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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Encourage Dream Sharing

Previously accidentally posted in All Craft Connection.

Children, like adults, dream every night, but unless you ask them to share their dreams, they, like adults again, are unlikely to remember them. By asking your children about their dreams, you are glimpsing a part of their lives that is filled with symbols, feelings, and attitudes.

Often, children will interpret their own dreams, as my youngest daughter did on occasion. In 3-Year-Old Interprets Her Own Dream, Brittney wasn't aware that she was interpreting her dream, but I was. 

When you encourage your children to share their dreams, you are discovering aspects of your children that you might not have known. You might be surprised, when you ask them about the monster in their dreams, to discover that the monster looked like you! And when you review the previous day, you might remember losing your sanity at one point and, as you review the situation, you will understand how you might have appeared to be a monster to your child.

When your child relates his or her dream, ask questions and ask for descriptions: 

What did the monster look like? 
Describe the house you were visiting. 
Does any element (person, place, or thing) remind you of anybody or anything. 
How did you feel during the dream? 

Emotions felt during a dream will give you further clues about how your child feels in waking life. 

Why would you want to encourage your child to share his or her dreams? Let's say your child dreamed about a snake that was continually striking your child. Upon questioning, you learn that the snake looks like your child's daycare provider. Now you can take action.

When children share their dreams, they share their emotions, their feelings, and their thoughts. By investigating their dreams, you can learn about things that matter to your child, that frighten your child, and that bring him or her joy. All you have to do each morning is ask, "What did you dream about last night?" and you will enter your child's world in a way you've never dreamed ;)

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