Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nightmares

Hannah had me up at 4am, she had a nightmare.

Thinking back, it was her first real nightmare, not that she has never had one, but I guess they were more of bad dreams that didn't really effect her. Last night was different, she was terrified and refuses to go to school this morning.

She said her dream was about Halloween and she never saw her mommy and daddy again. She said she's afraid to leave me today.

She's not an irrational child. She's actually a very rational child that easily differentiates between fantasy and reality. Last night she didn't seem to be able to do that.

Hannah is intelligent, I'm not just saying that because she's my child, she really is and she's in Gifted and Talented and Dual Language classes. She's 7. So I explained to her what a dream was. Ironically enough I just studied this for a class a couple of weeks ago. The latest research indicates that our brains are processing our daily activities in bits and pieces to our long term memory and that is why we dream, however when processing into long term memory, our brains can't take just bits and pieces and in order for it to be understood, our brains make up random story lines... these are our dreams. We also never remember a dream unless we wake up during it. I explained all of this to her. But she didn't care and wasn't having any of it. This morning she's actually laughing with her brother, but she said to me "Remember mom, I can't leave you today"... I don't have work or school today. Thank goodness, but even if I did, being a mother comes first, as she's not always going to be 7.

What do you do when your child has a nightmare? They feel so real, we all know that, and they are a normal part of life, but how do we make our children realize... they are just dreams?

3 comments:

  1. ...being a mother comes first, as she's not always going to be 7...

    That is so wise! And with time she will realize that it was just a dream. But for now, that is not important. What is important is that you have allowed her to feel safe.

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  2. Hi Tammy... what a great post, I have always wondered about dreams.. it was especially interesting that "you don't remember dreams unless you wake up during it"... my hubby says he doesn't dream or at least he doesn't remember and he is the kind of person that sleeps like a log all night... me on the other hand, I have so many dreams, so vivid, right down to colours, and I always say I am tired and didn't sleep good... no wonder, I guess it's true that I do wake up lots! Sorry can't give you any advise but I enjoyed the post... and you're just being a great Mum! Cheers!

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  3. Bless her. She's so young at the moment, but in time, she'll realise that dreams are nothing to be frightened of, even if she's frightened at the time. I really sympathise with her as I have so many horrible dreams, I can't remember the last good night's sleep I had, I wake constantly and have many, many dreams.

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Thank you for your positive comments!