How To Teach Your Kids To Listen to and Trust Their Intuition

On March 27, 2023, The Everymom website published Brett Nicole Hayden’s article How To Teach Your Kids To Listen to and Trust Their Intuition.  It is an interview with Beatrice Moise, MS, BCCS, Board Certified Cognitive Specialist.  Hayden’s words captured my attention, because I believe that children can be taught to both listen and trust their gut.  Many often do this naturally until they face repercussions for verbalizing what they know. (Children and teenagers have shared stories of parents telling them to “be quiet” or “don’t say that.”) 

“It’s An Awareness Of Your Senses.”

Moise recommends that parents teach their child how to recognize, listen to, and trust their intuition.  Children can understand “It’s an awareness of your senses, the feeling of little butterflies in your stomach or suddenly being aware of your heartbeat or breathing.” She encourages parents to help their children notice when and how their body responds to events.  Discuss physiological feelings, so kids can witness or be aware of when something isn’t right.  She notes that it is important that children be able to differentiate between intuition and fear.  (This is critical for all of us, not just children, because too many people, cannot and/or do not distinguish between the two.)  For example, discuss with children that sometimes they may feel their heartbeat racing or experience rapid breathing, and talk about the circumstance (i.e. people and events) that happened when their body physically responded.  Children can learn how their body reacts when they feel safe, anxious, or scared.  Moise notes that intuition is not always right.  “The more we practice it, the easier it will become to distinguish it from fear and anxiety.”

Assist Children Trust Their Intuition

Moise encourages parents to assist their children learn how to trust their intuition, which helps them build their self-esteem.   She believes that trusting one’s intuition has a huge benefit of allowing children to know when they are safe.  It can teach them what actions to take if they are in uncomfortable situations.  “If they believe in their physical abilities, their inner strength will soon follow.”  This is a great lifelong ally in all kinds of decision-making, including relationships, recognizing toxic and harmful situations and people.

Moise recommends that parents discuss with children how to handle situations when they are asked or told to keep a secret. This helps children not only learn how to respond to a possible threat/unsafe situation, including ways to connect with people who will ensure their safety.   Parents can allow their children to make low risk selections, which do not have serious consequences, such as choosing something to eat from a restaurant menu or purchasing a gift.   Follow up with a conversation inquiring how the decision was made and how it felt by asking did you feel relaxed or uneasy?  Validate their emotions and do not “brush them off.” Using “I can understand why you feel that way” can open a door for talking.  The article concludes with “If you validate a child’s emotional state regardless of what you think, it builds a mechanism of safety for future moments of connection.”


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