Reading For Children

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Reading For Children

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:43 am

I just rediscovered this good piece of work Lis did in answer to a debate upon this subject which can vex people

Reading for children
Hi Everyone,

I have found most interesting the current discussion on whether we as Spiritualist mediums should or should not give messages or readings to children. On the one hand many have suggested that the future of Spiritualism lies in those currently in the Spiritualist Movement encouraging children to attend the church services and in finding ways to educate them about the philosophy, science and religion of Spiritualism in ways appropriate to the age and understanding of the children. Yet on the other hand we seem to have a strongly expressed view that it is not appropriate to give messages from spirit or do private readings for children or adolescents.



I find this position contradictory. Spirit does not exclude children, quite the contrary. I have often heard spirit speak of the need for children to be taught the principles of right living as explained by the philosophy of Spiritualism. I have also been present on many occasions when those in spirit have wished to communicate with their beloved children or grandchildren and on each occasion the passing on of those messages have been of great benefit to the children and also the adult with whom the child has been accompanied.



Let me give just one example. For the past 4 years our Mission has had a young lad attend the Sunday services with his mother. He is now 16. Over the years he has received about 10 messages from spirit. Most (though not all) of those messages have come from his grandfather who, as a result of these messages has been able to bring great comfort, support and reassurance to the young lad in addition to giving information that has proved without doubt that grandfather continues to live on.



What is so important here is the fact that when the grandfather died he was ‘baby-sitting’ the lad. The lad was in bed when grandfather suddenly passed away and so the lad did not know until he awoke in the morning and found his beloved grandfather dead on the floor. The young lad was deeply distressed by his grandfather’s passing and felt great guilt that he had not been awake to help and perhaps ‘save’ his grandfather from dying.



The messages that have come to him have eased both his grief and his sense of guilt and have as a result allowed the lad to move forward with his life confident that his grandfather continues to love him and watch over him and is ‘alive and well’ in the spirit world. The messages have also helped the lad’s mother to deal with her own grieving and to help her son with his.



When it comes to a public demonstration of mediumship in our Mission there is a clear policy or code of practice to be observed. When a medium feels directed by spirit to give a message to a child or adolescent they seek the permission of the parent or responsible adult before giving the message. If the parent is not comfortable with the child being given a message the medium does not or gives the message to the child after the service in the presence of the parent.



With regard to readings, again we have found that many children in the 10 to 14 age group are interested in having a reading. In addition it is not uncommon for adolescents (15 -18) to wish to have a reading. This can be dealt with in a simple and sensible way that respects the parent/responsible adult and the child or adolescent.



If under 18 the permission of the parent is sought. If the child is under 12 it is advisable for the parent to be present and to sit with the child during the reading. It is of course important that the medium bears in mind the age and understanding of the child and speaks to them in a clear and simple manner and makes sure they do not frighten or unsettle the child in anyway.



When the child is 12-15 we suggest that the parent is present but not necessarily sitting so close that they can hear what is said. Please bear in mind that by that age children also have the right to privacy and respect for their feelings. The parent is present so that there is no uncertainty about the medium behaving properly but the child’s rights are also respected.



When the young one is 16-18 it is wise to still obtain the parent’s permission if they are present but it should be the adolescent’s right to choose whether the parent is in the room or not. By this age many young people have to deal with complex life issues, family relationship problems or work/education/social concerns that only they can make decisions about and there are many in spirit who would seek to help and guide these youngsters. Their spirit guides are often very close as are family members who are in spirit and I have never seen a youngster harmed by having a reading.



I began my journey into Spiritualism at the age of 17 some 40 odd years ago. I was greeted with friendliness, warmth, acceptance, and received many messages of encouragement and support as well as receiving evidence of the survival over death of family members.



By 18 I was sitting in a development group run by the great Australian Medium George Eldred and I was encouraged to develop my mediumship by all who were involved in running the church. By 20 I was doing public demonstrations, again with the support and encouragement of the church.



I was blessed to have received such loving acceptance and understanding. As a natural psychic with mediumistic abilities from an early age that training and those messages enabled me to grow strong in my understanding of spirit and in the importance of using these faculties in service to others.



Had I been denied those opportunities and been ‘sent away till I was an adult’ I do not think that I would ever have returned to Spiritualism. I think I would have rejected Spiritualism in terms of attending the churches though I might still have explored spirituality and psychism through the ‘new age movement’.



I understand the need for us all to be careful and to ensure that we do not leave ourselves or our churches open to legal action as a result of improper behaviour on the part of irresponsible psychics and mediums, but we should not become so fearful that we destroy the wonderful opportunity to reach out to the young ones. We should be looking for opportunities to show them the importance of the Spiritualist message. We should be demonstrating the principles of Spiritualism in our dealings with children.



There is nothing to fear, and children need not be frightened by contact with the spirit world. Chances are they already have contact with spirit and it is highly likely that they have a greater awareness of spirit than we do. The young ones need guidance. They need our love and support. They need to feel accepted in our churches and missions. They need to be encouraged to attend. They need to be treated with respect as young human beings and if spirit want’s to pass on a message to them then it is in my view our duty as mediums to do so. Regards all, Lis
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Re: Reading For Children

Post by zerdini on Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:18 am

Excellent work by Lis.

In the UK we have the British Lyceum Union for the spiritual education of children (and adults) - see below:

The young Andrew Jackson Davis was a trance medium who enabled his Spirit helpers to dictate books that were then transcribed and printed. There are copies of most of these in the extensive library of the Lyceum Union. He was able to ‘Journey’ when in the trance state and visit the spiritual planes. He compared the way children were educated in the Summerland (spirit-world) to the way they were educated on Earth and it was his belief that the methods used by Spirit were superior to those here. Andrew Jackson Davis spoke of this in a lecture at Dodsworth Hall on January 25th 1863; the Lyceum was inaugurated at that meeting.

The first British Lyceum was opened in Nottingham, in June 1866 by Mr J Hitchcock.

Alfred Kitson 1855 – 1934

First Secretary of the Spiritualists’ Lyceum Union
(became known as Dad Kitson, the Father of the British Lyceum Movement)


Born in Gawthorpe, West Riding Yorkshire, the young Alfred Kitson was a strictly brought up Methodist. His Father investigated Spiritualism, expecting to find evidence of fraud, instead he developed as a Medium. Alfred became convinced that the Spiritualist religion could help mankind and he devoted his efforts, and his heart, to work for children and the Lyceum.

J.J. Morse

First editor of The Lyceum Banner

The Lyceum Banner was first published in November 1890 and a copy is held in the Lyceum Museum Library. In 1902 the Lyceum Banner was given to the Lyceum Union, who have produced it continuously since that time.

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Re: Reading For Children

Post by mac on Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:42 pm

Admin wrote:I just rediscovered this good piece of work Lis did in answer to a debate upon this subject which can vex people

Reading for children
Hi Everyone,

I have found most interesting the current discussion on whether we as Spiritualist mediums should or should not give messages or readings to children. On the one hand many have suggested that the future of Spiritualism lies in those currently in the Spiritualist Movement encouraging children to atten...............................pirit and it is highly likely that they have a greater awareness of spirit than we do. The young ones need guidance. They need our love and support. They need to feel accepted in our churches and missions. They need to be encouraged to attend. They need to be treated with respect as young human beings and if spirit want’s to pass on a message to them then it is in my view our duty as mediums to do so. Regards all, Lis


This is a good piece - I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It made very good sense in all aspects. Quite how many children are exposed to learning about matters spiritual I couldn't guess but certainly not as many as I'd like.

A while back I looked at the situation concerning Lyceums in my area of Nottinghamshire, especially in Mansfield, my home town. I had hoped I might be able to offer help as I have a background of SEN support in primary school. Sadly I didn't find anything nearby.

On a different tack, when I worked in education my headteacher, also our friend, decided to try to draw parents into school by inviting them to come and talk about their religious persuasion. As I was also a parent with our daughter in my school, my ears pricked up and I straightway offered to speak. I still feel the hurt and disappointment and can still see her expression of dismay when she told me that it was only the mainstream religions which interested her. Spiritualism didn't count even though in the UK - as you well know - it is a religion.

I felt gutted, doubly so as I was an active PTA member, helped with most school functions both as a parent and as a staff member and generally contributed a good deal - so did my wife.

Looking back I suppose she would have been sticking her neck out even if she had any respect for Spiritualism.

But things like that stay with me and still hurt....

mac


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