From the moment my daughter was born, it was clear that the norms would not apply. If you are reading this as a parent who threw every recommended child development and parenting book out the window of a moving car, welcome to your flock.
Some kids just move to the rhythm of a different drum. Or enthusiastically destroy the drum altogether.
And thank goodness.
As a parent I never hoped for the good little soldier. And I certainly got my wish. The insatiably curious child who questions everything, demands autonomy, fiercely advocates for change, exists completely outside the box, and runs rings around my best efforts. I got the force. I got the storm.
As a psychotherapist specializing in early childhood and adolescent development, I’ve worked one on one with out of the box kids and spent years counseling their families. Whether it is delayed cognitive function and emotional development or accelerated cognition and the profoundly gifted, out of the box kids are a tremendous adventure. And adventures are fun, right?
Fun, yes. Also, tiring. I am not sure what is more exhausting, the constant search for what works or the exhaustion from knowing deep down inside that the recommendations of the experts you invite in may have only minimal impact and do so for a fleeting amount of time. For me, I can honestly say it’s the exhaustion from hope. Hoping that xyz from MD., PhD., LMFT, OT, etc., will somehow work. And some do, but never in a linear or expected way. Anything that has helped us through has always been the alchemy of parts of many different things. Take what resonates and leave the rest has become the journey. And I saw this same sentiment reflected in the children and families I worked with during my time in private practice.
And this doesn’t mean do not call in the experts. Definitely call in the experts. We know our shit. But also know that like with anything else out of the box you have to be creative. It is often up to us as parents to filter through what works and resonates to build something entirely new. And this makes sense. Wouldn’t the wildly creative and outside the box demand that we match their creativity in the ideas and solutions we propose? The key has always been to meet them outside the box. Quit trying to put them back in.
And for better or worse this approach is a lot of work and a fearless commitment to exploration. There is no map. We are drawing it up as we go. What a wild adventure!
As I have begun to include Human Design in my offerings, I have been asked a lot about what it can offer in terms of better understanding our kids. Or really the questions have come in the form of, aren't you like a scientist? What could all this mystical stuff possibly have to do with childhood and adolescent development? And when it comes to my own kid and experience as a parent of someone wildly outside the box, Human Design is the only book I have yet to throw out of a moving car window.
You may be surprised to learn, as a clinician, I make a pretty good argument for the clinical application of the mystical. From astrology to mediumship to energetic body work, there is something really important that happens in these spaces. There is a trust and openness to something greater than us that I think has real significance. Especially for those who live very much in their head. I’m not suggesting these ideas in replacement of traditional therapy and psychiatry, but I am suggesting we make them a part of how we get to know ourselves better. As Human Design teaches, our bodies serve us, our minds are here to serve the greater collective.
Get out of your head and into your body. This is so important. A deeper connection to our bodies supports relaxation, stress reduction, and ease. And yes to that. But also, this is hard. For adults. But, kids live here. They live in the body. It is often that when I do a reading for a young child, they are already so very much living their design. Sometimes in ways that the parent and I are envious of the ease in which they embody themselves. It’s beautiful and magical. And unfortunately as adults we manage to condition our kids right out of the magic of being who they authentically are. For some it is pushing them into a box. For others it is pushing them out. In a sense Human Design rails against this tendency by offering a blueprint, a set of ideas and experiments to try in order to honor their inside or outside of the boxness. When these experiments resonate it is magical for kids and parents. And the ideas that don’t resonate, well we toss out the window with all the other things we have tried.
More specifically, understanding the Human Design of our kids can be so fundamentally helpful. Human Design points toward not only personality traits, but also eating habits, sleeping patterns and learning styles. It can provide a great sense of agency for older children and for infants and those kids who experience verbal delays, sight or hearing impairment and just a more challenging time connecting and communicating a blueprint of these ideas to test out and how to test them can be life changing. If not only for the kids, but for the parents as well.
I have yet to encounter a part of my kid’s Human Design that I have thrown entirely out the window. Much of it resonates. Not only with me, but her as well. And for someone who is outside the box it has been a beautiful experience to witness her encounter something that mirrors back parts of herself she knows to be true. She belongs. Right where she is. Outside of the box.
I have to say that providing readings for newborns and children of all ages brings me an incredible amount of joy. Readings have provided me a way of supporting kids that feels very full circle from my work in private practice. And certainly being able to provide a reading and incorporate my knowledge and scholarship of child and adolescence development feels like a perfect match. And I suppose maybe it is.
If you have questions about Human Design and how it can help you better understand your parenting style and your children, send them my way. I’m delighted to answer your questions. Always. It's kind of my jam.
From outside the box,
Thank you for sending me your questions! I just love responding, so keep them coming!
This week I am answering your questions about SIGNATURE.
Here we go!
Your SIGNATURE is your clue as to when you are living most in alignment with your natural energy. It is the sign that keeps you on the right track. When you are using your energy in the most aligned way, your SIGNATURE will be a consistent presence in your life. When you wonder if you are living in alignment, rely on your SIGNATURE to guide you.
SIGNATURE is based entirely on your ENERGY TYPE. For example, if you are a MANIFESTING GENERATOR, your SIGNATURE is SATISFACTION + PEACE.
One of the beautiful aspects of your SIGNATURE is that it can feel different for everyone. As with all aspects of your design, it takes times to warm into your SIGNATURE. Being aware of other aspects of your design can also help to inform this integration. Your NOT-SELF acts as a polar opposite to your SIGNATURE, helping to inform the path of least resistance and confirm when you are existing in struggle. One of the most empowering pieces of Human Design is that it not only provides information to test out and experiment with, but it gives you real actionable tools to best live your design.
SIGNATURE acts as a compass, letting you know that the opportunities, relationships and activities you are welcoming are the best use of your unique energy. For example, I am a MANIFESTING GENERATOR. For me, SATISFACTION has a full body response. SATISFACTION feels like a burst of energy. Like I am buzzing and radiating in a way that can be hard to contain. Like my energy is bright sunbeams flowing out of my chest. It is similar to how I feel after riding a rollercoaster. Excited, delighted, invigorated and very alive. I experience PEACE as more of a quiet satisfaction. Like being fed well or fulfilled. PEACE is the absence of churning in my body or a constant seeking. I have learned that keeping my mind peaceful via courses and intellectual pursuits that light me up is a critical part of understanding this part of my SIGNATURE. Also though, this is due to other parts of my chart - my DEFINITION - that informs that intellectual stimulation is important to keep my mind in service to the greater good and prevent my from devoting my metal energy to spinning out over my own problems and challenges. This may or may not be true for you depending upon your unique design. As I become more aligned with my design, I notice the nuances of my SIGNATURE. It can be difficult to put to words, but trusting that your body knows what your SIGNATURE feels like is an important part of the process.
There is so much more to share here and readings include a much deeper look at your SIGNATURE along with strategies to best illuminate these gems. Let me know your questions below. Happy to dive in with you.