Your intuition is your innate guidance system. It’s your inner compass. It gives you the coordinates to navigate life with a feeling of what is right for you. Here’s why it’s so important to nurture this gift in your children, and how you can do it with openness, compassion, and trust.
By Janine Emerson
We are all born intuitive. Some of us will trust our intuition more than others, and as such, nurture it more too. Part of our modern social conditioning, though, has been to deem intuition and feelings untrustworthy; instead, we tend to praise a more left brain, logical approach to thinking. Thanks to this, our intuitive process is diminished. But we can foster our own intuition — and that of our children — with some awareness and a few simple tools!
The first step in nurturing your child’s intuition is to begin with trusting and cultivating your own. Check in with yourself and your feelings. Are you following your own guidance? Our bodies are highly intelligent and offer us a great amount of information... if we are willing to listen. Listen by tuning in to the feeling in your stomach or heart centre. Scan your body as a whole.
When something feels right, we feel good — expanded, open and warm. On the contrary, when something feels wrong, we contract — our stomach or chest (or both!) may tighten and we often feel a sense of wanting to shut down, to protect. Passing this skill of body listening onto your child is an invaluable tool in helping them recognize and trust their intuition, and as such create healthy boundaries for themselves.
Ask questions... a lot of them
Ask about their feelings today. To cultivate trust in their feelings, ask your child regularly what they may be experiencing in their heart, in their body, or in any other way. Just listen. Hold space. Don’t offer any advice or problem-solving cues, unless they request these things. This can help them feel safe and open about articulating those feelings and trusting them to be normal.
Ask what they think and feel about the future. Asking your child about their vision of what lies ahead gives them the opportunity to feel into what their calling and purpose may be. When they are asked about how their future may look to them, it opens up their imagination and gives them (and you) a more expanded view on what path they may like to follow. This also allows their deep wisdom to shine, as children are quite perceptive and generally have incredibly insightful thoughts and opinions.
Ask how they feel about other people. Just like adults, children will bond with some people and not with others. If you find your child has a connection with a person, ask how that person makes them feel. If they have an aversion to someone, ask the same. These questions may help your child understand what they are feeling about family, friends, and people they meet, while letting them know that all those feelings are okay.
Allowing your child to form their own relationships gives them a great foundation for trusting their feelings, as well as for learning to create healthy boundaries around people. Many sensitive and intuitive children take on the emotions of others and tend to feel them as their own. Giving these children the opportunity to speak about who they have been around and what they experienced may help dissolve the holding of those emotions they’ve taken on unknowingly.
Ask them about what they might do in particular situations. Talking about hypothetical situations can help children cultivate trust in their own intuition and decision making, and empower them to act on those decisions if they appear in real life.
Honour and validate their wisdom
Children hold so much wisdom. They arrive in our world with a perception far beyond their years. As adults, it is our job to trust what they say and validate their feelings. This, in turn, will help your child trust and value their own knowing, and allows them to maintain their connection to those intuitive, inner messages.
Give up your position of knowing best
As parents, we obviously play a very important role by guiding our children as best we know how… but our children’s thoughts, ideas, values, and life journey will be different from our own. By being willing to put our own beliefs aside and simply open up, we give our children the confidence to speak their own truth to us.
Stay connected to the natural world
This is important for children and adults alike. The more we immerse ourselves in nature, the more we can quiet our minds and centre our hearts… and the more we can listen, tune in. Children instinctually relax in natural settings and their intuitive capacity blossoms. It’s here that our inner guide can truly shine. Don’t ever stop seeking it out!
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Janine grew up amongst the rolling green hills of the Northern Rivers of NSW, where she still resides with her daughter. She and her daughter started the journey of home education this year and the results are incredible. Janine is a practicing qualified herbalist and finds joy in making medicines in her home apothecary, as well as exploring the complex nature of human health and how we are innately connected to nature and our surrounds. She's on Instagram at @wildblendsco and @janineemersonherbalist.