Archetypes for Kids

Archetypes for Kids is a fun way to learn and understand your children to bring forward their shining talents and to work with their challenging qualities as a parent. It is great for parents who are working with challenging behaviour in their kids that they are at a wits end to understand what to do.

This is the LIGHT and the SHADOW in an archetype which is like an archetype having TWO FACES. This groovy little character is aptly called TWO FACE who is my son, Jordan’s night friend that I brought back for him from a holiday. This child’s toy is a great image to express the energetic material in a soul archetype.

The Light side of our archetypal faces

The LIGHT side of the archetype

The SHADOW side of our archetype.

The SHADOW side of the archetype

There is the LIGHT or the characteristics they benefit from or that add to us in some way and there is the SHADOW material which is viewed as the more negative demonstrations of those traits in action. These may be destructive to us, limit our potential or may even work to be destructive and limit someone else’s potential. As a therapist, I personally love to meet the shadow archetypal characteristics in a child as I can then easily flip the characteristics upside down and show that child or their parents their true positive potential if this archetype is understood, trained and supported to develop. This method is in contradiction with many therapeutic methods of managing children’s behaviour in that it brings the archetypal qualities forward not tries to suppress them and shove them in a box. When you try to shove a person’s archetypal energy in a box it get frustrated, builds up pressure, turns rancid or comes out fighting.

Step number 1- Give the shadow room to move.

It can be very difficult for individuals, especially children, to suppress and archetype and to make it go away or be inhibited based on someones request. Yes, some archetypes such as the fireball or incredible hulk can be very challenging to deal with, however to ask a person to not be what they are, naturally in themselves,  is very difficult. Emotional release therapy for children is useful to assist shifting stored up energy in a positive way. It is important to allow the child to become, develop and see potential in this archetype, but first it is important for the child to express the shadow so they are aware of it and it’s potential characteristics and potential of causing challenging behaviours and even unecessary harm to themselves or others.

Step number 2- Bring the child’s attention to the archetype

Once they are familiar with the archetype in the shadow, then it is time to expand on that knowledge to understand there is a flipside or a gift or talent that this archetype demonstrates that they may not yet be aware of.  Showing the child strategies of how to transform this energy into something productive rather than destructive can support them in relieving the built up pressure and to minimise the risk of harm to things or others. It is also not useful to place negative evaluation on qualities that are inherent of that child and that they can’t help. This just leads to lowering their self esteem and making them try to be who they aren’t and trying to pick up unnatural characteristics, like trying to wear a pair of pants that just don’t fit. 


A script of an interaction in managing the obstinate child.

For example, the obstinate child who is very stubborn does get out of doing learning tasks and avoiding embarrassment from not knowing all the answers, but I might say to them…”I can read…and you are still learning how to… so this obstinate or stubborn  behaviour is actually hurting you as you have wasted an hour of one-on-one help that could have made a difference for you.” I find this can turn a session around quickly when this student may have been use to the tug-of-war game play.

Archetype-obstinate child

Obstinate child can flip to shine into strong at WILL.


Step number 3- Show the child the LIGHT characteristics or GIFTS in that archetype and how that will be useful for them.


At this point in the therapeutic process, I usually see parents see their children differently for the first time in regards to those frustrating characteristics.


I use story telling to bring the child’s attention to the archetype that they demonstrate and I show them how that archetype can show shadow characteristics and how that effects their lives. I also enlighten the child of the same archetype in them and how that is holding them back in a particular way. I may say something like… “I love how you ….(have so much fire and passion inside you)…when you do this I can see that…( maybe one day you could use that to help fight a battle worth fighting)…almost like … (those brave and passionate people who tore down the Berlin Wall. That took passion and courage.) I love the look on the child’s face when they actually see potential in what many others have seen as shocking behaviour to be extinguished. It’s not that simple though, the therapeutic process is also to put safety switches and strategies to manage the “somewhat negative behaviour” when it immerges.

Step number 4- Show the child how a combination of these archetypes can bring forward a purpose or role that is genuinely wonderful for them as a unique child.

A child's personality is like a bus load full of archetypes

A child’s personality is like a bus                      load full of archetypes

As archetypes are based on “fabric of the soul”, they are enduring and often constant throughout the persons life. It is understood that a person has a core set of archetypes which can be in the order of 12 that can be viewed like a bus full of children on the way to school where only one archetype gets to drive at a time. This is a great way to look at the complexity of people and their soul material as it explains why we can be an array of complexities and contrasts. Haven’t we all experienced the surprise when we have known a person through one archetype, say the angel, who always acts their best, then are shocked when we see another archetype step forward and we have the obstinate child in our presence who refuses to do the least challenging of tasks.

What is exciting about the bus load full of archetypes is that some of the archetypes sit dormant and under developed and haven’t expressed their faces until we hit certain ages or experiences in life. So they can even surprise us of who our child can be…that we never would have seen coming.

What are some of these archetypes in kids?

Firstly, there are hundred to just get a grip on the vast range of presentations that we see in our young ones, but there are more obvious and frequent archetypes that we can track at a glance in a classroom full of kids and I would expect that most teachers have naturally and intuitively learned how to interact, communicate with and manage their behaviour to keep their classroom functional for optimal learning. If they are doing a great job, they will report a sense of having to work with each student differently in how they offer praise, give out discipline and even in how they approach them in speaking in front of class. Lets take this journey into understanding children with some of our well loved characters of learning Phonics being the Phonic All Star characters. Not only where these characters developed for a purpose to teach individual speech sounds, but were laced with intricate personality features and intentions to highlight these characteristics in the soul. Each character, whether a good guy or a villain where developed by myself to bring light their special talent underneath their characteristics and sometimes annoying habits. Follow their story telling in their songs, stories and lesson to unveil the mystery in the lesson they were born to teach.

Written by Katrine Elliott (Speech Pathologist)

Optimal Communications Speech Pathology

Pirelli Cinturato P1 Plus