By Clare R Johnson, PhD

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Children’s nightmares – how lucid dreaming can help


Parents can feel helpless when faced with their child’s nightmares, especially if these are severe and happen a lot.

But there are ways of empowering children to understand the nature of dream reality so that they learn to tackle their nightmares head-on.

Sleep Monsters & Superheroes

Creative dreamplay is wonderful – this involves things like drawing the nightmare monster and then ritually destroying the paper afterwards, or creating a dream zoo in a cardboard box to house frightening dream animals or images. This book I co-edited, Sleep Monsters & Superheroes: Empowering Children through Creative Dreamplay, is a great practical resource for how to help children to thrive in their inner world of dreams and nightmares.

Another option is to explain to the child that it is possible to wake up inside a dream and change events. In this short video, I share my experiences with my little daughter and how giving her a mantra and telling her about lucid dreaming helped her to take charge of her dream dragons and scary witches.

About the Author

Dr Clare JohnsonA prolific lucid dreamer, Clare Johnson was the first person to do a PhD on lucid dreaming as a creative tool. She is creator of the transformative Lucid Writing method, and author of two lucid dream-inspired novels, Breathing in Colour and Dreamrunner.View all posts by Dr Clare Johnson →

1 Comment

  1. Ava Boyd
    Ava Boyd01-30-2016

    Hi Clare, good video! Thanks for sharing. I understand it’s a bit of a challenge for moms to witness their child in the midst of a bad dream. And while lucid dreaming is something new (might even be scary to many), I hope more parents realize the benefits that it can do to help their kids deal with nightmares. I, too, am a mom. Explaining to my little girl what lucid dreaming is and how to get into it was a major challenge at first. Good luck to us!

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