I know a number of readers who refuse to read for children. Some readers simply don’t enjoy reading for younger people. Others may feel that younger people have no need of what tarot can provide, or aren’t mature enough to process the information. Still others may worry that parents might not approve.
I really enjoy reading for children. In my own practice I have no ethical concerns in regards to offering readings to young people. I do find that reading for young people requires a certain skillset and specific ways of interpreting the cards.
For me, the bottom line is this. To provide a really great reading to anyone of any age we must make a psychic and energetic connection with the client. When we do this, we are able to “get inside their head” a bit. Getting inside a young person’s head takes nothing more than this same skill, some common sense and a memory of what it was like to be young.
Here are some typical opportunities to read for specific age groups along with basic protocols for success.
Reading for Young Children
If you make yourself available to do readings at company picnics, family reunions and holiday parties you may find yourself reading for the entire family, including the young children.
When you read for five-to-ten-year-olds the parents and siblings are likely to be present. The reading is as much (or more) for the parents as it is for the child. When you tell a child about him/herself you are giving the parent valuable information about the temperament, preferences and concerns of their child.
When you read for a person in this age group you need to remember what it is like to be a child and think of the card meanings in this context. The cards will as easily reflect the concerns of a second-grader as they will an adult – you just need to be tuned in to the mindset of a young person.
Young children are just discovering the things they enjoy. These will be reflected in the cards. For instance, a young person who receives the Eight of Wands might enjoy running, biking and moving quickly. A young person who receives the Page of Wands might enjoy singing. The Six of Swords will often reflect a young person who enjoys the study of science. The Magician will reflect a young person’s enjoyment of school.
Young people are also easily irritated. Their frustrations will be mirrored in the cards as well.
Young children are not terribly interested in future predictions. The parents will be entertained by your assertion that their six-year-old will grow up to own a fancy car (The Chariot) or become an attorney (Justice).
Family difficulties will be reflected in the cards of young people. These difficulties should be acknowledged to both the child and the parents. Any advice and encouragement should be simple and supportive.
Reading for Tweens
Most of the opportunities to read for tweens and middle-schoolers will be at family and community events. Sometimes family members will be present, other times you will find yourself surrounded by a pack of tweens.
Reading for tweens is very much like reading for young children with a few notable exceptions. First, tweens have a need for privacy and a separate identity from their parents. Second, they are more self-aware and are painfully aware of family issues and social issues. Finally, they have a real interest in their future. For many tweens it is fun to speculate about adult life. They may ask questions about their possibilities regarding career, marriage and children of their own. As long as you are clear that they are responsible for their own future and that your prediction is just a possibility you can have fun making positive future predictions for tweens.
Tweens are developing more sophisticated coping strategies. The cards may indicate particular goals, skills and tactics. Tweens are generally able to discuss goals and strategies, and will usually find your advice interesting and helpful.
Reading for Teens
Many readers make themselves available for Sweet Sixteen parties, proms and Project Graduation parties. In some families a visit to the tarot reader for a private reading is a rite of passage for teenagers. Readers who have nurtured client relationships over a period of years will know the joy of reading for young people whose births they predicted years ago.
Older teens often have cars and credit cards. They may seek private readings without their parents’ knowledge or approval.
Reading for teens is very much like reading for young adults. Their concerns include the many choices they face in terms of education and career planning, relationships, family issues and social issues. In the course of a reading cards will come up to suggest specific directions to consider, pitfalls to avoid and opportunities to pursue.
Teenagers often need to be patient with their families and friends, and often feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities. Sometimes a reading can offer them the compassion and perspective they need.
Sometimes in a teen’s cards you will see evidence of serious problems. You job is not to get involved, but to make sure you refer the teen to the proper authority.
While confidentiality is important, there may be instances where you need to gently make a parent aware of a particular problem, or at least point the parent in the right direction.
Overall, the challenges of reading for young people include keeping the reading light and entertaining, offering pertinent advice and observations that are age-appropriate and delivering positive messages that are helpful to the kids and reflect well on us as tarot readers.
If you enjoy younger people and are able to see the unique ways in which the cards speak to them, the opportunities to be a part of their lives as a tarot reader are both plentiful and valuable.