It is not uncommon for kids to have the occasional upsetting or frightening dream or nightmare but learning how to help your child to recover from one is important.
Nightmares are never completely preventable, but they can be dealt with in a positive way when they occur.
When nightmares do creep in, a little comfort and support from you can quickly ease your little one’s mind and help them fall back to sleep.
8 WAYS TO HELP YOUR CHILD RECOVER FROM A NIGHTMARE
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Being a calm and soothing presence for your child after they experience a nightmare is incredibly important.
It will help them to feel protected and safe after waking up in a frightened state.
Reassure your little one that you are there to strengthen your child’s sense of security.
GIVE IT A NAME
When your child experiences a bad dream, let your child know that it was a nightmare and that it is over.
Make it very clear that what they experienced was a nightmare and that it didn’t happen in real life.
Remind your child that everyone has dreams once in a while and sometimes, they are scary.
Show your child that you understand and express to them that it’s ok to experience these emotions.
OFFER YOUR PRESENCE
With young children that have vivid imaginations, the power of your presence, protection, and love can make a huge difference.
You may be able to make them feel better by checking under the bed and in the closet.
SET THE MOOD
If your child has nightmares frequently, a nightlight can help them to feel safer when it’s dark.
Not only can this help to prevent them from being scared but it can also help them to go to sleep after a nightmare.
You can also use a diffuser as a nightlight and add a drop of juniper berry essential oil – this helped a lot with our youngest daughter. You can purchase the essential oil I use in my home here.
HELP THEM SLEEP
You can even talk to your little one about positive and happy experiences they have had to get their mind off the bad dream and onto something more positive.
TEACH COPING SKILLS
Teach your children the skills to cope with bad dreams and discuss other ways they can respond to them with positive thoughts and prayers.
Give them some insight into positive ways to feel better after their dreams.
BE A GOOD LISTENER
There is no need to discuss nightmares into the wee hours of the morning, but just listening to them can help them get ready to go back to sleep.
In the morning they may want to tell you every detail about the scary dream and by talking about it, the dream will lose its power, preventing future bad dreams.
For most children, nightmares only occur every once in a while, and they are not a cause for concern.
Sometimes, your kids simply require your reassurance and comfort.
If your child starts to experience behavioral troubles or if they are lacking in sleep seek some help. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
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