We all have intuition – we were born with it. As children we use it because we don’t know anything different. As we grow older and our rational and reasonable mind develops we lose touch with it. We also lose touch with it because society teaches us to focus on reasoning and intellect for our decision making. We begin to ignore our intuition as we get older and many people forget about it altogether.
It is critical for you to talk to your child about their “belly siren.” Tell them when they get that uncomfortable or mysterious feeling in their belly that they should listen to it. This could save your child’s life!
When a child tells you that they are uncomfortable with someone or with a situation, it is important that you listen. For instance, a young child refuses to kiss their Uncle Bill goodbye after a visit and the parent insists that they give Uncle Bill a hug and a kiss. The child may instinctively be uncomfortable with this uncle but by insisting that they have physical contact we teach them to question their instincts.
Suspicion, hesitation, apprehension and fear are natural signals that your child may be in danger. Children are most likely to be sexually abused by someone they know so it is important to teach children to connect and listen to their ‘belly siren’ as this may prevent abduction or a sexual assault.
Here are important intuition tips to teach your children:
Treat all intuitive experiences as real and natural.
Provide a vocabulary for your child to express their intuitive experience. You can even brainstorm with your kids on a code word. We call it the “belly siren” or “gut feeling” but you and your child can get creative. I have even heard of a child who called intuition “the creepies” or “the woolies.” This is a way of calling attention to what your child is feeling without having to explain intuition.
Encourage your child to look within for guidance. Ask your child questions regarding his or her safety and really listen to their answers. Make sure you ask about their feelings and how those feelings led them to their decision regarding their own safety.
Give your child permission to say ‘NO.” In many cases children don’t follow their intuition because they are afraid of their parent’s response. My father taught me early on that if someone wanted to hug me or touch me and I didn’t want them to then I had his permission to say “NO!”
Teach your child that intuition helps alert us to dangers and that everyone has it.
Intuition is empowering to a child. I encourage you to help your child to recognize it and nurture it because intuition is a real gift that will keep them safe and serve them well.