Parenting isn’t easy, even if you have a “low-maintenance,” easily socialized child, like I did. But what if your child is hypersensitive to noise, has insomnia and night terrors, is easily distracted, and gets sick a lot? What if your child “feels” other people’s symptoms, and seems to know what’s going to happen before others do? What if others perceive your child as “different” because he or she has extraordinary gifts in music, art, or academics, but may have problems relating to other kids?
Idelle Brand, an integrative health practitioner and mother of two highly sensitive, intuitive children, knows what it’s like to parent children who don’t always fit the mold. Her daughter and coauthor, Diandra, is an “Indigo” child – -a child with extra sensory abilities. In their new book, Enlightened Indigo Child: A Personal Guide to Flourishing with a Sixth Sense, mother and daughter duo, Idelle and Diandra Brand, write from personal experience. Part plea for societal acceptance of people with psychic abilities, part how-to lessons for living with psychic powers if you have them, the book opens readers up to a new arena of parenting challenges.
Indigo, for those unfamiliar with the term (I was), refers to those with high sensitivities and sensory abilities. For Diandra, her abilities allow her to communicate with entities from other realms and heal others using unseen energy fields.
Idelle, a holistic dentist, first became aware of Diandra’s special abilities when, as a three-year-old, her daughter showed intuitive sensitivity to others’ emotions. She compares Diandra’s concern to a dog who, sensing another’s distress, will lie near the troubled person. As a child, when a classmate was fiercely scolded, Diandra cowered and even wet herself. Later, as a teenager, Diandra could feel another’s pain — she would know when a friend had a headache by feeling the headache herself.
Idelle became attuned to her daughter’s extraordinary gifts, in part, because she was on her own path of metaphysical healing after suffering from Lyme disease. She honored Diandra’s heightened awareness and embraced her wisdom. She developed parenting strategies that supported Diandra’s well-being, and includes many of these excellent insights and tips in the book. For example, parents need to be aware that their highly sensitive children often have food sensitivities, are affected by electromagnetic fields inside the house, can’t tolerate a lot of noise or strong smells, crave contact with nature, and so on. Idelle learned how to help her child stay healthy, calm, and safe — inside the house and out — and the tools she shares are invaluable.
The Brands’ message hits home for anyone who has a loved one with — or themselves has — a perceived “difference.” In a society that values conformity, we pigeon-hole people with unique qualities into various pathologies — ADHD, autism and the like. Instead of inviting their knowledge, we are more likely to segregate, medicate and castigate them. The Brands contend that a special sensory ability should be respected, not shunned. Diandra’s dread of being judged and isolated kept her from speaking out about her abilities through her youth and early adulthood. Eventually, with her mother’s involvement, she received training and obtained advanced certifications to become a healer and to ultimately improve others’ lives.
Enlightened Indigo Children, with its firsthand account of trials, tribulations and triumphs, is written for teachers, caregivers, psychologists, parents and, especially, Indigos. It emphasizes the need for compassion and understanding when working with intuitive and sensitive children. The authors ultimately hope that showing the way to a new acceptance of people with sensory gifts will advance humanity.