I remember waking at night as a little girl, scared from a bad dream. I always ran to my parent's room and woke up my mom. She would usually let me climb into bed next to her. It was always a strategic move to go to Mom because Dad wasn't likely to let me climb into bed. Word has it I wasn't the most fun to sleep with. Probably much like your preschoolers.
- Talk about what dreams are during the daytime. Discuss the difference between dreams and reality in terms they can understand. It can be a difficult idea to grasp so think of as many different ways to describe it as you can.
- Discuss what kind of good dreams he or she would like to have before bedtime. Suggest that he can have dreams about playing at the park or visiting grandma and grandpa. We discovered my daughter didn't realize there were such things as good dreams and was really excited at the thought of having happy dreams.
- Say prayers before bedtime.
- When she wakes up from a nightmare, do what you can to comfort her and calm her down. If she needs to crawl into bed with you that is OK. Even if it isn't what you would normally do. Sometimes a bit of extra comfort is in order. Sometimes we have to turn on the lights to show her that it was just a dream and there really aren't any ants in the bed. Talk about what good dreams she'd like to have when she falls back asleep.