I just started reading a new book called Indigo Children: the New Kids Have Arrived, and it's a revelation.
See, I knew to stay the hell away from traditional parenting techniques. Here's the rub: my kids aren't traditional. I mean, I don't even know what traditional is; but I sure know what it isn't. For instance, in Jordan's case, it is a total waste of oxygen to try to bully him. You can try it for fun, or put your hand in a blender--whatever strikes your mood--but yelling will not ever induce cooperation in this child. He is simply not intimidated. This-is-the-last-straw menacing tactics go nowhere with him. The only thing that provides effective discipline with him is predictable consistency and fair explanation, and I'm here to say that rarely is that the last straw that I want to play. When, for example, he insisted on jacking the the bathroom sink on to full blast, when the drain was already clogged, waiting until I was not paying attention to do it, and thus completely flooding the bathroom, I did not want to exercise a Fair Explanation for why this was Not Good. I am learning that he learns best by experience.
The lesson of the Indigo child seems to be that we all learn by experience, and they're here to remind us of that. The cast-in-stone parenting plan may as well be thrown overboard. These kids require flexibility, openness, and willingness to learn. May I say that this sucks? It seems to me that things would be a whole lot easier if "because I said so" meant squat to my kids.
But it doesn't because, you see, they know better. That's the real situation here. These Indigo kids are preternaturally smart. They are empathic and intuitive and gifted, and what's more, they have an excellent understanding of the world as it was, and is becoming. Rumor is, this generation of children is here to change things.
That's why, according to theory, they have so little patience with institutionalized systems. Their purpose is to smash them. Hey, look, mama! The emperor has no clothes! And the teacher has no books and no money and art programs or recess! Look! Same thing for parenting. When I review old parenting theories, I'm not terribly surprised that we are living in a culture that is basically nuts. The old ideal seemed to be: break their spirit so they'll know their place, and then hopefully when they become adults they'll find it again. Hmmm. Flawed logic there.
So these kids are different. They demand honesty and to be treated with respect while still being shown their boundaries. It's going to be a challenge, negotiating a successful upbringing of these two little whirlwinds. But here's the payoff: the love. Maya only needs to stand next to someone to make them feel peaceful; Jordan gets so wound up with love that he has to run in circles. I'm willing to try something different, just to make sure I preserve that gift.
And the next time I'm feeling crappy because Jordan is not being quiet at the library, I'll just remember: he's Indigo. He's changing the world.