory. They’re not really extra, as we know… they’re natural. Just in the course of accomplishing daily activities, we can create situations and games that affirm and strengthen a child’s natural abilities of observation, perception, intuition and feeling.
We can also set up experiences that show how change need not be stressful – in fact, it can be calmly experienced and even enjoyed. Children do need a solid foundation of trust in themselves and in their caregivers, as we are living in a time of collapse and renewal.
Things are going to change, and the emotional wave of fear will be all around us. If we support the child’s natural ability to see and feel their way through things, they’ll make smarter decisions and be less affected by fear.
There are any number of games you can create to heighten awareness. Children quickly understand games, and they love to be tested. For example, while driving with them, take an alternate route, well beyond the places that they are familiar with. Then at some point, ask them to help you find the way home. Let them decide which way to turn, and follow their directions.
In the beginning they may get it wrong, but once they understand this game could happen at any time, they’ll become much more observant. From my experience, they find the way without wandering around too much, and they can become very good at it.
Another similar game can be played anywhere you sit down together – a restaurant, a relative’s house, a shopping mall. Instruct the children to look around and observe everything because later on you are going to ask some questions. Tell them that if they get the answers right, you’ll give them a treat or excuse them from a chore.
After several hours have passed, ask your questions. Some examples could be: how many people were sitting in the corner booth, or what color was your Aunt Lillian’s blouse, or what was written on the sign in front of the shoe store. It’s observation and memory training… simple and fun. Such training is not just for the brain though… it can be upgraded into a ‘what feeling did you get from that’ type of inquiry.
Let’s move on to routine. Doing the same thing at the usual time helps children feel safe, and it’s a good thing for parents too. But keep in mind that too much reliance on routine can cause problems of stress or even fear if the routine is broken. I believe in breaking patterns now and then and helping children feel comfortable with change.
You can start them out in small ways. Whatever the routine is in your house, change it around slightly. Introduce an unusual activity, rotate where you sit at the table, go to a different store or a different playground and change where you place things. The point is not to disturb their comfort unnecessarily, but to nudge them away from their attachments and introduce optional ways of doing things. Communicate and inject a little fun, always.
A much bigger change that can be a helpful experience is to set up ‘no electricity’ nights. Plan these events with them. Get out the candles, the camping stove and lanterns, and watch the sun go down. They’ll probably have some initial objections and discomfort, but you can alleviate their fears and make the night a great experience. We want our children to know that we can step outside of ‘normal’ and still be fine. Prepare them, and let them see you comfortable in abnormal circumstances.
Now let’s talk about intuition. Hiding things and finding things can be good training. First, you can ask your children to each choose an object for you to hide. It’s a game, and there will be rewards. Once they leave the house, you take the object in your hand, look at it and say the name of it. Be aware of yourself walking to wherever you’re going and maybe even state where you are going. Place the object in its hiding place, and you’re on to the next object.
When your children come home and it’s time to find the objects, keep the hiding places in mind and see how it goes. I’ve found that there will be times when they go straight to the hiding place. Who knows if it’s because they can sense the location intuitively or because they have you figured out. In either case, it’s a good thing.
It’s also important to deal with scary images, as these things can’t be avoided altogether. I prefer to inoculate children against some of the dark stuff. You can show them a drawing of a monster and ask them what they think the monster wants to do or what the monster is feeling. Then ask, “What do you think would happen if we put a flower right here in the monster’s heart… or maybe we’ll sprinkle some pixie dust and dangle some butterflies from his horns.” You’ll all enjoy watching the monster get transformed into a silly figure.
I’m sure most of you protect your children from fear-filled images on television or in the movies, but you can’t be everywhere. Sometimes they will encounter it. If they do, talk with them about what they’ve seen. Help them to become observers, several degrees removed from taking the stuff directly in. If they realize that it’s not affecting you because you know it’s all made up, they’ll join you in pointing out the fake stuff, the gross makeup and the not so scary music.
Finally, practice calling them not with your cell phone but with your feelings. Envision them in your mind’s eye and send a smile: never anything negative in the message. Let the energy of love flow out to them from your heart/mind. Then invite them to come… generate an urge to come to you for more. When they show up, embrace them and compliment them on catching your message. Always make their response to your call very rewarding.
Yes, our children must trust their ‘extra’ senses. We are here at a profound time… spiritual war, physical war, psychological war. It’s our responsibility to protect them and nurture the gifts they already possess. Let’s train our children for the renewal as we train ourselves… with confidence that the new way is the way through.