Wednesday, March 20, 2013

battling with bad dreams

Bad dreams are one of those big things in childhood I think. They are as real as any life experience. I don't know much behind the meaning of dreams or the why's or wherefores but I do know that they happen and when they happen they can be very upsetting.
In our house Rebe is the one who has most bad dreams, they seem to come in spells, nights on end for perhaps a week and each night there is another bad dream. 
So we do little things, make little rituals to make them manageable. I thought I'd share some of them here:
 Above the beds in both bedrooms are dream catchers. To catch the bad dreams and hold them there til the sunlight melts them away to nothing in the morning.
 We made 'good dream cream'. A very simple salve made with almond oil, lavender essential oil and bees wax. The important part was when it was being mixed in the little pan I whispered in loads of good dreams and kisses and love. This is applied to the temple before bed and also the jar is beside the bed in case they wake up in the night and need a little more.
 A balloon. This idea was suggested by my counselor; giving them a balloon to puff the bad dreams into before sleep. To expel the dreams from inside the body into the balloon which I then take outside and let the puff out (and any bad dream within).

This last idea is the sweetest and the kids came up with this one on their own. They are Benny and Rebe whistles, to call each other in their dreams if they need to.

Rebe had had a dream about a bad dog trying to bite her. When she told us about it the next day, Benny listened very carefully and then told her that if he had been in her dream he would have held onto the dog and put a lead on it and tied it to a washing line so it couldn't bite her. So they came up with a way of calling to each other in their dreams, if the other needed rescuing.
The decorated some pieces of cardboard and I helped them roll them into tubes and sellotape them closed. They are silent, apart from within the land of dreams where they are loud enough to be heard my the rescuer.

Funnily enough since then we've had no more bad dreams!
What techniques do you use in your home to battle bad dreams?

11 comments:

  1. That is brilliant!

    Oh, Laura, we recently have had the Bad Dream Faerie visit as well. I'm not sure that the Imp has actually had any bad dreams. But recently he has decided that he doesn't want to sleep because he's afraid of bad dreams. Quite a long time ago a friend sent me a small roll-on bottle of "sleepy time potion" from Lusa Organics. We didn't use it much because B is sensitve to smells.

    Several days ago I dug it out and explained to the Imp that it's a magic potion for bringing good dreams. I put a dab of it on his chest (right over his breast bone) and he's been going to sleep with no trouble. Today we're making a dream catcher. The Elf has one and the Imp wants one, too.

    It's heartbreaking to not be able to physically stop the fear our children feel. But these baby steps of comfort are amazing. (:

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    1. I know what you mean about how heartbreaking it can, be, we can just breathe and go with it and know that they will be ok x x

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  2. Same issue here. There were a few methods that used to work earlier but don't do it right at the moment - much to Navin's disappointment. He made his own dream catcher in kindergarten during a forest day out in the woods. it used to work for some time but recently he cried and shouted at it in disappointment for it not working anymore. Two years ago after I split up from his dad and moved out from there, he was scared for the "photo camera duck" who would come at night and pick him into his back. We wrote a letter to the duck then to stay away and instructed his toy pet dog to watch over him. The duck never appeared again, then. We tried the potion thing too - bought a lavender pillow spray that is supposed to "shoo ghosts away". Just right now none of them works.... I'll try the baloon thing too and hope his dreams get better soon!

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    1. poor Navin, hope you both get more restful nights soon x

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  3. I LOVE those ideas! The whistle idea brought tears to my eyes.

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    1. i know it makes my heart swell so much knowing the deep caring and concern the kids carry for each other :-)

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  4. gorgeous ideas. I have always suffered vivid bad dreams myself, i wake up drained and unable to deal with reality sometimes. My boy has started reporting bad dreams so we made a book of good dreams where he ilustrated some good dreams he'd like to have - us on the beach or riding all together on my bike. But I will have to start using some of these ideas too, very clever and sweet mama x

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    1. hi rose, I love that idea a book of good dreams. I still remember some of my dreams from childhood and love telling the kids about the good ones :-)

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  5. oh I love the balloon idea!
    Shea drew a knight and cut it out to tape to the wall beside Winter's bed, to chase away bad dreams. Winter in turn made a cat cut out to hand by Cedar's bed, for the same reason. Not only do they help, but they go to sleep gazing at it, something made with love by an older sibling. <3

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    1. yes that love for each other is so strong and so sweet and so important. I feel lucky to see it in my kids :-)

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