Nightmares: strategies for making children sleep peacefully

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What did your child dream about tonight? Did he fight a fire-breathing dragon? Or did the Black Man visit him? Maybe he dreamed of fairies and talking birds or he went to the Land of Giants.

Read also: how to interpret children's dreams

If you are not sure how to behave when your child has a nightmare or you would like to know how to interpret his dreams, the book "Tell me about your dreams" by Amanda Cross comes to help, with the introduction of, Probe Edition.

How to prevent bad dreams

First, before going to bed,

  • remember to check the TV: programs can scare a child;
  • also establish a routine that will reassure him ...
  • and a fixed time for bedtime.

If your child wakes up from a nightmare?

Here's what you can do to get him through the experience.

  • reassure him with a hug;
  • explain to him that it is only in his fantasy;
  • don't force him to talk about it if he doesn't want to;
  • turn on the light to show him that the room is as he left it before going to sleep;
  • tells something cheerful to divert attention from the bad dream;
  • stay with him until he is about to fall asleep again and before you leave, explain to him where you are going;
  • if it doesn't work, take it to bed with you.

The next day you can talk about the nightmare (if he wants to) and you can explain that it's not real. Also look to see if there is pressure or anxiety in his life and if the bad dream can be related to that.

Some strategies for peaceful sleep with children

Adopt a Baku, the "dream eater"

Adopt a Baku, the "dream eater"

In the Japanese tradition of a few years ago (but for some it is still current) there was the Baku, a statuette in the shape of a mystical animal representing the "eater of dreams". In fact, it was believed that by rubbing him several times on the bed before going to sleep, he guaranteed golden nights.

But that wasn't all. Was a nightmare coming suddenly? It was enough to call Baku by name, and he would immediately devour the bad dreams.

You don't have to give your child a Baku (he had a really scary face by the way). It is enough to entrust the magical power of him with a rag doll that will become the nightmare eater of the house with a touch.

Read also: nightmare: how to calm a child

Go to sleep wearing the ... super pajamas!

Go to sleep wearing the ... super pajamas!

Before going to sleep, have your child put on the "superpower pajamas". It would be a t-shirt or pajamas with the image of his superhero of the heart imprinted or with the image of a tiger, a dragon or something that can make him feel safe and protected from bad dreams.

Turn his fears into positive

Turn his fears into positive

Is your child afraid of monsters? Show him a movie or read a book together about a monster's friendship with a child. Is he afraid of the big bad wolf? Tell him the story of a good wolf. Is he afraid of falling? Watch a film about flying together. Pay attention to what you will show him clearly so that you can avoid any negative associations.

Growing up he will understand that wolves and lions are alone in the woods and monsters do not hide under the bed. But now in her mind it all seems so extremely real ...

Read also: what is pavor nocturnus

The dream becomes an adventure. As for the Senoi

The dream becomes an adventure. As for the Senoi

The Senoi (native tribe of Malaysia) had an excellent command of the dream world and for them dreams played a fundamental role.

Each morning the tribe gathered to recount what happened during the night - a habit that had a profound effect on children. An adolescent Senoi in fact no longer had nightmares.

But how to deal with dreams then in the right way?

The secret of the Senoi was just that: to face danger and defeat it.

For example, if a little Senoi dreamed of being attacked by a tiger, he was encouraged to attack the animal in turn, if he returned to the dream world.

If he hadn't felt strong enough, he could have called a friend in a dream, usually the tribe elder, for help.

Did the child dream of a fire? The next time it was enough to turn it off with water. Did he dream of falling? In dreams you can also fly ...

For the Senoi, children's dreams were adventures with endless possibilities.

Try to compile a dream journal

Try to compile a dream journal

Take a cue from Breasts and teach your child to keep a dream journal. He will be able to transcribe or draw his own nocturnal adventures.

Inside the diary mark together:

  • Date;
  • Atmosphere and sensations felt;
  • Place and topic of the dream;
  • Characters, symbols and signs;
  • Actions;
  • Colors and dialogues.

In addition to having a picture of your child's dreams and nightmares, the dream journal allows you to take that step forward that dream expert "Patricia Garfield calls" re-dreaming ", important if your child is having nightmares.

After your child describes or tells a bad dream, ask him to close his eyes and imagine what he would like to see in reality. Maybe befriend that monster? Watch the scene from above? From a safe place? Then guide him to write or draw his experience of him, in order to have the awareness of having power over what happens in the dream and therefore to have an active role.

  • dreams
  • bad dreams
  • 3-5 children years
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