Nightmares!

Whoa. Is it just me, or did a ton of people have nightmares last night? Even those of us who don’t usually have them?

What do you do when you have a nightmare? When I was a kid I figured out that I could will myself to go back into the dream and resolve things to my benefit if I could get over my fear. But I’m a freak, and I don’t know anyone else who can go back into their dreams at will.

What do you do when your kids have nightmares? How do you comfort them, and how to you teach them to comfort themselves?

74 thoughts on “Nightmares!”

  1. Actually all my nightmares happened on Monday night …. I just rub my little ones’ backs and whisper sweet nothings in their ear and desperately hope they go back to sleep!

  2. Actually all my nightmares happened on Monday night …. I just rub my little ones’ backs and whisper sweet nothings in their ear and desperately hope they go back to sleep!

  3. I usually do the same thing as Melanie K–patting/rubbing and soothing words to keep DS sleeping. . .although I had a long long night of doing this all night one time, and regretted it; I think I should have just woken him up to get him out of the dream cycle. It was like the situation where you are cold& miserable but too asleep to get up for a blanket–I couldn’t get myself to wake up and wake him up.And Moxie–guess I’m a freak, too, b/c I can do the same thing–re-enter the dream and direct it to my required resolution.

  4. I usually do the same thing as Melanie K–patting/rubbing and soothing words to keep DS sleeping. . .although I had a long long night of doing this all night one time, and regretted it; I think I should have just woken him up to get him out of the dream cycle. It was like the situation where you are cold& miserable but too asleep to get up for a blanket–I couldn’t get myself to wake up and wake him up.And Moxie–guess I’m a freak, too, b/c I can do the same thing–re-enter the dream and direct it to my required resolution.

  5. I read that if you turn over in your sleep, you will change your dream. Don’t know if it’s been scientifically proven, but it works for me. During a nightmare I can tell myself to turn over, then no more nightmare.DD is only 4 and no nightmares yet. But they might be coming as she is suddenly concerned about “bad guys” and she wants her night light on again.

  6. I read that if you turn over in your sleep, you will change your dream. Don’t know if it’s been scientifically proven, but it works for me. During a nightmare I can tell myself to turn over, then no more nightmare.DD is only 4 and no nightmares yet. But they might be coming as she is suddenly concerned about “bad guys” and she wants her night light on again.

  7. Seriously? Because I woke up this morning in a panic from the awful dream I had last night … couldn’t figure out if it was real or not. I rarely have bad dreams – I had a ton when I was pregnant, but not otherwise.My kids are only 3, so we haven’t really had nightmares, just drama about the “scary monsters” (whom we ‘spray’ away) and leaving a light on.

  8. Seriously? Because I woke up this morning in a panic from the awful dream I had last night … couldn’t figure out if it was real or not. I rarely have bad dreams – I had a ton when I was pregnant, but not otherwise.My kids are only 3, so we haven’t really had nightmares, just drama about the “scary monsters” (whom we ‘spray’ away) and leaving a light on.

  9. My mom used to tell us that if we would tell her our bad dream it would go away. It always did. Plus, in the telling we would hear how ridiculous it was and feel less emotional about it. Then she would make sure we rolled over and slept in a different position so that we would have better dreams.

  10. My mom used to tell us that if we would tell her our bad dream it would go away. It always did. Plus, in the telling we would hear how ridiculous it was and feel less emotional about it. Then she would make sure we rolled over and slept in a different position so that we would have better dreams.

  11. Mouse and I have been evolving a bedtime story together where, after doing several crazy tasks for a fairy (natch) she becomes the Princess of the Land of Dreams. The fairy then gives her a beautiful castle and tells her that if anything ever frightens or worries her in the land of dreams, she needs only to think of her castle and she will be there; and she needs only to pull up the drawbridge and nothing scary will be able to find her. Don’t know if the suggestion is actually permeating–she doesn’t tend to have a ton of bad dreams right now at age 5–but she likes it and it seems like a good idea.I’ve always found a hug, or if I’m alone a glass of milk and a chapter of a book.
    We also had a wonderful experience a couple years ago when Mouse was 3 and having scary animal dreams–I told her preschool teacher one morning that Mouse was tired because of a bad dream about a tiger. The teacher asked her to draw the tiger (she just drew this orange and black malevolence) and then had her draw a whole field of chocolate chips to give the tiger to make it act sweet. It really helped, and I still have the picture–this furious stripey scribble in the middle, surrounded by a hundred little chocolate circles.

  12. Mouse and I have been evolving a bedtime story together where, after doing several crazy tasks for a fairy (natch) she becomes the Princess of the Land of Dreams. The fairy then gives her a beautiful castle and tells her that if anything ever frightens or worries her in the land of dreams, she needs only to think of her castle and she will be there; and she needs only to pull up the drawbridge and nothing scary will be able to find her. Don’t know if the suggestion is actually permeating–she doesn’t tend to have a ton of bad dreams right now at age 5–but she likes it and it seems like a good idea.I’ve always found a hug, or if I’m alone a glass of milk and a chapter of a book.
    We also had a wonderful experience a couple years ago when Mouse was 3 and having scary animal dreams–I told her preschool teacher one morning that Mouse was tired because of a bad dream about a tiger. The teacher asked her to draw the tiger (she just drew this orange and black malevolence) and then had her draw a whole field of chocolate chips to give the tiger to make it act sweet. It really helped, and I still have the picture–this furious stripey scribble in the middle, surrounded by a hundred little chocolate circles.

  13. This wasn’t a nightmare, but I dreamt about a old high school flame named Teddy. Weird little coincidence, or am I psychic?We deal with night terrors, largely by waking the kid all the way up and then putting him back to bed. If we try to soothe him without waking up, he can’t get out of the terror mental loop.

  14. This wasn’t a nightmare, but I dreamt about a old high school flame named Teddy. Weird little coincidence, or am I psychic?We deal with night terrors, largely by waking the kid all the way up and then putting him back to bed. If we try to soothe him without waking up, he can’t get out of the terror mental loop.

  15. nothing that i’m thinking are nightmares yet (he’s 2 1/2) though occasionally we get a loud screech in the middle of the night & then nothing as he resettles himself. hard to tell, though, since the loud screech is his go-to noise. nightmare? happy? bored? who knows?my brother, though, recently had the one where you have to pass the exam for the class you never went to & didn’t know you had to pass & didn’t study & don’t even know where the exam is held. he sat right up in bed and said out loud ‘so what if i don’t pass? i’ll just graduate next semester!’ & went back to sleep.

  16. nothing that i’m thinking are nightmares yet (he’s 2 1/2) though occasionally we get a loud screech in the middle of the night & then nothing as he resettles himself. hard to tell, though, since the loud screech is his go-to noise. nightmare? happy? bored? who knows?my brother, though, recently had the one where you have to pass the exam for the class you never went to & didn’t know you had to pass & didn’t study & don’t even know where the exam is held. he sat right up in bed and said out loud ‘so what if i don’t pass? i’ll just graduate next semester!’ & went back to sleep.

  17. Our dreams happened on Monday night. The WHOLE FAMILY, even my husband who NEVER recalls his dreams told me about at least three, in vivid detail. I love how his dreams involve cyber droids and weird space stuff; mine are always so relational. LOL.Something is totally going on.

  18. Our dreams happened on Monday night. The WHOLE FAMILY, even my husband who NEVER recalls his dreams told me about at least three, in vivid detail. I love how his dreams involve cyber droids and weird space stuff; mine are always so relational. LOL.Something is totally going on.

  19. oh my god yes! i woke up this morning from a horrible dream in which my baby kept falling into a pool and i couldn’t keep jumping in fast enough to save him. it was horrible.and i’m not prone to nightmares.
    (typing one handed cause he’s on my lap right now)

  20. oh my god yes! i woke up this morning from a horrible dream in which my baby kept falling into a pool and i couldn’t keep jumping in fast enough to save him. it was horrible.and i’m not prone to nightmares.
    (typing one handed cause he’s on my lap right now)

  21. Mine always involve trying to scream but not being able to make any noise. I used to dream that I was trying to cross the street and when I got to the middle I’d fall down and try to crawl but I could never get anywhere.@jac – in my experience, 3 is the age of fears. The brain seems to shift from the black and white of what exists and what doesn’t to all of the possibilities that could. They will have nightmares earlier, but usually can’t articulate anything about them. 3 is also when you’ll get monster fears, dog fears, dark fears, etc.

  22. Moxie–I can change my dreams too! My husband considers this yet one more manifestation of my control freak nature (because he can’t do it 🙂 ) and it drives him crazy when I suggest it to the kids. Because apparently everyone can’t do it.I love the turning over suggestion and will pass that on to the kids. True or not, it sounds like the kind of thing that works if you think it does.

  23. Moxie–I can change my dreams too! My husband considers this yet one more manifestation of my control freak nature (because he can’t do it 🙂 ) and it drives him crazy when I suggest it to the kids. Because apparently everyone can’t do it.I love the turning over suggestion and will pass that on to the kids. True or not, it sounds like the kind of thing that works if you think it does.

  24. Well, I’m a Christian, so I say ‘Jesus, Jesus’ over and over until I feel peaceful again. Always works! We always pray our little one won’t have nightmares.

  25. Well, I’m a Christian, so I say ‘Jesus, Jesus’ over and over until I feel peaceful again. Always works! We always pray our little one won’t have nightmares.

  26. So timely, again! We think DD (2) had her first nightmare last night. I got her up, gave her warm milk, and then DH rubbed her back until she fell back asleep.

  27. I give my child a new dream. Meaning, I do guided meditation for him about something happy. “You go outside and see a helicopter. The driver waves at you. He says to come over; the helicopter is here to take you for a ride. You climb in….”Strangely, my 8yo has never woken from a bad dream. His 5yo brother has been having them from infancy. Every night when I tuck him in I tell him to pick some dreams out and put them under his pillow. We also made his own dream catcher for over the bed. (great book:Grandmother’s Dreamcatcher by Becky Ray McCain) Between all these tricks, something usually works.

  28. I give my child a new dream. Meaning, I do guided meditation for him about something happy. “You go outside and see a helicopter. The driver waves at you. He says to come over; the helicopter is here to take you for a ride. You climb in….”Strangely, my 8yo has never woken from a bad dream. His 5yo brother has been having them from infancy. Every night when I tuck him in I tell him to pick some dreams out and put them under his pillow. We also made his own dream catcher for over the bed. (great book:Grandmother’s Dreamcatcher by Becky Ray McCain) Between all these tricks, something usually works.

  29. So weird, I can almost never remember my dreams, but had such vivid bad dreams last night!! They weren’t quite nightmare quality, but they were definitely not good!!

  30. So weird, I can almost never remember my dreams, but had such vivid bad dreams last night!! They weren’t quite nightmare quality, but they were definitely not good!!

  31. I “give” my 6yo good dreams. Meaning, I describe some fairly elaborate fantasy scenario that she can think about, sometimes as she falls asleep in the first place, or in the middle of the night. If she is feeling stressed out when she is going to bed, or has a bad dream, she will ask for a “good dream”. It seems to work ok to give her something else to focus on. Hopefully it also models something she can do for herself too, eventually.Alas, my 3yo has night terrors, since he was a baby. Not frequently, but I have nothing except to sit with him while he thrashes to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself. Sometimes some low singing as he’s starting to calm down. In the throes of it it seems to annoy him even more.

  32. I “give” my 6yo good dreams. Meaning, I describe some fairly elaborate fantasy scenario that she can think about, sometimes as she falls asleep in the first place, or in the middle of the night. If she is feeling stressed out when she is going to bed, or has a bad dream, she will ask for a “good dream”. It seems to work ok to give her something else to focus on. Hopefully it also models something she can do for herself too, eventually.Alas, my 3yo has night terrors, since he was a baby. Not frequently, but I have nothing except to sit with him while he thrashes to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself. Sometimes some low singing as he’s starting to calm down. In the throes of it it seems to annoy him even more.

  33. It’s called lucid dreaming, and I learned how to do it as a kid. I have always had a lot of nightmares, so in a way it is an essential skill for me! There used to be a whole branch of psychology devoted to dreaming that thought lucid dreaming could be taught.My daughter at 4 still has more night terrors than nightmares, but if I can wake her up she wants a hug and then goes back to sleep. If I can’t wake her up, I just turn on the “sleepytime” music and hold her until she calms down. I’ve woken up a few times to find she’s turned the music on herself!
    I usually don’t wake up during a bad dream, but when I do I usually get up for a little bit and do a word puzzle or something. Anything to kind of shift the mental gears.

  34. It’s called lucid dreaming, and I learned how to do it as a kid. I have always had a lot of nightmares, so in a way it is an essential skill for me! There used to be a whole branch of psychology devoted to dreaming that thought lucid dreaming could be taught.My daughter at 4 still has more night terrors than nightmares, but if I can wake her up she wants a hug and then goes back to sleep. If I can’t wake her up, I just turn on the “sleepytime” music and hold her until she calms down. I’ve woken up a few times to find she’s turned the music on herself!
    I usually don’t wake up during a bad dream, but when I do I usually get up for a little bit and do a word puzzle or something. Anything to kind of shift the mental gears.

  35. DD used to have night terrors. That goodness she hasn’t in a long time (knock on wood). She also has always had nightmares since we’ve met (when she was 11 months, she’s 3 now). She is a very active dreamer, nightmares have her crying in her sleep and sometimes punching the air. Good dreams have her smiling and murmuring in her sleep. Mostly I just rub her back to get her back to sleep and know that we are all going to be up again in an hour doing the same thing.

  36. DD used to have night terrors. That goodness she hasn’t in a long time (knock on wood). She also has always had nightmares since we’ve met (when she was 11 months, she’s 3 now). She is a very active dreamer, nightmares have her crying in her sleep and sometimes punching the air. Good dreams have her smiling and murmuring in her sleep. Mostly I just rub her back to get her back to sleep and know that we are all going to be up again in an hour doing the same thing.

  37. I was taught as a kid that if you wake up from a nightmare, if you turn over your pillow you can effectively end your dream and move on. It’s something to teach little kids who are old enough to learn those coping skills.

  38. I was taught as a kid that if you wake up from a nightmare, if you turn over your pillow you can effectively end your dream and move on. It’s something to teach little kids who are old enough to learn those coping skills.

  39. I loved what Charisse said about Mouse’s teacher. I will suggest that from now on to parents when it comes to bad dreams where animals are involved, please thank her for me.I know that dreams are manifestations of your internal struggles, fears, and insecurities about growing into the person you’re destined to become and that the images in a dream don’t mean the same things in the dream world that they do in the real world. Although I have had some dreams, like when my mom was sick, where it was a true reflection of what was going on in my life, but that’s not usually the case.
    When my kids were little I would ask them if they had anything they wanted or needed to say to the dream and that seemed to make them feel a bit better. Then hugs, warm milk and off to bed.
    While pregnant with taller I was confined to bed for 4 months. Tall was 3 and had many, many bad dreams. We did some of the same things suggested here. We gave him good dreams to tuck under his pillow and told him to grab a good dream to replace the bad each time he had a bad dream. Taller had terrible bad dreams at 8 & 9, nothing would make him feel safe again unless he slept in our room on a sleeping bag on the floor.
    I don’t really have anything to add on this one, BUT I am fascinated my the fact that everyone had bad dreams this week. I had a horrible dream on Monday night. I was aware, even as I was dreaming, that this dream was telling me about my worst fears at the moment and that I needed to deal with them when I woke up. I decided while sleeping that I needed to finish the dream and not wake up. I made a decision in my dream to hang in there so I could see where this was headed.
    Moxie, I guess there are many dream freaks out there!

  40. I loved what Charisse said about Mouse’s teacher. I will suggest that from now on to parents when it comes to bad dreams where animals are involved, please thank her for me.I know that dreams are manifestations of your internal struggles, fears, and insecurities about growing into the person you’re destined to become and that the images in a dream don’t mean the same things in the dream world that they do in the real world. Although I have had some dreams, like when my mom was sick, where it was a true reflection of what was going on in my life, but that’s not usually the case.
    When my kids were little I would ask them if they had anything they wanted or needed to say to the dream and that seemed to make them feel a bit better. Then hugs, warm milk and off to bed.
    While pregnant with taller I was confined to bed for 4 months. Tall was 3 and had many, many bad dreams. We did some of the same things suggested here. We gave him good dreams to tuck under his pillow and told him to grab a good dream to replace the bad each time he had a bad dream. Taller had terrible bad dreams at 8 & 9, nothing would make him feel safe again unless he slept in our room on a sleeping bag on the floor.
    I don’t really have anything to add on this one, BUT I am fascinated my the fact that everyone had bad dreams this week. I had a horrible dream on Monday night. I was aware, even as I was dreaming, that this dream was telling me about my worst fears at the moment and that I needed to deal with them when I woke up. I decided while sleeping that I needed to finish the dream and not wake up. I made a decision in my dream to hang in there so I could see where this was headed.
    Moxie, I guess there are many dream freaks out there!

  41. Love that people are able to lucid dream, I’ve never been able to get back in.I have had a lot of sleepwalking & night terrors in the past myself, and just had another night terror Monday night, and this morning dreamed that my therapist slapped DS for sassing her! still working on untangling the meaning to that one.
    knock wood, haven’t had to deal with 4 year old’s nightmares, although we’ve seen a flare up of “leave a light on” so he can get to sleep. and actually, he’s been coming in to get us to sleep with him for the past week, but we’re never awake enough to find out what’s going on.

  42. Love that people are able to lucid dream, I’ve never been able to get back in.I have had a lot of sleepwalking & night terrors in the past myself, and just had another night terror Monday night, and this morning dreamed that my therapist slapped DS for sassing her! still working on untangling the meaning to that one.
    knock wood, haven’t had to deal with 4 year old’s nightmares, although we’ve seen a flare up of “leave a light on” so he can get to sleep. and actually, he’s been coming in to get us to sleep with him for the past week, but we’re never awake enough to find out what’s going on.

  43. Well I don’t get enough sleep these days to actually dream!! But I did have insomnia on Monday night or was it Sunday……

  44. Okay, I used to do that with nightmares, too. I had them every night all my life from around 7 years old. I could go back into them after waking, or just rewind them and make them change from the creepy/awful part, while still asleep. I practiced that control consciously (‘lucid dreaming’), and would remember and manage 12-16 dreams a night. Very busy!But, once I met ep, I found a faster route – he says ‘no bad dreams’ and I have no nightmares. He has to say it every night, though – probably 2 of 3 nights that he forgets (which isn’t often), I have horrible dreams.
    No insomnia last night, either. Usually that’s just coffee effect for me.

  45. My nightmare was also on Monday night. I was jogging along and this guy was hitting on me from behind and when he ran up alongside me to really engage me, he saw that I was pregnant and ran the other way. Need I say more?As far as E, before I knew what night terrors were, I ran in there one night where he was screaming and thrashing about and holy crap. It took over an hour (maybe two? who can keep track in the dark at that time of night?!?) and it was so horrible for both of us. Eventually tears started streaming down my cheeks b/c he kept crying for mommy mommy mommy but was pushing me away and I couldn’t hold on to him but he’d scream even more when I put him down and he cried so loud and so long that it just broke me down. Needless to say, I learned my lesson.
    Now, if it’s a night terror, I check on him to make sure he’s not going to hurt himself (he waves his arms around a lot) and then just stand there till it passes, although sometimes covering him with a blanket helps. If it’s anything else – which I can’t distinguish – I cover him and rub his back and he wakes up just enough to say “hi mommy. pat Evan’s back” and typically falls right back asleep.

  46. The child and I both take our soft blankets and rub them on our faces to calm down and go back to sleep. I don’t know whether the 4-year old lerned it from seeing me do it, whether it’s genetic, or whether that’s just a really common calming technique. It’s nice to have a lovey.

  47. Right on yet again… Yes, husband and I both woke up this morning talking about our weird dreams (not quite nightmares but not pleasant). I’ve been sitting here gnashing my teeth over mine.

  48. I wouldn’t call it a nightmare but I did wake from a dream where I was trying to buy these pink, impossibly high, fringed heels. I guess the nightmare would have been actually wearing them!

  49. YES!!! horrible, scary, shook-me-up kind of dream. never been able to get out of my bad dreams… or back into the good ones (which when i was an older kid = kirk cameron or ricky schroeder) – ha!

  50. This is so timely, I just learned from my therapist on Saturday that when children (or adults for that matter) have nightmares, you can rewrite the ‘script’ by inserting a hero. So find out what their nightmare was about then develop a hero (their favorite cartoon character, stuffed animal, family dog, etc.) who will help them fight whatever it is they fear. Before going to bed have them describe the nightmare but this time when the scary part happens have them describe how their hero will come in and help them. I think this is part of dream therapy.

  51. When I was little, I got terrible nightmares (also had night terrors, but I was too young to remember those). My babysitter told me that sleeping on your back causes nightmares, and encouraged me to think of two good things from the day and repeat to myself as I was falling asleep “(first good thing), (second good thing), on my stomach, nice and warm.”I don’t think stomach-sleeping has anything to do with preventing nightmares, and I wouldn’t recommend that part of it (because now I’m a pretty confirmed stomach-sleeper and it’s not great for your back) but having a mantra, whether it’s a prayer or a wish or just nice things from your day, is pretty great.
    And I love the idea of drawing the scary person/animal/monster/whatever from the dream and “feeding” it chocolate chips!

  52. I’ve never been able to get myself back into a dream after waking up, but I have been able to realize, while having a bad dream, that it was a bad dream and then force myself to wake up. It’s like terror, then some rationalization (“This is ridiculous. A miniature rhino is NOT chasing me through a field of poppies. It must be a dream. I will take up.”), then I’m awake shortly thereafter. I’ve been able to do this since I was a teen. Sometimes, I realize that it must be a dream, but I decide to stay asleep and in it, since it’s so nice! Those are the best.

  53. Creepy you should bring this topic up…my 5 month old had her first night terror last night. i woke up my mother because i paniced when the baby was howling and twitching. it took us a wet cloth, stripping her, turning on the lights, a bottle, lots of stimulation and 2 and a half hours to get her back to sleep. what a night!

  54. To our knowledge, #1 has never had a nightmare – or never required us in his room at all hours for comfort. He’s a weirdo. #2 has always had them – even when he was an infant he’d have crazy happy dreams (what kind of 3wk old infant laughs in his sleep?!) and crazy scary ones. He’s 2.5yrs now and they’re less frequent but mostly he’ll need us to come in, acknowledge that he’s had “a scary”, physically comfort (snuggles, rocking, patting, etc), and then he’s ready to go back to sleep.When it’s bad enough I end up either curling up in a ball and crying myself back to sleep or waking up my husband, curling up against him and holding tight until I feel better. He’s a damned good man.

  55. Hmm, after a mildy traumatic leaving of 2-yr-old T (and his twin bro) at morning-only daycare on Tues, he woke from his afternoon nap crying, “Mommy come back!” Also had that nightmare a few times that night. Made me feel pretty bad. And not sure if it means he’s working it out in his sleep or what? The next morning he was uncharacteristically unfazed when I left his dance class for a few minutes, but freaked some when I left that evening for a date with the husband.What do dreams mean in small kids, anyway? Fears, wishes; resolving, making sense of the day’s events? For adults I take a fairly neo-Freudian view, but not sure how to “apply” that to babies and kids.

  56. i used to do the same thing as you… if i wasn’t too freaked out i’d re-enter the dream and FIX things so that there was a happier ending. so here’s another person who does that 🙂 [i still do if i can manage it]the little is only 7 months – so if she’s having nightmares she’s not able to explain them yet.
    when i was little i remember my parents comforting me – encouraging me to talk about the dream so that it wasn’t so scary – and promising that things that happen in sleep don’t happen for “Reals”. at least not usually.

  57. no nightmares, per say, but the toddler (who turns 3 today) has started freaking out about being left alone at bedtime, making us come in over and over, after the regular routine.He told me last night that he was “scared of the things outside.”
    “what things?” I asked
    “The lions and the tigers.”
    (This is a recurring thing with him for about 6 months, since he saw a book with lions eating a wildebeest. Also why we haven’t yet been to the zoo)
    How do you handle fears of the dark/ridiculous things that apparently aren’t ridiculous to the 3 year olds?

  58. @Tzipporah, I love the way you put it, “fears of the dark/ridiculous things that apparently aren’t ridiculous to the 3 year olds”At about the same age as the story above (also 3ish), Mouse woke us up one night with desperate sobbing. I went in to comfort her and finally got her calm enough to tell me the problem: “I dreamed there was a big, bad, scary tiger coming down the hall and it was going to…” (mommy waits with great empathy for the statement of damage to self and life)”…EAT MY SOCKS…sobsobsobsobsobsobsob” Somehow none of “tigers don’t eat socks, they eat animals” or “seriously, you’re freaking out like this about socks?” or “that is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard at 4AM” seemed like the right answer. I don’t remember what did work, probably just big hugs and reassurance. But yeah, I get ya about the dark and ridiculous.

  59. @Tzipporah, with equally outlandish safeguards. Magical danger, magical solution.I used to put magic spiderweb (invisible) over Mr G’s doorway to keep the badguyz out. Magic stones, magic all sorts of things helped at different times. In fact, we still have the magic mittens that made the hospital all better (he was in for croup, IVs and other awful stuff, but putting the hospital slipper socks on his hands instead of his feet and flipping his fingers back and forth made ALL the difference, he’d calm right down, sigh, and say ‘majik mittins, all better’ – hey, whatever works!).
    Mr B never took our word for it on the magic safety things, but his brother could magic up some good guys to protect the house, and that would be good enough. My mom simply says that badguys are Not Allowed In Baba’s House. Period. They totally believe her, too. Fairies, sharks, and all manner of magical devices have served their time (sometimes only working for a day). Keeps my imagination in working order, at least!

  60. my nearly 3 year old has been having nightmares all week. Started with a fire (it had legs that it used for stomping, but not face) she woke up after an unusually long sleep shaking and wide eyed with fear. I had to carry her downstairs and go through each room of the house before she believed the stomping fire wasn’t there. I at first thought she’d figured out it was only a dream but for the last few days she’s been asking me where the fire went. We had a talk about real fires and that she would be safe, that daddy and I would come and get her “so don’t hide just call and call and call until we come”. I also asked her who could scare away her dream fire. She said “daddy, with a big glass of water”.Then last night she had a dream about flies, “big black ones with faces”. So we sang the ‘shoo fly don’t bother me” song.
    Tonight she woke up and was so scared that there were Monsters coming up the stairs. She was terrified to go to sleep, so much so that it took both me and my husband rubbing her back, telling her she was safe. Finally we gave her a stuffed animal (something she doesn’t normally want) and a night light (something she’s never asked for before). She’s asleep now so I hope things go better for her tonight.
    I’d love to hear the answer so someone’s question though about dreams in young children, what brings them on, how to handle them and how them cope, etc.

  61. Nightmares. Ugh. My daughter is MR, and she can’t articulate what scares her, so when she wakes from a nightmare, all I can do is hold her and whisper soothing nothings. 🙁 Fortunately, she doesn’t have many bad dreams.I’m a freak, too! I can control my dreams, and often change them from nightmares into really good dreams (flying, floating) without ever waking up. I taught myself how to realize I was dreaming and modify the dream when I was in my early teens. I had horrible, violent nightmares and would often sleepwalk, so getting some control over my sleeping mind was very important to me. This was some 30 years ago, and I went to the library to check out books on dreams and started training my mind to dream lucidly. I don’t recall how long it took, but it worked. 🙂 I just wish it worked on real-life troubles! LOL

  62. Okay, so explain this Bob. That second movie I returned on Saturday was marked as received at netflix on Tuesday…but the next Movie was not shipped. Now, one is marked as Shipping Today (Wednesday). If my top choice was not available at my local shipping center, shouldn’t a “bonus” DVD have been shipped yesterday? I’ve had good luck in the past, but this is pretty frustrating.

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