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What to do when your child has Nightmares
Since we seem to be on a sleep kick phase I thought today we could talk about nightmares! Nightmares seemed to spike for Big Girl after watching scary movies and after trauma had occurred in our family.
We struggled for about a month every night where Big Girl would wake up in the middle of the night and refuse to go to sleep after the nightmare occurred. 3:30 seems to be the prime Time at our house when I am awakened by sleeping troubles. I felt so helpless for my sweet four-year-old when she would lie awake beside me. Refusing to go to sleep because her nightmares consumed her. Daily I would search google desperately searching, “what to do when your child has nightmares” and I never could find the answer.
So I thought and thought and thought…
I tried everything I could think of. We would play lullabies, pray that the nightmares wouldn’t happen, pretend she had magic in her dreams to do what she needed to fight the evil or wars off the bad guy. Nothing seemed to help. It was devastating and exhausting.
It was time to bring in the Professionals on what to do when you child has nightmares
So I decided to ask the professionals for help. Nightmares can be so scary but there has to be a way to fix them! Nightmares at our house were solved with introducing a helper figure into a dream!
So what exactly is a helper figure?? When I was four I would dream about being kidnapped by Captain Hook all the time. You know how the nightmare goes! You are taken and try your best to escape and get away. You get captured. You bolt to a sitting position, heart racing, palms sweaty only to realize you were having a nightmare. In a situation like that, your helper figure could be Peter Pan who would keep you from getting kidnapped or Jesus who would stop Captain Hook. The helper figure would be someone your child sees as a hero in their life or someone they can identify with as a friend and protector.
Big Girl’s hero is Eliott, Pete’s dragon. He has wings she explained to me. We fly away after he breathes fire at the person trying to hurt me.
Sometimes though she wakes up and asks for her Tiger Lily, her lovey we introduced to her when she had disclosed the trauma she had faced. She also has Pink Seal who reminds her of being brave she received from a play specialist.
Take the time to use play to teach your children to brace and utilize those characters that they can identify with.
Share with us, are there any other tips and tricks you have for fighting off nightmares?? Share below I would love to add them on to help other mommas!
Because oh puh-lease!!! You’ve got this momma!!