My Grandson Liam was here with his folks from Monday evening to Wednesday morning (and they'll be back Sunday night on way home from visiting the other grands). Liam's 5 1/2 yrs old now. And despite being on the Autism spectrum is talking a blue streak. Clearly my progeny---he talks to flowers and butterflies and birds...and talks of 'the lady'. (Son says Liam had been in guest bedroom alone but kept saying 'The lady' and pointing to thin air. We surmise it is 'Mrs. H.', the last matriarch of long time family of residents of this homestead. One of a handful of ghosts (actual interactive spirits) and residual haunts (the ones who are repetitive in word and actions and don't acknowledge the living at all). I've spoken of our ethereal roommates before and i was wondering when they'd show themselves to Liam (i had little doubt they would in time). He didn't seem terribly scared from what his parents said, but reacted rather the way he does to corporeal strangers approaching him---he will get close to one of his parents. My son tried to question him the 2nd day about it...but i told Owen it would be better to wait till next time Liam mentions her (or one of the others, i believe he saw the RH we call 'the cowboy' in broad daylight out eastern windows as we usually do that morning) and ask casually about what she's wearing and what she looks like.
Owen speculated that the brain differences of autism might make them (odds are my twins are on the spectrum but diagnosis was different when they were young--more of the low functioning people with it were diagnosed) more prone to seeing spirits. i countered that more likely it is that even if they have doubts about spirits themselves if their child on the spectrum has been conquering the attendant speech delays a parent is not as likely to 'invalidate' the child. They're too thrilled the child is talking, communicating to be as concerned about what is being said. Whereas, non-believing or believing but thinking all things paranormal 'of the devil' type parents will readily invalidate reports from their non-autistic children.
In my experience children tend to see spirits, RHs, all sorts of 'things' not of this life more readily than adults, most likely for two reasons:
1) Their brains (until about 5 or 6) are almost always functioning with 'alpha' brain waves (these are what we produce when we meditate or sincerely pray). Alpha brain waves facilitate the viewing of auras and entities not of this life but of other realms. 2) Until/unless some adult censors them, criticizes, invalidates...they tend to experience these things as 'normal' simply part of their world. Telling small children something is 'just your imagination', 'not real', 'foolishness' rather than encouraging them to describe what they experience is just one of many ways in which 'civilized' societies invalidate their children and create barriers between the kids and what is natural. (Doing my full rant on that subject here would be a digresseion, but i have to mention it.) We do children a disservice when we don't encourage them to remember, think about and eventually when they are ready explore possible explanations for their 'supernatural' experiences. We should be encouraging them to remember and think about their dreams as well.
One of the reasons i keep forming this group on various sites is because, unlike myself, many of my age group received very invalidating messages about their experiences with various phenomena. Some because their parents were 'afraid', others because religious beliefs cast such things as 'evil'. My parents didn't invalidate me. They didn't communicate a lot about their own 'fey' ways either, but i was in my teens before i felt social pressure to 'not talk' about such things. i was very open with my kids, taught them dream control, accepted but did not 'push' the idea of ghosts...as they got older used movies and TV as conversation starters about 'how' various phenomena work. So when Liam talked to Dad about 'the lady' when no-one there, Owen just figured it was one of our 'roommates'.
So...were you invalidated as a child? If you have children, how did you handle this subject with them?