What is a Perceptive Child?

Perceptive Children are those children and teens who are gifted psychically and are open to picking up perceptions beyond the five common senses (vision, hearing, smell, touch, taste). Often they report unusual coincidences and communications (for example knowing what will happen before it occurs, or seeing/hearing a discarnate spirit) from early childhood. A Perceptive Child is much more in tune with their surroundings and other’s emotions and may in addition have unusual sensitivities, such as being more affected by a casual rejection or emotional experience or may be more reactive to the emotionally confusing states of others.

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Why am I (Athena Drewes) Interested in Perceptive Children?

I personally had a profound psychic experience when I was around 10 years old. After a disagreement with my mother before bedtime, I had a precognitive dream. In my dream I saw (view from a distance) unfolding events of a car accident, my mother being wheeled on a gurney into the hospital and being hurt, and my brother sitting in a wheelchair (but I ‘knew’ he wasn’t hurt). The dream had a very different type of emotional impact and the memory of it stayed with me for days. Two weeks later the dream unfolded exactly as in my dream. When I told my father that I had dreamt it two weeks ago exactly as it was, he stated that I should never tell anyone about that ever again.

This negative response led me on a quest to understand how dreams can come true, and could I have made this event happen because of my anger? In time I found ‘kindred spirits’ through the Dream Lab/Division of Parapsychology and Psychophysics at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. I learned about over a hundred years of research in parapsychology, and the professional organization of researchers, the The Parapsychological Association1 , of which I am a member. I have conducted research with children exploring psychic phenomena, as well as written, lectured and have been featured on shows dealing with children and their psychic abilities.

I have made it my lifelong career to help children feel heard and understood with regard to any of their life experiences that have had a profound effect on them, but especially those who are psychic in nature. I do not want any child to feel they are strange, weird or a witch or devil because of these experiences. But rather, they are gifted and have a special ability that they can use and work with.

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What is meant by Psychic or ESP or psi phenomenon?

Psi is the ability to perceive and obtain information about the past, present or future, and about others, events and situations beyond the ordinary five physical senses. Often it has been referred to as the “sixth” sense or “Extra Sensory Perception (ESP)” or paranormal (something that happens but seems impossible).

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What are the common types of psychic phenomena?

Clairvoyance

Extrasensory knowledge about objects, places or events happening at a distance.

Precognition

Prediction of random future events through dreams, waking images, thoughts or knowledge which cannot be inferred from present information.

Psychokinesis (PK)

Direct mental, but not physical, influence exerted by an individual onto a physical condition or object.

Telepathy

The simultaneous extrasensory knowledge of another’s thoughts, mental state or activity.

Mediumship

The ability to see and/or hear discarnate spirits or make some paranormal events occur while communicating with the dead.

Remote Sensing or Viewing

Using ESP to see or hear something far away.

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How did my child become psychic?

A child or teen who displays paranormal abilities is not odd or weird. The child or teen should be thought of as being talented in a particular area, but looks, acts and plays like any other child. The difference is that the psychic abilities are often so pronounced that they cannot be hidden. Research has not been able to find a specific reason for, or source of, such abilities. There is the possibility that there may be a genetic component, as many families report that other family members have similar abilities. It may be that each of us has such abilities, some more strongly than others, just as is true of other talents such as drawing or playing a musical instrument.

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Are children or teens more psychic than adults?

Children appear more open minded and less skeptical about such experiences and as a result may talk more about them. However, research has not found that any one age group has more psychic ability than another.

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Are all children psychic?

I personally believe that we all have psychic abilities. I like to make the analogy to being able to play a piano. Some of us are born with an advanced level of sensitivity and perception, much like a gifted virtuoso pianist, like Mozart, who was able to play well as a young child. Others need to work on their ability, meditate, and learn to understand their gift. Just like a person with some piano skills needing to keep practicing and devoting time and energy to increasing their skills. Then there are others who deny their abilities and perceptions, preferring to not believe in their experiences or those of others. This is much like someone who has no interest in learning how to play the piano, so no matter how much time they spend on it their skills do not develop very far.

I believe that all children are perceptive to their inner and outer world. If we give them the chance to explore their memories and experiences, and really listen to them in an authentic and interested way, taking the time to show our interest and attention, many children will share their psychic experiences.

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Are there books where I can read more about ESP and children?

  • The Gift: ESP, the Extraordinary Experiences of Ordinary People. Sally Rhine Feather and Michael Schmicker (ISBN: 0-312-32919-9)
  • Is Your Child Psychic? Alex Tanous and Katherine Fair Donnelly (ISBN: 0-59510064-3)
  • Psychic Children. Samuel H. Young (ISBN: 0-38507958-3)

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How should I respond to my child’s psychic experiences?

Listen to your child without judgment. Create an accepting environment of understanding and caring, without ridicule, so that your child will not be afraid to speak about their experiences. Allow your child to talk freely about their experience. Casual comments such as, “Oh you picked up what I was thinking”, “Isn’t that interesting” or “Tell me more about your dream and why you think it will come true” helps the child to open up.

Normalize the experience. Let your child know that children and even adults have similar experiences, and there has been research conducted on this. Let your child know there are places to get answers to their questions if they want, including:

The Parapsychology Foundation »

Rhine Research Center »

American Society for Psychical Research »

The Parapsychological Association »

Do not force the child to “perform” their abilities. Children’s psi experiences will often be spontaneous and the child will most likely not be able to control such events at will. Never focus on using psychic abilities for personal gain or show. Such approaches may actually cause abilities to decline, result in feelings of being exploited, lead to an inflated sense of ability or force the child into resorting to fraudulent activities to keep the attention on them.

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Should psychic children be treated differently?

Put psychic abilities in perspective. The child should be helped to understand that while they may be talented in psychic abilities, they have other things to learn and other talents to develop. Let your child be a child, not treated as a little adult. Encourage your child to develop all their abilities and see that their psychic abilities are like any other talent or skill that people have like being a gifted pianist, composer, artist, actor or athlete.

Keep communication open. If your child tells you about a psychic experience, accept what has happened, whether you believe in it or not. If a child’s statements are received negatively, your child may not approach you again about any other experience, psychic or not. They may try to suppress their abilities, lose creativity, withdraw or develop feelings of distrust and anger.

Keep a journal of psi experiences. Encourage your child to record such events or dreams. Write them down as soon as possible after it occurs to keep information fresh and get the most details as possible. Over time patterns may emerge. Journal writing also helps to discover which category the experience belongs in, and whether the information was accurate or not. Try to add documentation after precognitive or clairvoyant events occur to see how accurate details were and how long it took before the event “came true”. Record the times the events did not seem to occur or significant details were missed. Often psychic impressions come through when there is minimal interference and the conscious mind is not distracted by other things, such as during sleep, during car rides or when daydreaming. Often the content of events are about friends and everyday things or family members.

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Are there psychic games I can do with my child?

Guessing games can be used to see if your child can draw a picture of an item or say the word that you are thinking of. Have 25 m&m candies, five each of five colors (red, green, blue, yellow, brown) in a brown paper bag. Select one candy and hold it inside the bag and see if your child can guess which color will come out. Then put the candy back in the bag, shake the candies up and repeat the procedure again for a total of 25 times. Record each candy selected and your child’s response. A score of 5 correct out of 25 is considered chance, the usual number when no psi phenomena may be occurring. A score of seven or higher or four or below can indicate psychic abilities.

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How can I monitor my child’s psychic experiences?

Keep a journal of psi experiences. Encourage your child to record such events or dreams. Write them down as soon as possible after it occurs to keep information fresh and get the most details as possible. Over time patterns may emerge.

Journal writing also helps to discover which category the experience belongs in, and whether the information was accurate or not. Try to add documentation after precognitive or clairvoyant events occur to see how accurate details were and how long it took before the event “came true”. Record the times the events did not seem to occur or significant details were missed.

Often psychic impressions come through when there is minimal interference and the conscious mind is not distracted by other things, such as during sleep, during car rides or when daydreaming. Often the content of events are about friends and everyday things or family members.

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Show 1 footnote

  1. Visit the official website of The Parapsychological Association and learn more about their organization.