Sometimes kids say "creepy" things. You know stuff like "the woman in my room last night told me grandma was sick" or when you ask them who they're talking to and the say "billy" and you say, "where's billy" and they point right next to you.
If you've never read these, do it. I wanted to tell some of these people they needed to donate their children immediately to someone else because something is way off! Why is your child imagining "waves of blood" rushing over them! No.
Okay, yes, some of these things are incredible material for the sequel to The Sixth Sense, but some of them may actually be worth exploring.
I am the first to submit that many children have vivid and active imaginations. I was one of them. I used to chatter endlessly while playing with my action figures and made up all kinds of "imaginary" friends to play with. I also had experiences as a child that weren't my imagination. Many of those experiences were alarming because I didn't have a frame of reference with which to organize them.
Some of those experiences were precursors to things I would experience later in life and even found out as an adult that my mother and father had similar sensitivities throughout their lives as well (typically energetic, psychic or intuitive sensitivities are typically hereditary-although all children are open to some extent).
Aaron and I love this show on the Biography channel called Ghost Inside My Child. The name is misleading because they make it sound waaay creepier than it actually is. The show follows the reincarnation stories of children. The show features parents telling the story of their typically small children (around four or five years old) who start to say this like "my other mother was an Asian woman" or "when I died last time..."
The parents usually write the experiences off as vivid imaginings but typically the specificity of information, names, death experiences and the insistence of the children forces the parents into acknowledging that the child may be sharing an actual memory of a past life.
A couple of my favorites were the 5 year old little boy who had creepily accurate knowledge of a specific World War II fighter plane and corresponding accurate information about a battle of which he had no prior information (including names), and the little boy who knew everything about the damn Titanic....because he was on that mess when it sank! Cue creepy music now.
Many parents of sensitive children who are now older can recall the occasional terror or confusion their child felt because of being overwhelmed by energies that the parents themselves did not sense.
Whether its reincarnation memories, seeing ghosts/spirits, or simply being highly intuitive, psychic or sensitive it's important to maintain an open mind and sense of acceptance with children's experiences in this regard. The hard part is learning how to differentiate between what is imagination and what is an actual experience.
In my experience if it's imagination the story or specifics of the experience will be incredibly flexible. One minute their friend may be named Billy and have blue hair and the next month they may be named Bobby and have purple hair. Additionally imagination tends to have elements that are obviously fabricated (although we could say that all imagination has a basis in reality somewhere).
Because children are typically unfiltered in their honesty if you question their integrity about sharing an experience of seeing or sensing something you can't see they will often get upset because you are challenging something as real to them as you are. wIf they have an emotional response, seem shamed, or shut down you may be dealing with an actual perceptual experience they have had. Often they don't understand why you can't see/hear/sense it too.
More often than not parents that are either unwilling or unable to entertain their child's possible sensitivities or spiritual/intuitive gifts and thus end up suppressing the child's senses which can cause problems for them later in life. Many, if not most, children are sensitive from birth to the age of 7 and then their third eyes close, particularly if the impressions are not understood or accepted by parents and their predominant culture.
Children must be intuitive in the womb in order to communicate with the mother. Throughout childhood most children are allowed carte blanche with their imaginations and as such their intuitive capacity doesn't close until parental and cultural messages about the nature of reality, science, and/or religion cause children to start discounting or "explaining away" perceptions they may have in favor of the current flavor of consensual reality.
Of course culture plays hugely into this because many Non-Western cultures would be aghast if children didn't have experience with discarnate relatives, ancestral spirits and intuitive dreams.
Parents reject or dismiss their child's sensitivities for a variety of reasons, the first and foremost is a lack of understanding on how to manage or discuss their experiences because they themselves have forgotten. The second is often a belief system (whether religious or scientific) that cannot cognitively reconcile how or what the experiences are and as such engender fear or discomfort with the parents.
Last night on Ghost Inside My Child two parents who considered themselves "scientific and rational" were faced with their young five year-old boy who swore he was a woman with Black hair named Pam who died from jumping out of the window in an apartment fire in Chicago in 1993. Sure enough once the mom got over the initial shock and disbelief after months of her kid insisting repeatedly (albeit nonchalantly) that he was a woman named Pam "the last time [he] was alive" she did a bit of internet sleuthing and learned about an apartment fire in Chicago in 1993 where a black woman named Pam (who was the only woman to jump from the fire) died. The mom later asked her kid, in passing, what color skin he had when he was Pam and he responded (in a matter-of-fact way) "I was Black". Mom did some more research and found pictures of Pam, mixed them with some other random Black women, and presented them to her son and asked him if any of them looked familiar. He looked and found Pam quickly, unequivocally saying "this one is Pam....that was me." Needless to say the parents were shocked and more importantly had to then find a way to integrate the information into their mental paradigm, which would take some time. The dad was visibly uncomfortable with the implications but submitted that "something was going on he didn't understand". As an aside I'm always a little amused because the parents will sometimes say "well maybe they have been here before" and I always want to say, "so have you...many times".
You can watch the full episode mentioned above.
People's reluctance to explore these issues comes from pure innocent ignorance about the topics or fear of the unknown. We recognize that not everyone is as weird as us and watches Ghost Inside my Child marathons on the weekends and so these topics can be difficult to breach or integrate. However, when you have a distressed or scared child who won't go to sleep in their room because of a boogie man, and the problem only gets worse and worse you have to start exploring the possibility that your kid could be sensitive to something you aren't noticing.
I'm not suggesting that all children who are afraid of the dark are psychic or intuitive or are actually seeing a "boogie man" (which incidentally could be a variety of energetic/astral phenomena), but because children are more naturally sensitive it could be that there really is an energy that your child finds unacceptable to their energy system and as their parent and protector it is your business to help them sort through the disturbance.
Telling them it doesn't exist or taking them to a child psychiatrist may help temporarily but if they are truly sensitive, then that will only serve to pathologize their experience and create resentment and identity discordance as they continue to age with the conflicting messages of what they experience on a subjective/intuitive level and what society/parents/doctors say is possible.
Of course, as a parent one must have the ability to sort fact from fiction and imagination from delusion. Kids are unfiltered If they say their dead Grandpa is stopping in at night to talk to them, nine times out of ten Grandpa is stopping by to talk to them. Giving your child the space to explore those experiences allows them to learn that there's nothing abnormal or wrong about their perceptions. It also teaches them there is nothing to be scared of.
Teaching them how to manage those impressions or sensitivities is more compassionate then telling them it isn't real or isn't possible. If you're scared of it, it's your responsibility to explore the topic in a way you can integrate it and help your child to do the same thing. The projection of fear, discomfort, ignorance, biases and preconceived notions of reality, right, wrong, good and bad serves the parents interest more than the child.
If there's something your child is a afraid of it may be a good idea of course to look psychologically at what may be going on in the home, their media and television influences, you know, all the normal things you would check. However if, for all intents and purposes, the child is free from influences which may be creating strange, terrifying or nightmarish imagery, particularly when it involves them seeing, hearing or feeling things you don't sense, talk to your child and find out what's going on.
Get the details. Tell them that they can tell whatever it is to leave them alone. If that doesn't work seek the aide of someone who can help the child develop energetic defenses. That's what I wish I had had as a kid, and now as an adult I'm having to play catch up.
If the child has memories you don't remember making with them or identifies with a life they haven't led or a place they haven't been, explore that with them. Do your research, get names (if they can give them) and specifics and see if it pans out.
It could be you have a little fiction writer on your hands (which doesn't necessarily mean that it isn't a past experience) or it could be they have an intact past life memory filtering through and at the very least you'll have fun exploring it. My sense is that more and more children will begin recalling past life memories, as a way to remind us all about our own journey through the ages.
If they have images that they say come true later or dreams where they learn things other people don't know, explore that, and ask them how they feel about it. If they don't like it or want it to stop, it's best to find someone who can teach them how to manage those perceptions.
If you have fear around the subject they will too. If you dismiss it, eventually yes, the experiences may stop (typically returning in more dramatic fashion in adolescence) but they are also being robbed of a perfectly natural part of their experience.
If you have trouble integrating the possibility of what your child is experiencing remember that you can build mental paradigms around the child's experience all you want but their subjective reality will still remain the same.
The difference is they will adapt to your worldview to please you but that ultimately they will feel uncomfortable sharing in the future if something happens they don't understand. Perhaps the most damaging thing would be to punish them or admonish them for it. That reaction is coming from your own fear and limitation and will create a relational wedge.
If your afraid your child will be ridiculed, teased or ostracized for experiencing things the other kids don't, that's a valid concern (although I bet some of the other kids are experiencing similar things). So then the task is to help them understand that not everyone (particularly grown ups) will know what they are talking about, but that you are a safe person to explore the issues with (a good rule for any issue the child has throughout their growth process).
It's the mystery behind these phenomena that create fear. Knowing what you are dealing with is the first step toward dealing with the "creepy things your kids say". However, it requires an open mind, and temporary suspension of what you think you know or believe. I can't tell you how many people 40 years old and older begin to have "strange" experiences/perceptions again and wished they had had the information and understanding to deal with it as a child.
We can proclaim our religious or scientific beliefs and facts all we want, but looking into the face of a child and telling them their experience isn't real (right, good, righteous, possible, etc.) will continue to perpetuate a system of silence that ultimately sucks for everyone involved. And who wants to suck?