Childhood Nightmare or Past Life Memory?

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Childhood Nightmare or Past Life Memory?
by Andrea Leininger,
Co-Author of Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot

Bringing a baby into your family is a joyful experience, filled with hope and promise for a bright and happy future. That first year is filled with learning about all your child’s developmental milestones, and having those twinges of concern when your child doesn’t reach all of them according to the time frames established in the books and websites you spend hours poring over. Yet while the child development resources teach us about what to look for in our children’s physical, emotional, and mental growth, as well as the red flags indicating when there may be cause for concern, there is one area I have never seen addressed in the countless resources I’ve studied, and that is how to determine if your child might be experiencing a Past Life Memory.

Of the endless things we worry about encountering when we have a new baby, this is surely an issue that wouldn’t even cross our minds unless we had experienced it before. Autism, Down’s Syndrome, Deafness? All common concerns among new parents. But a Past Life Memory? It never occurred to me. That is, until my son turned two and started having nightmares and talking about the life of a man who died in a burning plane.

My book, Soul Survivor – The Reincarnation of a World War II fighter pilot, chronicles the events my family experienced when my then two-year old son James began experiencing a past life memory. I remember the frustration I felt at the time as I tried to research what it was my son was experiencing, and how to help him. Most of the books I read about reincarnation were dry and clinical, and offered me little assistance in dealing with my son. Fortunately, I was given Carol Bowman’s wonderful book Children’s Past Lives, and I finally received the guidance I’d been searching for.

Having lived through this experience and hearing from countless parents whose children have similar stories, I believe that Past Life Memory in children is a fairly common occurrence. Many parents, unaware of the issue of Past Life Memory, may attribute their child’s fears or comments to ordinary factors or an over-active imagination. While in many instances that may be true, knowing what signs and behaviors to look for is crucial in evaluating your own child’s situation and helping them deal with this little-known phenomenon.

If you’re reading this, chances are you suspect your child may be experiencing a Past Life Memory and are looking for guidance. I’ve compiled the following list of behaviors that may indicate this is what you’re dealing with. Please read it carefully and check which items apply to your situation:

1. Vivid, recurring dreams or nightmares.

2. Unexplained fears or phobias.

3. Unusual talent or giftedness.

4. Knowledge of items, machinery, or processes from another era that they would have no way of knowing.

5. Talking openly about life in a different time.

6. Speaking in a foreign language or with a foreign accent they have not been exposed to.

7. Looking for an item or person they are convinced they had or knew, but you know that item or person never existed.

8. Repeatedly drawing a recurring scene, event, people, or items that are not a part of their daily life and which they could not be aware of.

9. Spontaneously reading or writing.

10. Suddenly speaking with much more clarity and a broader vocabulary than used on a daily basis.

If your child has experienced any of these behaviors, you may be dealing with a Past Life Memory. If so, I would advise you to take the matter seriously, and start keeping a detailed journal of events and statements as they occur. More than likely your child will make these statements randomly using a matter-of-fact tone, and more often than not, there will be something that triggers the statement. Your child may or may not be open to discussing the comment once it’s made, but remaining calm and keeping the tone conversational will go a long way towards getting your child engaged in conversation with you.

When you ask questions, ask only open-ended questions that don’t provide any information. For example, your daughter is watching you peel potatoes, and suddenly says “Mommy, when I lived before, I was a boy and we used to grow potatoes on a farm.” Say “That’s interesting! Where was your potato farm?” rather than “Was your potato farm in Idaho or in Ireland?” That way you can be certain your child is coming up with the details themselves, and isn’t just repeating what you said.

Unfortunately, very little is known about the phenomenon of past life memory in children, but if parents keep an open mind, listen to their children, and start chronicling these events as they occur, we may soon have a much broader understanding about the eternal journey of the human spirit.

©2009 Andrea Leininger, coauthor of Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot

Author Bios
Bruce and Andrea Leininger
live with their son, James, now eleven years old, in Louisiana. You can visit their Web site at

Ken Gross is a novelist and nonfiction writer who lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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