Is Your Child the Chosen One? Looking into Indigo Children
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On a youtube documentary binge, I stumbled across an interesting phenomenon that I had never heard of. In the last 20-30 years, there has been a resurgence of the labelling of young children as indigo children, gifted children who are said be the next step in human evolution. Fascinated, I began to dig deeper into the world of indigo children.
While some experts argue that indigo children have been around for a lot longer, the movement of labelling and actively discussing indigo children started in the late seventies with New Age psychologist Mary Anne Tappe, who noticed that the children being born of this era were born with an indigo color aura, a color she had never seen before (The New York Times). Tappe concluded that the new aura color meant a new evolution in human consciousness. There is a bit of controversy surrounding this. Some books state that the indigo aura isn’t really real, as Tappe had synesthesia, a condition where people perceive senses differently, such as tasting color or seeing noises (Indigo Children). Another source views Tappe’s synesthesia as the way that she could tap into these children’s auras, meaning that these auras were real.
Indigo children are normally recognized by their behavior. They are seen as intuitive, intelligent, and self-confident (often to a fault) (Learning Mind). They are viewed as people who will inevitably change the status quo and go about life with a sense that they are special and were put on this Earth for a purpose. Medical doctors tend to fight back against this criteria, dismissing them as Barnum Effect statements, statements that are general enough for people to identify with (some people also apply this criticism to astrological sign behaviors) (The New York Times). Doctors argue that parents may take a look at the list of behavior patterns, influencing their perception of their child or trying to subconsciously mold the child to be like the list of behaviors like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Where indigo children and their parents get the most controversy is within the doctors’ office. The labelling of indigo children really took off in the nineties, a time where there was (and still is) growing concern over overmedicating children that show signs of ADD and ADHD. Parents would deny that their child has such a disorder; rather, they are intuitive, empathetic indigo children. According to these parents, and indigo child specialists, drugs like Ritalin would only act to suppress an indigo child’s warrior spirit (Curious Mind Magazine). Some sources declare that ADD and ADHD do not exist and that any person diagnosed with the disorder is an indigo child. Other sources claim that there are similarities between indigo children and those diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, but there are select differences between the two groups (Mot Mag). Some experts have gone as far as believing that those who have autism or dyslexia are also being falsely diagnosed (United Light). Doctors have been concerned about this development, such as Dr. Russel Barkley of Syracuse University, “Parents who attribute their children's inattention or disruptive behavior to vibrational energy, he said, risk delaying proper diagnosis and treatment that might help them.” (The New York Times)
I have always been a curious skeptic when it comes to supernatural and metaphysical phenomena such as indigo children. I like to learn and take in what people have to say, and I tend to put a bigger weight of trust on scientific studies and research as opposed to testimonies. The concern over overmedication of young children for attention-deficit disorders and other mental disorders is not new, and still persists today. One of the responses to this concern is positing that these children do not have disorders; they are beings of an evolved consciousness that need to be medication-free and allowed to thrive on their own for them to live to their utmost potential. After doing my research on indigo children, I felt that while their hearts are in the right place and address a current issue, I still get worried that the parents are not acting in the best interest of the kid. Indigo children are often taken out of school so that they can be in a less restrictive environment. However, studies have found that while it takes a bit longer to fit into a standard classroom environment, kids who have ADHD will learn more and do better in the long run if they stick to regimented, structured classroom life in their childhoods (The New York Times). Kids may also feel an immense sense of pressure. In a documentary called “The Indigo Evolution,” one kid named Jeffery states,
“The most intimidating part of putting a label, indigo, on somebody kind of is, or almost was for me, the most intimidating [thing] to live up to. Because, you know, you hear all this stuff like, 'Wow, so if I’m indigo, does that mean I can’t wake up and have a bad morning?' Does that mean I never, you know, never get into a bad mood? You know, so I think the label can be a little limiting sometimes. You know, we’re just kids who wanna make the world a better place.”
It can be hard to live up to being a chosen one. When speaking about how children should be treated and cared for requires a fine line. I’m no parent, and I understand that the vast majority of parents only want to do what is best for their child. I have no doubt that the parents who believe that their child does not have ADD but is an indigo child are being sincere. As the most recent generation of indigo children become older, we may be seeing more or less pushback on the movement, whether it gave these kids fulfilling lives or ended up eternally warping their ability to function well. I can only hope for the best.
Rose Smith is the blog editor of Twenty-two Twenty-eight. When she isn’t writing about the world around her, she is often found listening to music, watching movies, and going on walks with her dogs.