Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Indigo Children
Indigo children are supposedly a set of children having certain special psychological attributes. The Indigo Child concept was first popularized by the book, The Indigo Children, written by the husband and wife team of Lee Carroll and Jan Tober. Carroll also claims to be a channeler for "Kryon," a spiritual entity who predicted the coming of the indigo children. Their views are representative of a small number of New Age writers and unconventional psychologists and who refer to an alleged "race" of children, sometimes claiming them to be space aliens. The adjective "indigo" is used because it is claimed these children appear with an indigo-hued aura.
Believers claim the proportion of 'indigos' in recent times to be very large and increasing, rising from 85% in 1992 to 95% at some point after 1994. In previous decades the proportion was supposedly much lower.
The Indigo Child hypothesis
According to Carroll and Tober, "the Indigo Child is a boy or girl who displays a new and unusual set of psychological attributes, revealing a pattern of behavior generally undocumented before." They assert these children are often misdiagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and they advise parents to avoid medicating these children for that condition. This pattern, they believe, has unique factors that call on parents and teachers to change their treatment and upbringing of these children in order to assist them in achieving balance and harmony in their lives, and to help them avoid frustration.
Carroll and Tober have not detailed why their classification is particularly more useful or accurate than approaches based on conventional child psychology and sociology; rather, they claim the list was simply channeled by Carroll from the mystical entity Kryon. They identify ten attributes that best describe the indigo child, which, as with predictions based for example on astrology, appear to have broad applicability:
- They come into the world with a feeling of royalty (and often act like it).
- They have a feeling of "deserving to be here," and are surprised when others don't share that.
- Self-worth is not a big issue; they often tell the parents "who they are."
- They have difficulty with absolute authority (authority without explanation or choice).
- They simply will not do certain things; for example, waiting in line is difficult for them.
- They get frustrated with systems that are ritually oriented and don't require creative thought.
- They often see better ways of doing things, both at home and in school, which makes them seem like "system busters" (nonconforming to any system).
- They seem antisocial unless they are with their own kind. If there are no others of like consciousness around them, they often turn inward, feeling like no other human understands them. School is often extremely difficult for them socially.
- They will not respond to "guilt" discipline ("Wait till your father gets home and finds out what you did").
- They are not shy in letting it be known what they need.
This new type of child is believed to have come forwards for a reason; most often cited is that they will improve the world in some way. This generally involves bringing peace, toppling corrupt institutions and banishing much of modern medication in favor of more natural alternatives. It is often said that the world will change a great deal because the indigo children will naturally rise to positions of power; indeed, if indigos are as common as it is claimed, it is inevitable that when their generation reaches adulthood they will occupy these (and most other) positions.
Indigo children are sometimes said to possess an extreme longevity, with a lifespan of several hundred years. This is one of the few provable claims, although obviously not within the authors' lifetime.
It is possible to use the traits assigned to Indigo Children as a weakly scientific observation of social trends, rather than as a signifier of a new race or form of consciousness. In this context, the work has been more accessible to skeptics of new age ideas.
Critics of the Indigo Children hypothesis claim that it is more pseudoscience than a serious scientific way of understanding social changes. The Skeptic's Dictionary asserts that "the main thesis of The Indigo Children is that many children diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are actually space aliens." Believers in this concept have proposed classifying it as protoscience rather than pseudoscience.
Indigo children are often the offspring of new age parents. Exposed to new age thinking, it might be taken as unsurprising that the children possess a greater fluency of 'spiritual language' than earlier generations. Having been told that the vast majority of children are now "indigos", new age parents in fear of suppressing this 'special' generation may be encouraging behaviors that would otherwise have been thought antisocial. The traits listed by the authors could be interpreted as simple arrogance and selfish individualism.
Just as critics claim many people tend towards astrology because it presents believers with complimentary accounts of themselves, critics of The Indigo Children concept claim that parents relate to the hypothesis because it provides a more uplifting conclusion than that of conventional science. The schema of a very gifted person being troubled during childhood is common in western society, and parents may prefer to believe a child who has trouble fitting in is especially gifted than suffering from a condition like ADD. Some claim The Indigo Children is mildly dangerous for keeping children from a scientific diagnosis, and for increasing the pressure on already struggling children by unrealistically raising parental expectation. To critics, The Indigo Children is a nice sounding, but ultimately vapid way to avoid addressing the moral panic surrounding medicines such as Ritalin.
- Characteristics of Indigo Children
- What's an Indigo Child?
- Skeptic's Dictionary entry on Indigo Children
- Bio of Lee Carroll on a New Age website
- "14 Questions: Live Kryon Channelling February 23, 2002 by Lee Carroll"
- Emissary of Light Website of The Beloved Community, an esoteric Christian church which believes the indigo concept to be significent.
- Indigo Children Meetup: Meetup.com group for families of children who are believed to be "indigos". Mostly active in the USA, but also Western Europe and elsewhere.
- Adult Indigo Meetup As above, but for adults who believe themselves to have been indigo children.
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