Thousands of people traveled to hear and speak to Rebbe Nachman during his lifetime. Reb Noson, the Rebbe’s closest disciple, also made mention of the children who saw the Rebbe and came away enriched.
A young boy nine years of age who was ill with a slight fever was sent by his father to the Rebbe. The Rebbe spoke with him at length and gave him wonderful guidance. This boy was a very fearful child. The Rebbe said to him, “Why are you afraid now? Think how afraid you’ll be when they take you out to the cemetery and leave you there alone. Today you are afraid to go out alone at night. What will you do then?”
He also told him, “Who in the world wants to burn himself with his own hands? When you sin, it is as if you burn yourself with your very own hands, because eventually you will receive the hard and bitter punishment for sinning. Surely you care enough about yourself not to burn yourself with your own hands.”
The Rebbe then gave the boy a segulah for his fever: it was to take dust which had been trodden into the threshold and put it in a vessel on the fire until it became bleached and heated through and through. The dust was to be put on his side, and then he would be healed.
The boy grew up, and these and other words that the Rebbe had spoken to him remained inscribed on his heart. He remembers them to this day. From this we see the way the Rebbe would look at even a young child and seek to imbue him with the fear of Heaven so he should begin to learn how to serve God. Thus it is written, “Train a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
I have also heard from many other people who were children in the time of the Rebbe about amazing and beautiful things they heard from him in their childhood. They still remember them, and looking back, they now realize how the Rebbe was able to convey to them certain things which would benefit them later on.
From Tzaddik #490