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Because Sophia had always been fascinated with the flight and sounds of birds and airplanes, my wife and I weren't sure if it was really a dream or just a fantasy. " While holding Sophia and comforting her, she continued to sob, saying "Sophia scared".

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Most nightmares are a normal part of coping with changes in our lives.

They are not necessarily a sign of pathology and may even be a positive indication that we are actively coping with a new challenge.

Every nightmare, no matter how distressing, contains vital information about crucial emotional challenges in your child's life.

To a parent whose ears and heart are open, listening to the most distressing nightmares is like hearing your child's unconscious, speaking directly to you delivering a special call for help.

These assertiveness skills carry over into future dream confrontations and lead to greater confidence to face waking challenges.

SOPHIA'S SPIDER DREAM Even very young children can learn to encounter and overcome the threatening creatures of their nightmares.There is even speculation among specialists in child development that the sleep disturbances of infants in the first year of life may be wordless nightmares.Nightmares diminish as children grow older, master their fears, and gain more control over their world.Children suffer more frequent nightmares than their parents and, prior to the age of six, nightmares are especially common.As soon as your child can speak, he or she may wake with a one or two word tale of a wolf or ghost.Nightmares will usually diminish in intensity and frequency as the child and the family recover and cope with stresses such as a death in the family or birth of a new family member.

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