Waking up from a bad dream can be a very frightening experience. It is even more heart breaking if it’s your child who just had a nightmare.
As parents, our immediate reaction is often to try to make our child feel better. Even though it may be tempting to say “it was just a dream”, this is not always the best approach.
Our dreams don’t just happen by chance. The majority of our dreams are in fact here to help us process an event, life experience, interaction with others, or emotional reaction, and they help enhance our awareness.
A more therapeutic approach is to discuss the dream with your child – this releases the charge around the fear. We don’t want to push away something that has come into your child’s consciousness for a reason – if the dream is not listened to it could come back in even stronger form!
The best way to help sooth your child after a nightmare is therefore to honor the dream by talking about it together. In the process, we not only remove some of the charge, but we also comfort the child.
A nightmare can help you as a parent to better understand what your child is experiencing as threatening. It is a great door opener to talk about feelings – where may your child have felt like this before? What could have brought about these feelings?
Eventually – you may also want to explore how your child may deal with the character or situation in the dream if it comes back. By encouraging your child to talk to the “monster” if it comes back, you also empower your child. This gives a beautiful sense of understanding and inner power.
With Love & Gratitude,
Anna-Karin Bjorklund is a writer and inspirational speaker, and the author of Dream Guidance: Interpret Your Dreams and Create the Life You Desire! She is also a Therapist in Newport Beach specializing in Dream Analysis, Mindfulness and Meditation, helping clients with Anxiety, Fear of Public Speaking, Stress, Sleep, and Depression. She loves sharing her passion for dreams and soul growth with audiences near and far, and has made expert appearances on Fox & Friends, and the Steve Harvey TV Show on NBC, and been interviewed by Money Magazine, Daily Worth, Marie Claire UK and other media outlets.