Kids Who See Ghosts

“Do I Need to Believe in Ghosts to Help My Child Through Fears?”

When a child sees a ghost, he or she turns to mom or dad for support, problem solving, or a fix to the situation. How a parent responds will influence the child for the rest of his or her life. Yes, that is true for all life events, but how a parent handles kids seeing ghosts is especially critical because a child’s integrity is in question, and the parent’s integrity may be questioned by the child. Both parent and child deserve respect, not brush-offs.

Many parents wonder whether or not their child is imagining the ghost, implying the ghost must not be real. And many parents ask if they “have to” or are “supposed to” believe in ghosts for the sake of their child.

The answers are not black or white because every parent’s culture, values, religions, views about spiritual life, and thinking styles influence those answers. For a one-time ghost event, it probably is not necessary that parents believe in ghosts. However, when the child has imaginary friends and continues to communicate with these friends in puberty and into the teen years, then a parent and child need to make discussion time about realities, worldviews, agreements and disagreements.

The four steps of responses to kids seeing ghosts follow…

1. Listen to their stories.

2. Don’t dismiss them or put them down.

3. Ask questions.

4.Observe how the child interacts with the ghost, and understand any stressful life circumstances that might be influencing the child’s perceptions.

When parents have the information they need, they feel more confident in helping a child overcome fear and put any event into perspective. Those four steps help the child stay connected to the parent’s heart and allow him or her the time and opportunity for further exploration and understanding. Don’t think that you can shield children from fear or feel that you have to take care of all their fears. Kids learn resilience just like parents learned it by gaining life experience with confidence in knowing mom or dad support them.

The minimum attitude a parent could offer for a child who sees ghosts would be one of possibility: “Maybe you do see something.” The moderate attitude would be, “Let’s explore and learn together.” A breast cancer survivor shared her mental focus with me as she was going through treatment, and I think it is applicable here. Each day, she said to herself: “It is what is it is.” This means she focused precisely on each event of that day, whether it was making a sandwich or having chemotherapy.

Whether your child refuses to go into his or her bedroom because a ghost lives there, sees the spirit of Uncle Lou in the corner of garage, or talks to an angel, it is what it is! Whether or not you believe in ghosts or feel your child is playing a game, it is still what it is. That attitude keeps you focused on the event and your child, and keeps you from spinning into fears or fatigue.

When we suggest a parent believe, we mean to believe in the child—to believe that the child believes!
—Caron Goode

I had the pleasure of being the 7th blog stop on Dr. Caron Goode’s blog tour for an amazing book, Kids Who See Ghosts, guide them through their fear. If you missed yesterday’s blog stop, check out http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com for Yvonne Perry’s interview of the award-winning author, Dr. Caron Goode.

To continue the blog tour on stop 8, please visit http://luannschindler.com/ for a discussion of why people don’t want to talk about ghosts. What are we afraid of?

Don’t forget to check out Dr. Goode’s prior book, Raising Intuitive Children for guidance regarding parenting intuitive kids.

Comments

  1. Felicia P. says:

    My daughter is 4 yrs old. She has always had the ability to see things that others can not. She has seen family members that have been gone since before she was born. she knows information from before she was born that nobody has ever told her. And She has what she calls her Ghost Friend. She tells us its a boy older than her and he always wears a grey t-shirt and jeans. She hasnt told us a name for him yet however she has told me He has been her friend since we lived in another city. She says GF is very nice to her.
    In 2009 I lost a set of twins and I didnt know how to explain the situation to a 3 yr old so I didnt. Well after a month or so passed I found her on my mantle twisting the urns. When I asked her what she was doing she told me she was showing her baby brother and sister their room and talking to them.
    I fully believe that what my daughter is experiencing is real. She is well beyond her yrs. She is an old soul…
    Now I have a 9 month old son who I also believe sees ppl that have already passed away. He’s had a few experiences that I remember my daughter having at a very very young age.

    • Hi I was searching the internet trying to find some help. I have a 16 month old and a 4 month old, both I know see spirits in our house. I’ve managed to get a orb photo of one! The purpose of me contacting you (or anyone that can help) is that the spirits don’t cast any fear or ill will, however I’m starting to have a problem with them. They are keeping the kids up, I’ll hear my oldest “talking” in her room until late, and some nights she is completely unable to sleep at all, like last night she was up from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.! ANYWAY I was just wondering if you have had any problems like this and how did you handle them? I don’t mind their “friends” being around but the not sleeping is becoming an issue. Any help would be great! Thanks.

  2. I have a 4YO daughter who says she sees a ghost in the bedroom. I did not dismiss it, and tried not to encourage, since it could be just a story. I calmly asked her what it looks like, where she sees it, does it talk to her, does it touch her or hurt her, etc. The description she gave is of an oval-shaped, “gooey” object that comes from “the sky” and does not speak, but makes an “oooh” sound. She says it doesn’t touch her because it doesn’t have arms. When we first moved here, she said that there were “nice ghost-es” outside that were “shapes.” I am worried that she sees one inside now, as it really seems to scare her. I have not seen anything weird or paranormal here, but it’s an older house that shifts and creaks, and I do sometimes get a menacing feeling outside at night.
    What can I do to help her, and get the energy rebalanced here?

  3. I have a 2yr old little girl this week she has been scared of something in her room. She runs out crying so i ask her whats wrong. She then leads me back to her room and points and says see it mommy? And when i ask her see what she says its scary. I have never seen my little girl so scared in her whole life she was so scared you could even see it in her eyes. 🙁 Please help me I dont Know what to do.

    • Kit Singleton says:

      Hi Annastacia,

      Although I’m not an expert on this topic, I do remember having nightmares and “seeing” things in my dark room at bedtime. After a little investigation and a lot of love and comfort, my mom discovered I was seeing the silhouette of objects in my room. For instance, a jacket hung over a chair with mom’s hat on the back looked like a real person sitting in my room to me.

      Whether your child is actually seeing a ghost or not, the fear your child feels IS real. Very young children have a limited vocabulary and understanding of things. The key here is to investigate the problem a bit then comfort and sooth your child. If you’re like my mom, you may find yourself crawling around on the floor, looking under the bed and all sorts of things.

      At some point, you may want to read the books mentioned above or contact another expert.

  4. My daughter is 3 months old and in our bedroom is our bathroom she likes to stare in the bathroom with her eyes fixed on something then she starts laughing and cooing really loud as if something is in her face making her laugh!! What is she seeing?