So many of us have loved children who have trusted us with memories of their earlier lives. “You remember, Mum. Back when we had that farm, and you were my daughter….”
For parents, this can be scary; what is wrong with their kid? But try to see it from the little one’s point of view. This is real for him, whether imagined or not, and it may very well not be his imagination. There have been an awful lot of studies supporting such possibilities.
As with any other early developing personality trait or self-questioning, though, we can nourish his budding spirit, or shut him down, planting even more doubts within him. He may have worked hard developing even this much confidence and strength of character over long decades spent working that farm, raising his own children; conquering, and losing, and conquering again.
Do you really want to take all that away from him? Tell him it was just a dream; that he made it all up? That those few things he has learned to trust in, believe and depend on, are just craziness? That where he feels strong, he’s really weak?
That could be unnerving to him; disturbing; even devastating for the child.
Like all memories, these will fade with time. Hundreds of studies have shown that they tend to be pretty much gone by age 5, maybe 7.
But suppose their aftermath starts surfacing again in his grown years, once he has long forgotten his roots. He no longer remembers things he had said, things he’d known, things he had entrusted long ago into your care. Now he faces harsh challenges that can only be resolved, can only make a modicum of sense, from this earlier perspective.
You could be the keeper of his dreams. You could help him make that invaluable connection. You could go back over your notes from those times, and tell him, “Here! It’s right here! This is how you handled it last time. You used to wonder about this same thing when you were little, and now here it has come up again. THIS is the connection! You are completing something you left unfinished that last time!”
But if you had taken no notes? If you had dismissed your child and all he had worked so hard to conquer before that? If you had essentially just told him, “You are flawed! You are weak! There is no help or progress in this unfriendly world; we must start it completely from scratch!”
How discouraging that could be for his tiny new spirit; how devastating. Is this really the barren, infertile field you want your child to sow future hopes and potentials in?
If your child comes to you in trust; cherish him! Cherish him, and all he clings to most dearly.
Yes; it is just that simple.
Children come in with enough vulnerabilities. Please don’t smash them down into these when they most need help standing.