Q Transmissions

Post-Indigo linkage

Posted in links by Heather on November 29, 2008

Thanks again to Cathy Jacobs for being our guest.

Also, please give us your thoughts on the show in the comments. I wanna know how you felt about it. I mean, we always do, but this one in particular.

(Thanks also to Des for some of these links. But the really scienc-ey one is mine. I’m just sayin’.)

The Skeptic’s Dictionary’s take

A short (8 min.) documentary on Indigos

The study mentioned in the above doc

Is Your Kid Gifted? Probably Not.

The Power (and Peril) of Praising Your Kids

Little Boy Blue

Are They Here to Save the World?

Indigo Glow

Alien-ated Youth: They’re the next step in human evolution. And they’re just like everybody else.

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12 Responses

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  1. Nathan said, on November 30, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    I have been trying to formulate my opinion on the guest for this show in as diplomatic a way as possible. On the one hand I can appreciate the difficulty of a single parent raising a child who has behavioral issues, surely that will stress out any parent. On the other hand all parents do play a role in molding their children’s beliefs, behaviors and actions.

    I have to wonder what an upbringing like the one described in the show would do to a child. From repeated trips to the pediatric psychologists (with the expectation that he would be labeled as crazy) to finally being told that his nature was uncontrollable due to some esoteric reason beyond his grasp has got to have a negative effect on a child’s development.

    How must his life have been growing up as more and more doors were closed to him due to his inability to cope and change. I think it would be interesting to see how many so called indigo children have excelled after such an upbringing, according to many resources they have been around for 3 decades or more. I’m not talking about those that are claimed to be such after the fact, but those who were raised to believe that they are indigo. Some of the more balanced post show links appear to show a negative effect.

    When I called some may have detected that my tone of voice was a bit more controlled than normal, this is because I recognized some of what was happening in this child’s upbringing from my own. I wasn’t labeled indigo by my parents, rest assured though there were similarities with how my parents treated me. I don’t blame or hate my parents for how I turned out, I do however see how it could have gone very wrong, I think the guest for this show is an example of how that can happen.

    I apologize for the length of this post, I have been rewriting it several times since Friday.

  2. Heather said, on November 30, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    I was torn about this show.

    I was grateful to have her as a guest, but frankly, I was disturbed by her story. I cannot believe that any responsible, non-woo psychologist would send a kid home and tell the mother to, “just love him” after he acted like he did.

    And yes, based on what I’ve read, not a lot of these kids grow up to do anything exceptional. Whether because they indeed aren’t exceptional or because they rebel against what they’ve been told all their lives is hard to say. (Well, actually, no it isn’t. They’re not special.)

    Let’s pretend, for the sake of argument, that this is a real phenomenon. If these kids are special and grand, they are still not served by being treated this way. No matter how smart, intuitive, or spoon-bendy you are, you still have to live in the world. You have to learn to be humble, to relate to others, to deal with life. A guru with a shitty, above-the-rest-of-us attitude is not going to be a useful or helpful guru. You know?

    And back in the real world, well, no one is a better person for being cossetted and worshiped. It’s unhealthy – especially if a potentially real problem is left unaddressed.

    Oh, and don’t apologize. I’m thrilled w/ your thoughtful comment.

  3. Desiree said, on November 30, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    It was extremely difficult for me to be a part of this interview. I’ve received some feedback pointing out that I was rather sedate, which is unusual for me. 🙂

    One of the problems was I couldn’t figure out how to phrase a question that didn’t seem as if I was attacking our guest. That’s not really an interview format that I want to engage in, especially after she was kind enough to do the interview on such short notice.

    That said, the article “The Power and Peril of Praising Your Kid” (link in post) shows the dangers of telling your child that she is somehow superior to others.

    I’ll pull a bit from the article (paraphrased in some places) for those who don’t want to read the whole thing:

    “The researchers would take a single child out of the classroom for a nonverbal IQ test consisting of a series of puzzles—puzzles easy enough that all the children would do fairly well. Once the child finished the test, the researchers told each student his score, then gave him a single line of praise. Randomly divided into groups, some were praised for their intelligence. They were told, “You must be smart at this.” Other students were praised for their effort: “You must have worked really hard.”

    Then the students were given a choice of test for the second round. One choice was a test that would be more difficult than the first, but the researchers told the kids that they’d learn a lot from just attempting it. The other choice was an easy test, just like the first. Of those praised for their effort, 90 percent chose the harder set of puzzles. Of those praised for their intelligence, a majority chose the easy test. The “smart” kids took the cop-out.

    The last round of tests were engineered to be as easy as the first round. Those who had been praised for their effort significantly improved on their first score—by about 30 percent. Those who’d been told they were smart did worse than they had at the very beginning—by about 20 percent.”

    So if we extend the possible ramifications of this study… by telling children that they’re Indigo, which is in effect telling them that they’re about as special as it gets just by virtue of being born, you are basically removing any motivation for them to try to be better.

    Cathy (or any other roving Indigos), if you’re reading this and you’d like to clarify or continue the discussion, please do.

  4. Angry Robot said, on December 3, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    I think this episode shows how one can be too tolerant of differing points of view. Sure, it’s all well and good to be respectful, and not act as a self-appointed police force over other peoples beliefs, but where those beliefs cause harm we can and should confront them.

    Studies show us that giving children too much faith in their own abilities does not serve them well. These parents, for delusional reasons of their own, likely more related to their own self-esteem issues than anything to do with their child, are setting their children up for a terrible fall. Children raised on these sorts of expectations tend to be unable to deal with a world that doesn’t see them as being as special as they do. Unless this kid works for his mother for the rest of his life, who can be there to tell him that nothing is his fault, and that everyone else is to blame for not understanding his “specialness”, he’s going to have a hard time getting over his own inflated sense of self-importance enough to be a contributing member of society. Fact is, he’ll probably become a petty criminal or a doped-out loser sitting in a basement mumbling to himself about how he’s the savior of the earth and no one understands him.

    I get why the Transmissioners wouldn’t want to confront this lady with regards to her gross parental malpractice, but I can’t help but think it’s too bad that child services can’t do anything about the situation. I hear through the grapevine that Desiree was also dealing with the death of her Grandmother, so her passivity was additionally understandable. I just wish there was some way to make it less easy for crazy parents to traumatize their kids. As much as I value a free and open society, the price seems to be paid by the children of the ignorant.

  5. Heather said, on December 3, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    I agree. I was, and am, quite conflicted.

    It’s something I’ve struggled w/ since the inception of the show – how to handle guests I fundamentally disagree with. What’s too much, you know? When does it cross the line into being too rude and having the guest hang up/storm out?

    Suggestions are always welcome.

    As for negligent parenting – don’t get me started.

    I still don’t quite believe that all those psychologists sent her home with nothing more than a confirmation of how stunningly awesome he was.

  6. Desiree said, on December 3, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks for the post, AR.

    This is exactly why I tend to frame a lot my questions in terms of “studies show” and “articles published”. When I frame it in that context, it’s less likely that I’ll commit an ad hominem attack.

    Thank you, science!

    But the concept of Indigo Children is difficult to tackle this way, especially when you’re speaking directly to a parent that feels that their child falls into this category. Maybe if we could have interviewed an adult Indigo, it would have been easier.

    And I have to ask… have we met?

  7. Nathan said, on December 3, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    this may not be an adult Indigo but I think it points to a possible danger inherent in the new age movements’ over obsession with the concept

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/408001/the_dangerous_myth_of_indigo_children.html?cat=5

  8. Heather said, on December 3, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Except for the spelling errors, that was a really well done piece.

    I liked this quote in particular: “The label of indigo is a misguided way to expand the womb, I think.”

    One of the myriad things that piss me off about this phenomenon is how spoiled the parents are. It’s such an obvious ego thing for them. And yes, it requires more work, like the article says, to raise your child properly.

  9. Cathy Jacobs said, on December 4, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Hi Guys,
    Thanks for the opportunity to share with you some of the early journey with my son Joshua. I apprecate the responses to the sharing., I honor that. First until we raise any child one cannot have truly valid opinion as I learned from having many opinions about child rearing, until I raise my children. There is no rule book that works with all children and I can assure you that each of us do the best we can as we are going through our lives with each child. I loved mothering this amazing young man, Josh, and the other magnificant children that have been part of my life, as he has taught me so much.
    By societies standards Josh would not be normal and he definately filts all the description as define in the spiritual community as an Indigo. This as both Josh and I have talked about often is just another label and does not effect how we do our lives. He has been offered many labels.
    In Joshua’s words no one truly has the right to judge us except us and we are a very happy family and ALL my children are amazing.
    Thank you again everyone.
    With great warmth, love & light

  10. Desiree said, on December 4, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Cathy… thanks for responding.

    As the mother of a 14 year old boy, I understand that, as parents, we have to try different ways of parenting until we come up with the one that best fits us and our children. It’s very personal and very specific to our individual situations, and we do the best we can along the way. And I agree with you… my son has taught me more about myself and about the world than I ever thought possible.

    My son fell into the “Indigo characteristics” category as well. Right down to the “big clear eyes” that people commented on for years, the amazing stories of “when he was big and fought in the war and had a girlfriend with red hair,” and the absolute lack of any tolerance for hypocrisy.

    My responses to that differed from yours, in that I attributed it to having a good-looking kid with a fantastic imagination, finely tuned intuition, and a strong sense of reason and logic. I encouraged him, as well as I could, to develop those talents by reading, writing and calling people on their bullshit, even when it was me doing the bullshitting. And the non-conformist nature (which I share) was and is supported, while at the same time identifying the various possible repercussions of going against the grain. Sometimes he gets it, sometimes not so much.

    I guess I feel as if I treat him as special to me, instead of special to the world. Because honestly, I think it sets them up for a lifetime of disappointment otherwise… because the world is rough and irrational, and no one will EVER think you’re as special as your mother does. And I think it’s good for kids to know that. I’d rather teach him about the world and how it works, rather than have it foisted upon him unexpectedly.

    Thanks again for your post. We appreciate it, and your appearance on the show.

  11. Smirking Robot said, on December 4, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    In relation to Heathers comment about psychologists telling a parent their kid is stunningly awesome..

    My parents were asked to take me to psychologists by schools on a number of occasions. Usually I’d have a bunch of tests administered to me by some grad students. Then they’d leave the room and come back with another box of tests, and sometimes another couple grad students. This would go on for a while. Eventually there would be a talk with my parents about how stunningly awesome I was. So it does happen.

    However, my parents usually suggested the psychologist try putting up with me for a while.

  12. Nathan said, on December 4, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Hi Cathy

    Thank you for taking the time to reply to our comments, differing opinions are what foment discussions rather than having the entire choir as it were preach to itself. To that effort I wanted to address a couple of points you made.

    I have a difficult time following a proposition that seeks to limit response by choosing selectively ignore people based upon: gender, race, age, relationship status, previous life experience (or lack thereof). Desiree certainly had a great response based upon her own experiences with her son, and I agree that hearing other parents perspectives truly has a lot of weight. Where I take issue however is your comment stating that only those who have raised any children can have a valid opinion. I don’t have children for example but my commentary was based upon my own childhood upbringing and upon research I did regarding specific claims, this of course included those who have raised children themselves. Essentially everybody brings something to the table in a topic which can be considered to be as subjective as this one and I hope that you can see that too.

    Now in that same vein I was wondering if your son would be able to provide us with his own perspective of being raised with the indigo label. Parents and children don’t always agree on the same things or their importance so there is bound to be some generational differences, if possible contrasting your point of view with his could allow for greater understanding of his life.

    Thank you again Cathy


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