Background information on the concept of indigo children?
December 11, 2004 10:54 AM   Subscribe

I keep hearing about 'indigo children' and how these special children are the next chain in human evolution. Are there any child-care professionals on AskMeFi familiar with the concept that can give some background information? Is this just a trend to sell books?
posted by ao4047 to Society & Culture (32 answers total)
I don't know anything about this, but from the Amazon page it looks like a lot of new-age bullshit combined with the parental instinct to think "My child is so special!" The description of an "indigo child" sounds a lot like mild autism or Aspergers.

Either way, it isn't the next step in human evolution. Evolution doesn't even work in steps, it's so gradual that it'd be unnoticable to any one person.

Also, anything that talks about "aura colors" is probably crap.
posted by borkingchikapa at 11:09 AM on December 11, 2004

Unless "a feeling of royalty" is genetic, it sounds like parents that worship their children and have trouble setting boundaries and guidelines.
posted by gramcracker at 11:16 AM on December 11, 2004

I don't know anything about this either--except that it's obviously completely ridiculous.

("I, for one, welcome our new Indigo rulers" in 5...4...3...2...)
posted by josh at 11:19 AM on December 11, 2004

Sounds like a recycled industry-standard definition of 'giftedness,' stirred up with a healthy dollop of 'sense of entitlement' and served with a generous sprinkle of 'guilt-driven parental overindulgence' and a dusting of 'justification for selfish behaviors'.
posted by Miko at 11:29 AM on December 11, 2004

Here you go.
posted by abcde at 11:47 AM on December 11, 2004

Response by poster: Oh hell - totally forgot to check Wikipedia. (slinks off in shame)
posted by ao4047 at 11:55 AM on December 11, 2004

gotta say that looks like el crap to me. soul color? my kid's special because he's self absorbed? Human evolution in one generation?

culture may have changed and I would even say that this is the cultural direction we are more headed towards - individual concerns primary, & rational explanations always trump emotions. This does not mean actually sensible ideas, but simply, that you have to explain it in scientific or psuedoscientific terms, rather than listening to feeling or conscience or anything indistinct. I'm a rational person myself, but I start wondering about these things because I basically agree with Hume that reason is impotent on its own - it has to arrange feelings and impressions. Pure rationalism is more mystical to me...
posted by mdn at 12:09 PM on December 11, 2004

Looks like a variant on "spoiled brat."
posted by crythecry at 12:17 PM on December 11, 2004

Carroll also claims to be a channeler for "Kryon," a spiritual entity who predicted the coming of the indigo children.

That really sort of sums it up right there.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:45 PM on December 11, 2004

Yeah. I read the criteria there and I thought "Hmm.... sounds like my definition of 'pain in the ass'"

Which is disappointing, because I thought this might be something cool, like some of the positive results of racial mixture, or something like that. Ah well.
posted by dagnyscott at 1:01 PM on December 11, 2004

Ok, looks like someone read "Childhood's End" a few too may times. Seriously.
posted by SpecialK at 1:09 PM on December 11, 2004

By the way, the fact that the book has a sales rank above 4,500 is PROOF that stupid people should not be permitted to have children.
posted by SpecialK at 1:12 PM on December 11, 2004

But these children are special! These aren't boob tube-trained high-twitch womb-taught children of parental megalomaniacs! They're special! They're better than ordinary children!
posted by five fresh fish at 1:13 PM on December 11, 2004

I knew a lot of women in Austin who SWEAR their kids are indigo children. They also practice attachment parenting, which appears to be letting your kid sleep with you until they're 23 and nurse until their whiskers start to scratch your breasts.

I thought their kids were bright, sometimes bratty, generally normal children who were a little spoiled and a LOT projected upon.
posted by pomegranate at 1:43 PM on December 11, 2004

This kind of projected crap just makes me want to cry. What a load of shit.
posted by LairBob at 2:06 PM on December 11, 2004

oh, and ao4047, next time some new-age natural-fiber-wearing-post-hippie parent shoves a book in your face and goes, "SEE?!" ... you can ask them if they truly beleive in raising their child according to a diagnosis of a mystical being who's channeled through a medium. That is, apparently, where this whole thing came from.
posted by SpecialK at 2:20 PM on December 11, 2004

... then again, I wouldn't know how to answer it except to stare at them with my mouth open if they answered in the affirmative.
posted by SpecialK at 2:21 PM on December 11, 2004

I'm so disappointed- when I clicked the link, I thought it was going to be literally about indigo children or argyria- having recently finished Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children by Greg Bear- and reference some new skin-related genetic anomaly.

Instead, it's just garden-variety new-age bullshit (as noted). Drats.
posted by hincandenza at 2:23 PM on December 11, 2004

fuck your indigo children! mine's crystal!
posted by scrim at 2:32 PM on December 11, 2004

I can top that scrim, my children are positively golden. BTW, isn't Kryon spray paint? maybe that's krylon - the color thing must have confused me. *must not sneer at other's delusions, not PC*
posted by Cranberry at 2:45 PM on December 11, 2004

Look, I too think new-agey crap is crap, but there is a sort of interesting phenomenon that seems behind this—the pushback against the totally indiscriminate ADD/ADHD diagnosis. If this is what it takes for some people to get that just because a child is difficult doesn't mean s/he has a disorder and to understand that the same things that make kids difficult in one situation can make them interesting little people in another, then I'm not going to applaud but I'm not going to totally comdemn either. It's better than feeding your children pills and ruling by terror so they'll just do what you tell them.

And honestly, every parent thinks his child is the bestest—parenthood rots your brain in questions of perspective about your kid. Just because these people got a fuity rot doesn't make them any worse.
posted by dame at 2:51 PM on December 11, 2004

Well, lots of parents think their children are great--not all parents think their children are the next stage in human evolution.

You have to admit, that is pretty lame.
posted by josh at 3:05 PM on December 11, 2004

Yeah, I guess I classed that under fruitiness. They have the wave after that all lined out too, so being the next wave doesn't seem so special anymore.
posted by dame at 4:12 PM on December 11, 2004

Dame has hit on something here. While people are looking at this and reacting by calling the whole thing ridiculous, it is important to note that this type of thing is indicative of parental reaction to a larger problem in society currently, namely the overdiagnosis of ADHD and the overprescribing of medication to children.

While we may think that blindly following the lead of the person putting forth this theory is not the best course of action, we must keep in mind that people have been blindly following the advice of many psychiatrists who have indiscriminately doled out medications whenever a child has shown an amount of energy considered greater than the norm.

I would caution readers not to react too quickly to their first impressions of the idea of Indigo Children, but rather look at what drives parents to follow this sort of teaching. Even people classically considered "stupid" are rarely as stupid as we suspect, although people of all kinds of intelligence levels frequently are desperate. It is really desperation that leads the majority of people who put their faith in questionable teachings and practices to do so.
posted by spaghetti at 6:27 PM on December 11, 2004

Response by poster: parents think their children are the next stage in human evolution.

Imagine the pressure.
posted by ao4047 at 6:31 PM on December 11, 2004

The real "next-step" in human evolution has already been discovered: The Tomorrow People.

Last spotted in the 1970s in England, because the short-lived 90's version sucked.
posted by davidmsc at 8:15 PM on December 11, 2004

Dame wrote what I wanted to write. Usually I find that weirdos claiming weird stuff are actually reacting against something this is also weird, but socially accepted.

In this case it's the totally indiscriminate ADD/ADHD diagnoses that have put an entire generation on drugs.

Since there's no current socially acceptable way hyper kids to not take these medicines, the whole Indigo Children thing seems like a good way to get out of it, while being able to claim that the reason isn't mistrust of doctors or current thinking in medicine (which would seem unscientific) but rather protoscientific.
posted by cell divide at 11:01 PM on December 11, 2004

I agree that the "Indigo Children" concept is shaky at best, but there are evidently some people out there who don't agree that...

Evolution doesn't even work in steps, it's so gradual that it'd be unnoticeable to any one person.

In Cartoon History of the Universe, Larry Gonick's claimed that at a particular stage in the development of human beings, knuckle-dragging, small-foreheaded Neanderthals started giving birth to large-foreheaded children who, as they grew up, were noticeably more intelligent than their parents and tended to segregate themselves (or be segregated) socially. I don't currently have a copy of CHotU and, while you guys are cool and everything, I'm not going to give my credit card number just so that I can get a peak at the page in question. But as I recall, Gonick did a pretty good job of documenting his facts, theories, assertions, etc. with rather extensive endnotes. So the theory may not necessarily be correct, but I'm willing to bet that he got it from a reputable source.
posted by Clay201 at 1:57 AM on December 12, 2004

I can't decide whether this is laughable or disgusting.

Leaning towards the former.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:53 AM on December 12, 2004

From the book:

"For those who think that classifying humans according to color groupings is weird and only for those interested in metaphysics, we would like to let you know about a brand new book called The Color Code: A New Way to See Yourself, Your Relationships, and Life by Hartman Taylor, Ph.D. This book has nothing whatsoever to do with the Indigo Children. We only mention it here to show you that the association of colors with human attributes is not just for the spooky group! Hartman's book deals with the Hippocratic or medieval model for typing personalities--sanguine, melancholy, phlegmatic, and choleric-- and assigns colors to them: red, blue, white, and yellow."

Huh...folks who type people based on the medieval model pretty much is my definition of "the spooky group".
posted by Bugbread at 7:32 AM on December 12, 2004

just as i'd resist the idea that my autistic daughter is "just like rainman", i'll also have to resist the idea that she's "an indigo child" ... i don't think either idea is helpful to her
posted by pyramid termite at 8:18 AM on December 12, 2004

That trait list makes the whole thing just look like the perceptions of SJ parents with INT kids. Note that many of the points are about frustration with the child not complying with authority for the sake of authority. The rest fit the model of T arrogance combined with N creativity well.
posted by catachresoid at 9:18 AM on December 12, 2004

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