Though it is a boring title, there is a large amount of content that needs to be said about this topic. I asked a forum about how they felt and the majority believed that there should be some sort of 13 & up rule if you aren’t comfortable working with children.
Last night, I had two little kids [about 6 & 7] come right up to me and ask what they would be when they grew up. I have had fifth graders and middle schoolers curious or fearful about things and their parents have used tarot as a way to make them feel better.
It helps that I’m a substitute teacher and tutor as well as a tarot reader, and I know have to handle children of all ages and explain things in ways they can understand. Working with children outside of tarot can help me understand some of the things they might be going through that is different than when my generation was going through. I’m an older Millennial, so I have many things in common with today’s youth but it still has noted and poignant differences.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing a tarot reading for someone you feel is too young, it is your right to refuse service, however, if you explain why, it will be a better customer service moment than turning someone down and giving “they’re too young” as a reason. Explain that sometimes tarot is better suited to people with actual questions, or someone who needs guidance on a situation. Explaining your position on the topic is always a better option than making someone feel like they were discriminated against, especially if they are a teenager.
If you can remember what it was like to feel that age, you have a leg up on some of your competition. I’m lucky because I have a photographic memory and have relived several moments through dreams. Reading for this age can be tricky if you are not as sensitive.
Believe it or not, children in elementary school have concerns. They are concerned about their family, their friends, their invisible friend, their teachers, and their authority figures. They might have a bully. They might feel scared about school and violence. They might be worried about the world. These mini-adults do tune in very well to tarot and other supernatural events naturally because they know and believe.
The easiest way to read for this age group is to try to see the world through their eyes.
If you draw “The Lovers” it might be about their Best friend or their parents. The Tower, Death, and Devil cards may mean they are psychically in tune with spirits, or they might be cowering in fear over it. Use associations they are familiar with, and don’t be afraid to ask them easy questions. “Do you like your teachers?” “Are you afraid of a monster?” “What’s your favorite subject?” “Do you like Art or Music?”
Using school as a base, one can start putting together a mini story for them. Using tarot to tell stories is a GREAT way to read for these kids! I drew, the 4 of pentacles, the 7 of pentacles, and the princess of pentacles one right after the other to explain to a boy what he was good at. I told him the story of a girl who wasn’t willing at first to give up her treasure but eventually did. The girl who was given a gift grew that gift on a tree and started harvesting it. The harvesting made her wealthy enough to be a princess! I told him he was good at giving away and helping others out, and his gift always improved their life. I told him “he was one of the greatest helpers in his whole family!” The mother than told me he won “Best Helper” at the end of the school year in his grade.
I broke this up into a separate category because there are clear differences between elementary and middle school. This group is ALMOST always afraid of peer situations of some sort. You can read tarot for them very similar to an adult, but switch any “work” references to school references. Romantic inclinations can be spoke with “Crushes” and it is your responsibility, in my opinion, as an adult to encourage them to talk to a guidance counselor, doctor, or other figure if they have additional questions about the beginning of adolescence.
Also, the more personal power or more authority cards are drawn, the more it needs to be explained to them How to handle authority. The most drawn card I get for Tweens is the Hierophant. They really do hate and distrust authority because they are first learning their own opinions and beliefs. I encourage them to ask questions, and if they don’t like the answers to find the answer for themselves. I also emphasize the need to listen to instructions and listen to leaders to make sure they stay safe. I tell them that an adult’s main job is to protect them and that can make them feel restricted. I also tell them it is a difficult age and they need the support of friends, teachers, and their parents to get them through it.
This group needs to be reminded that their choices will make who they are, so if those cards involving good or bad choices are drawn, make sure they know they need to go their own away and not fall into pressure.
“But Praktical, isn’t this a biased way to read the cards?” In my opinion, no, because the audience make it different. You will normally have a parent watching. The moment you say something against what the parent may say, the child will be yanked away and you may not get paid or worse, the parent will complain. The integrity of a reading depends on the way you relate the cards to the audience.
Because they are mini adults themselves, you can read the tarot for them like a regular adult but focusing on school and college and career decisions. I encourage them to take internships and part time positions and apprenticeships [Especially with the 8 of pentacles] so they can get a leg up on their peers.
Most people have no problems reading for teens but reminding them that they DON’T always know better and encouraging them to find adults they can trust, even you, can be a good way to help them.
I hope you found this helpful. I’m sure this can be a very controversial subject, but in my experience, being realistic has always served me well. Luckily, I am put in a position to know more of what kids are going through because I work with them on an almost daily basis.
Building a connection with a child is based on trust and authority. DO NOT abuse it to insert your own opinions but encourage them to seek answers from people they trust. Alleviate their fear, and let them know they will be okay. Kids have problems too.