As parents our top priority is to keep our children safe, so we hold their hands, don’t let them stand on any suspicious surfaces, give them safe food, and we choose who they are allowed to interact with, because we know there are bad people in the world. We do all of this and a lot of the time, we don’t really tell them “why.”
If we never tell them “why” how will they learn to make good choices later in their lives? How will they know to choose the healthy food because it will keep them full of energy and less likely to be sick? How will they know the limits and the talents of their bodies, if we never let them experience their environments with some freedom? But most importantly, how will they ever learn to use their intuition when interacting with people? This skill is invaluable and all too often neglected.
As we go out in the world with our children we shield them from “undesirables,” in an effort to keep them safe. We do this because somewhere over the years we developed our “crazy” person radar, or our radar to identify when someone is “up to no good” or doesn’t have our best interests in mind.
It’s this skill that i CHALLENGE you to develop in your children. I realized the need for this when mine was about 5 years old, and she didn’t understand why I didn’t want a particular person to talk to her. I pulled her aside, and explained what I observed in his demeanor that told me something wasn’t quite right, and you know what? She fully understood what I was saying.
That’s when I started what I guess you could call “Intuition Development.” When in public places, I’ll randomly tell her, “Observation time.” She’ll look around and we’ll talk about all that we see. The trees, the squirrels running around, the colorful clothing, the couple drinking coffee on a bench, etc. In any public place, we’ll talk about what’s going on around us, and I ALWAYS ASK her to tell me what she notices about certain people’s MOODS, and DEMEANORS: “What do you think he/she is feeling?,” “What do you see that tells you this?,” “Do you think that person is safe?,” “Why do you feel that way?” etc.
The goal is to develop trust in her own intuition to detect elements in her environment, because first of all, no matter how much we may want them to be, our kids are NOT always with us. Even if a parent does keep their kids on 24/7 lockdown, at some point, the kids will grow into adulthood, and they will have to move about in the world solo.
When they are flying solo, we should be able to feel assured that we have filled their tool-box with all the supplies we possibly could for their success. Using their intuition to observe the world will help them identify dangerous people and good people, it will help them discern a decietful person and a true friend, it will help them identify when someone is suffering or full of joy, so they can react accordingly.
Maybe you’ll agree with how important I feel this skill is, and if you do, I encourage you to make a game of it, and practice when ever you think of it. It works in any environment, and costs absolutely nothing.
Remember, there is no greater teacher than your experience Arm your kids with your wisdom so that when you aren’t around, they can still maneuver as if you were.