Growing up isn't easy. It seems that kids will have at least one nightmare during childhood. More than likely, they'll have several. It isn't always easy helping your kids understand that nightmares are just bad dreams and aren't true.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, we don't exactly know what causes nightmares, but common themes for certain ages. For example, young children might dream about monsters (many storybooks and TV shows have a monster theme). Older children might have nightmares things that can hurt them: getting lost, not finding their parent, their parent's death, natural disasters, terminal illness, car accidents. The underlying point of all nightmares is that it seems very real to your kids, which is why just waking up from a nightmare doesn't make it go away.
When your kids have a nightmare, empathize with your kids that you understand that it was scary and seemed real, but reassure them that their home, safe in their bed. Just because it feels real doesn't mean that it's real. Give them hug and/or kisses. You can leave the door open, turn on night light, rub their back for a few mintues or make sure they have a lovie.
For reoccuring nightmares, there are different solutions based on the type of nightmare. For monster nightmares, you can use a water bottle with monster repellant just like a bug repellent to keep monsters away. You can even keep the monster repellant by their bed. For older kids, talk about their nightmares to see if there's a common theme, something they might be worried about or scared of. Teach your kids relaxation techniques where they can calm themselves down. Dream catcher can help too.
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