Understanding How Your Child Thinks Using Astrology: The Characteristics of Mercury in Kids by Ocean Pleasant
A few years ago my mother told me, “I wish I had understood your birth chart when you were a child.” I was gobsmacked by the radical possibilities of a parent understanding the astrological blueprint of their children in early stages of development.
While astrology isn’t an omnipotent, catchall explanation or excuse for behavior, it provides a symbiotic framework upon which all of our life experiences and energy are intertwined.
Do you ever have that moment with your child when you bump heads but can’t figure out why? This is what I call astrological hardwiring. Just as you can’t run an Apple operating system on a Microsoft computer, you can’t expect two minds to perfectly understand each other without work and awareness. Just like a computer, when you learn the native coding of a program or hardwiring of a mind, you unlock a more seamless connection. Your relationship is not beholden to your astrological differences; it is a roadmap to common ground.
I know a birth chart can be overwhelming at first glance. We’re going to keep it simple and look at one component of the chart: Mercury. Mercury is the planet of thought process, communication and ego. It is the lens through which we see and interpret the world.
Characteristics of Mercury in Kids
- Children With Mercury in an Earth Sign (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn): These children either thrive with routine or desperately need it. Even when they rebel, consistency makes them feel safe. They may have a tendency to shut down if they do not receive stability and consistency at home. Things like enforcing a firm bedtime, screen time, etc., (even on the days where it doesn’t feel necessary) provides them with a sense of security that they need to function at their best. Make sure they are provided with tools for their learning style. Instill in this child that their worthiness is not determined by any exterior factors! The drive for success and fixations can make it easy to focus on material success like straight As or having the newest gadget. They love a good challenge. Consider enrolling them in chess club with a healthy dose of outdoor time for these earth babies.
- Children With Mercury in a Fire Sign (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius): These kids are high energy, excitable, impatient or prone to bumping heads with others. They come with a naturally shorter fuse, and need an outlet for all of this energy! A child with a fire Mercury needs to be enrolled in a sport and move their body everyday, so it doesn’t combust at an inopportune time (like the dinner table). Their naturally competitive nature responds well when you turn simple chores into a game! If they do not have a productive physical outlet for all of this energy, it can turn self-destructive. On the flip side, if said fire gets squashed by other kids or authority figures, they may become withdrawn or combustible, willing to do anything for attention. Re-examine your discipline in these moments and see how you can better meet their desire to be seen and heard fully. They are passionate in whatever they undertake, and need to be given the freedom to express themselves without judgment or ramifications.
- Children With Mercury in an Air Sign (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius): This archetype needs to be intellectually stimulated. Always have books in the car, quiet time for reading and writing, maybe enrolled in debate club! They are wicked-smart, learn quickly, pick up new skills effortlessly and may need more structure to follow through. Before this child insists on switching from soccer to ballet, can you set a goal with them to follow through with the season or program? These are the children most likely to get diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, because their minds simply move faster than other children. If they are not being adequately stimulated, it presents as restlessness, lack of focus, follow-through or discipline. That is not necessarily true of this child, but their surroundings have to appropriately challenge and engage them. Demonstrate that follow-through is needed, and with a bit of structure, the world is theirs!
- Children With Mercury in a Water Sign (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces): These children are empaths who don’t know how to process this skill yet; it can manifest as highly sensitive, nonverbal, deeply creative, moody or unpredictable. They feel everything, and may need alone time to replenish their energy levels and social bandwidth. Instead of poking and prodding them out of their shell, can you give them the necessary space they ask for, even with nonverbal cues? They appreciate structure in the long-term, but dislike being micromanaged. When you show them that you trust them, they will feel more emotionally safe to meet you with vulnerability and honesty rather than retracting in on themselves and shutting you out. Bonus points if you can encourage them to have a creative hobby like poetry, painting class, pottery, photography!
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