Talking to Children About Ghosts

by ScatterJaw

If your child comes to you and says, “I saw a ghost,” you may not know how to handle this situation in a way that will not frighten yourself and your child. Below are some of the do’s and don’ts of talking to children about ghosts.

A question asked frequently by parents, “How do you talk to your children about ghosts”?

The first thing you should not do is dismiss what your child is trying to convey to you or your partner. Children will know when you’re not paying attention, comfort them and listen to what they are saying.

If your child is under the age of twelve, we suggest taking this approach:

Calmly and gently ask only three questions of the seven, One through three preferably for the first encounter, four through six for the second same encounter; lastly, seven should be asked if there is a third encounter.

1. Can you tell me what he/she looked liked?
2. Does he/she talk to you?
3. If yes, what has he/she said?
4. Does he/she have a name?
5. Where is it you see he/she?
6. How long do you see him/her for?
7. What does he/she do when you see him/her?

Note: Frustration and confusion sets in when children are questioned repeatedly regarding a dramatic event. Hence, the three questions and stop rule. On the other hand, your child may volunteer this information to you. If this happens do not probe the subject matter, merely take mental notes of the answers to the questions you have already received. Just listen!   

By encouraging your child to always share their stories, helps to build trust between you and your child; at the same time giving the child an opportunity to talk to you about other things that may be going on in his or her life.

*Attention Parents*

The answers received from the questions above should be written down. Keep a record of all events to reference at a later time, for comparability and investigation purposes. If the problem continues, do some research on your property and surrounding areas.  

The Do’s
Take the time to get the whole story.

While your child is telling you about the experience, give your full attention. This will make your son or daughter, feel more comfortable. As well as, convey that what you are hearing is important. It will also encourage your child to tell you the entire story and not just parts of it. If children don’t think they have your full attention, they will not tell you everything that happened.

If your child seems to be too upset or afraid to talk, take the time to snuggle up together. Wait for your child to calm down and feel safe, then ask that he or she tell you what caused the upset or fear.

As a parent, your child looks to you for protection. Make sure you tell your children that you will help them understand their experience and that they are not alone. Always be sure to thank them for telling you what happened, and assure them that you will do everything you can to make this problem go away so they won’t be scared or upset anymore.
Remember to apply the three questions and stop rule

The Don’ts
You don’t want to confuse children by telling them that ghosts don’t exist. Nor, do you want to make your child feel that they made up the whole story. If your child really did have a paranormal experience and yet you say that ghosts don’t exist, it could be very confusing. Moreover, your kids might not tell you about any other paranormal experiences they have because they feel you don’t believe them.

Our children mimic our behavior. If you become upset, frustrated, or hysterical because of what your children tell you, you could scare them tremendously and put them under an undue amount of unnecessary stress. As a parent, you need to remain calm and really listen to what your child is telling you about any experience.

In many cases, it takes a lot of courage for children, especially older children, to confide in their parents. When they are telling you about their experience, remain objective and don’t express any doubt about how they perceived the events they are describing. Don’t tell them that they just have an overactive imagination or otherwise dismiss what they are telling you. If your kids think that you don’t believe them, you have shut the door of communication, and they may not tell you about something worse that happens to them later on.

If you decide to share what your child told you with family members, friends, or co-workers, you will probably get a heap of advice on how to handle the situation. While these people mean well and are only trying to help, follow your instincts and only do what you feel comfortable with.

Be careful, there is a wealth of information on the Internet about Ghosts and Hauntings, and not all of it is accurate. If you are uncomfortable about what exactly to do when your child comes to you saying he or she has seen a ghost, you can contact us anytime. Do not be afraid to ask for help in dealing with this situation. You are not alone!

This article is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.