Can you still hear it? That little sobbing whimper, that blood-curdling scream, or that shaky little voice saying “I had a bad dream”? In response to your child, you either hug your child with compassion, leap to your feet to battle whatever the enemy might be, or groan because it is the third time…that night.
My wife and I have definitely experienced the bad-dream-dilemma with our kids – with each stage and each child bringing their own challenges.
We all have bad dreams. Even as adults. But, what do we do about them? I have a couple of standard things that I do. And, my wife gave one of the most incredible solutions a few nights ago. I will tell you about all three.
My Standard Bad-Dream-Away-Inators
- Pray. Attack the dreams through prayer. I have always taught my children that the first thing we need to do is talk to God. After all, God is our creator and knows exactly how to help us. And, God is powerful! So, we pray. We ask God to guard our hearts and our minds; to take away the bad thoughts and the bad dreams; and, to give us good thoughts and good dreams.
- Think good thoughts. Together, we come up with two or three really good things to think about that the child will really enjoy. These usually vary to some degree based on what is exciting to the child at that moment. Some of our examples include eating a mountain of ice cream as tall as us, sitting in mommy or daddy’s lap reading a book, and playing one of our favorite games.
My Wife’s Brilliant Idea: The Change-It-Inator
A few nights ago, my wife made this statement when trying to help our oldest son: “They are your dreams; and, you have the power to change your dreams.” She challenged our son to take the dream and change it into something that he had control over, that was not scary and that he would want to think about – even to the point of being something fun.
For instance, a bad dream about a fire in the house becomes a dream of a campfire (in an appropriate outside fire ring) roasting marshmallows. And, once done, it is then attacked and defeated with humongous water guns.
I love this idea. Turning something that seems out of control into something that we do have control over. Thoughts and dreams have always been a difficult thing because you want to deal with them without dwelling on them. But, in this manner, you change the dream into something you can, and want, to dwell on. Bad thoughts gone. Good thoughts in their place. Beautiful.
Question: What is your favorite Bad-Dream-Away-Inator? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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