Having a psychically gifted child can be a disconcerting experience for a parent. Many intuitive children can find their gifts frightening and are highly sensitive to the opinions of others about it. They can have a rough time trying to distinguish the difference between what is theirs and someone else's stuff. Sometimes one parent will believe in the child's abilities, while the other does not, which can cause a rift in the family and confusion in the child.
Most parents want the best for their children, but they are not sure how to respond to them when it comes to their gifts. Should they encourage them, ignore what's happening, or hope they grow out of it? I recently asked a number of psychically gifted children, from the ages of six to fifteen, how they would prefer that their parents respond, and some of the answers surprised me. They had a few helpful suggestions for parents that are struggling with this issue.
(The children's names have been changed to protect their privacy)
Don't make a big deal out of it- Josh, an 11 year old boy who sees spirits, says "Don't freak out" when your child shares his or her abilities with you. Being overly concerned, asking too many questions, or showing fear can make a child very uncomfortable and unwilling to discuss it.
Most of the children agreed with this statement. They want their experiences acknowledged, but also want them to be accepted as a natural, normal part of life. They don't want to be made to feel like they are "freaks" or "strange," especially by their parents. A parent who responds in a calm, non-judgmental manner helps to relieve a psychically gifted child's fear and concern.
Ask permission before "outing" your child's abilities- Angela, a precocious 10 year old, sees auras and is an emotional and physical empath. Her mother is also intuitive and very supportive of her. Even though Angela is being raised in an environment where her abilities are considered normal, she gets a little angry with her mom when she discusses them with other people.Her mom is a self-admitted "stage mother," and has a hard time not bragging about her child's skills to her clients and friends. Angela is still struggling with accepting her gifts and it's important to her that her mother honors her need for privacy.
Never push a child to use their psychic abilities- Every child that I spoke with agreed with this. Parents want their children to embrace their talents and use them to the best of their abilities, but pushing them too hard can have the opposite effect.
Jessica is a fifteen year old girl who sees spirits and can predict future events. She decided to shut off her abilities when she was ten because they frightened her too much. Her mother also pushed her into developing them, which made her uncomfortable.
Her mother tried to help her get over her fear by bringing her to intuitive development classes, buying her books, and having her speak with other psychic children. It became a bit of an obsession for her, because she had turned off her abilities when she was a child for the same reason, and she didn't want her daughter to go through the same things that she did. She would literally drag Jessica to events and support groups, and it was too much.
It got to the point where Jessica refused to even discuss her skills. She began ignoring the things that she saw, and eventually her abilities went away. Josh doesn't like it when family members push him to use is abilities by asking him if he sees anything in the room or around them. It really bothers him when they do this, because he can't just turn the ability on and off.
Believe them- Most of the children that I spoke with have one parent who believes their child is psychically gifted and one who doesn't. The parents who are non-believers have a wide range of reactions, from trying to get their child to understand that it is all in their imagination, to berating the child by calling them liars.
All of these kids understand that they experience things that other people don't, so they get that some people won't believe them, and some might even find them frightening. Because of this, none of them discuss their psychic abilities outside of their immediate family.
Alex, who is an eleven year old boy who sees and reads energy, says "When I'm older I will tell everyone, but not now. People don't understand." When Josh sees a spirit that scares him, his non-believing parent tries to comfort him by saying 'I don't see anything. There is nothing there." This makes Josh feel like his parent is trying to prove him wrong, or like he thinks he is making it up.
Psychically gifted children, just like any children, need to have an accepting environment and people to go to discuss their experiences. If they think you don't believe them, or are afraid of their skills, they won't be open with you anymore.
Empower them with knowledge- Many of the children really want to learn more about their abilities. They are interested in websites, books, and people who can help them to better understand what they are experiencing.
When Josh explained to me that spirits were bothering him at home, he was surprised when I told them that he had every right to tell them to leave. Neither he nor his parent knew that he could do that. It's important to educate yourself as well, so that you can give your child as much support and help as they need.
There are a number of good websites and books that are for parents with psychic children. There is also a wonderful website, www.perceptivechildren.org, where parents and children can submit questions to their support forum.
Barbara Buck dedicates her time, along with practicing Reconnective Healing, to helping people to understand and develop their gifts. She holds seminars, workshops and private classes for all ages of intuitively gifted people. Please visit www.theomancollective.com for more information.