Who Are The Indigo Children?

In the early 1970s, a woman named Nancy Ann Tappe introduced the world to the concept of Indigo Children. In her words, these are gifted children who have unusual or supernatural abilities and traits. Some say they are here to change the world and bring us back to nature and spirituality, others think this is human evolution at its finest. Either way, this isn’t your typical “he could compute string theory at 2 months!” gifted and talented spiel, this is a sector of new-age parenting.

What is an Indigo Child

Nancy Ann Tappe was a self-proclaimed psychic, parapsychologist, and synesthete. Her 1980’s book release Understanding Your Life Thru Color introduced the concept of people having an energy field and color that more or less describes who they are. She called the auras “life colors”. From her studies, she noticed that many children were being born with the life color/ aura of indigo. And they were special kids.

Some claiming to have psychic abilities. Since then there have been conferences, books, as well as others joining her platform, such as Lee Carroll and Jan Tober. The husband and wife self-help lecturer duo penned The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived, expounding on Tappe’s theory in 1998. A documentary (Indigo Evolution) and a film on the matter were written by James Twyman, a new age writer, as well.

Traits of Indigo Children

According to Lee Carroll and Tappe, the indigo children possess:

  • empathy
  • curiosity
  • advanced sense of self-worth and self-esteem
  • strong sense of spirituality
  • highly intelligent and intuitive

Sometimes they are seen as “weird” by friends or family members. The children are also known to struggle in settings such as traditional pubic school setting because it hinders creative thought.


Needless to say, there is controversy. Surprisingly, the academic community and medical community are on the opposing side of this argument. Many people outside of the New Age bubble (but even some who consider themselves skeptics) believe the term Indigo children is a cop-out for what should be a real diagnosis. Here’s why.


As it turns out, a large portion of the children labeled lovingly by their parents are also diagnosed with (or would be diagnosed with) Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. But the children aren’t being told that. The parents are instead steering them away from that information because the diagnosis implies mental illness. The overmedication of children is also a concern, so if parents don’t have a reason to medicate their children (i.e. a diagnosis), they are more likely not to, even if they might need it.


Skeptic and former Professor of Philosophy in California, Robert Todd Carroll said, “The hype and near-hysteria surrounding the use of Ritalin has contributed to an atmosphere that makes it possible for a book like Indigo Children to be taken seriously. Given the choice, who wouldn’t rather believe their children are special and chosen for some high mission rather than that they have a brain disorder?” Further, individuals with this diagnosis do require a bit more structure, as opposed to the lack of structure of education and parenting being emphasized.

Other criticisms of Indigo Children are from people who believe that the parents of the children are the problem. Many children labeled Indigo Children have some of the same identifying qualities of children who are being raised by narcissistic parents, who may have caused them emotional abuse. Slight red flag. So, for multiple reasons, this theory isn’t widely accepted (or known of).


In conclusion, the idea of a gifted child is very different than an indigo child. Take it as you will, and if your child tells you their *aura is blue and it’s not a phase, mom… welp, good luck!

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