A nightmare from time to time is normal, but when they are so frequent that they alter the lives of children, it is vital to take action on the matter.
When one of my daughters had nightmares, I usually remember telling them: “It’s just an ugly dream, nothing happens, go back to bed and think nice things”, “It’s because you had a lot of dinner, go to the bathroom, pee and come back to bed “or” Take this glass of water / milk slowly and you will dream beautifully. “
These types of phrases almost always worked well, I only remember one occasion when the girl woke up crying from a bad dream and it was extremely difficult to be able to relax her to go back to sleep. The nightmare had so impressed her that she didn’t want to do it again until she was overcome with exhaustion. It was a very, very long night that fortunately did not happen any longer. But what happens when sleep and life are disturbed by nightmares? To answer this, it is important that we first reflect on the following.
Relee: Don’t call the exorcist, your son will go back to sleep alone.
Having nightmares is normal and they are also part of a child’s development
Dreams and nightmares fulfill the function of giving explanations to the child’s world, at the same time that they provide balance in the management of their affections. In dreams everything is possible and in nightmares emotions are put to the test. Nightmares manifest more frequently between the ages of 3 and 5, because after that age the magical thinking and the power it has to explain anything, begins to disappear. It is now logical thinking that will develop and testable explanations become logical and understandable. This type of eventual nightmares and in which children can fall asleep soon, should not worry you.
You can use a phrase like the ones I mentioned at the beginning of this article to get your little one back to bed, even accompany him, but I suggest you be wise if you admit it in your bed, since sometimes “the nightmare” becomes only on the pretext to sleep with mom and dad.
If the nightmares begin to be frequent and are related to feelings of anguish, fear or anxiety, they must be dealt with promptly, as they may be the product of an aggression received or witnessed during that day or some previous ones. Knowing this, we can work in the following way and carrying out the following activities:
Get into a routine to put the children to sleep
This means that you should do more or less the same daily: do homework, play, bathe, prepare things for the next day, go to bed, read a story, talk, pray, say goodbye with a hug and a kiss, snuggle him in the bed and turn off the light.
Avoid activities that exalt you
No rough or overly game of play, including TV shows, loud music, or scary tales.
Reread: Tips so that children are not afraid of the dark.
Includes relaxation activities
An inspiring story, praying as a family, or dreaming with your eyes open are activities that will undoubtedly help you feel relaxed and calm.
The atmosphere of your room should be cozy
Think of something nice, dim lighting, light music, soft quilts with nice colors and no big prints.
When nightmares occur and the child cries, take the following steps:
Feel free to comfort and comfort him.
When he calms down, ask him to tell you what happened in the dream.
Remind him that it is a dream, that what he saw does not exist, that it is not real. If necessary, show him the house, the people or the things he has dreamed of so that he can make sure that everything is fine.
Use a small lamp or night light, this can help calm him down.
Help him get back to sleep.
Write down the date and the dream in a notebook, this in order to keep a memory. When the nightmares do not stop, they are recurring and you have already tried all of the above, it is time to go to a specialist and then present the memory that you have previously documented.
You must be attentive to what the child is dreaming, because it can reveal the origin of the nightmare: family problems, arguments between parents, changes, programs or cartoons that are too violent, in short, there are many things in his environment that may be affecting him . I wish you all the best and good dreams for everyone!
Finally, I invite you to reread: Nightmares and night terrors.