Nightmares plague children in the dark, and parents are helpless to stop them. What adults tend to forget is how terrifying their own nightmares were as children, and so we brush them off. We don’t remember the horror we felt when we couldn’t run, no matter how fast we pumped our legs; we couldn’t scream, no matter how loud we were in our own heads.
According to psychologists, every nightmare children have comes from something within their own lives. Our job as parents and adults is to take those aspects and make them less scary. The TV shows they watch, the music they hear, the conversations we don’t think they’re listening to, are all things that can bring about nightmares and create the monsters under their beds. If we pay attention, bedtime won’t be a thing to dread.
But sometimes, even if we pay the closest attention in the world, a few nightmares are going to push their way through. That’s where this list comes in.
1. Monster Spray
A simple spray bottle filled with water, and maybe something that smells good, that your child can spray to get rid of monsters like you’d spray to get rid of bugs.
2. Dream Catcher
Buy one or make one (depending on how artistic your children are) and hang it on their wall. Tell them the story of the dream catcher – https://www.dream-catchers.org/ – and let it help them sleep the night away.
3. Sleepy time bed
While they don’t have to literally sleep with you, being close makes kids feel safe. Set up a spare bed, or even just blankets and a pillow, in your room that they can crawl into when the dark gets too scary.
4. Bedtime ritual
Ignore the sad situation in the clip (there aren’t a lot of good videos online for what I’m looking for). Set up a bed time ritual that will banish bad dreams. Do it any night they’re worried the nightmares are going to come.
5. Dream Warrior
Tell a story about how a particular stuffed animal saved the dreams of some of the other animals and will protect your child’s dreams as well.
No matter what method helps your child sleep peacefully through the night, one thing matters above all. That their dreams are filled with wonder once again.
Like the article? We bet you’ll love this book:
If you have any type of family you already know that best laid plans go awry. Whether we call them Murphy’s Laws or by some other name, we just don’t always get what we hope for. In A Made Bed…
A Made Bed is More Fun to Jump on and Other Family Laws