Guest Author - Deanna Joseph
Dreamguider – Open the Door to Your Child’s Dreams – by Denyse Beaudet, PhD., is a beautiful look into the world of children’s dreams.
I knew as a child that dreams were important, however, I was surrounded by adults who failed to see their importance – even when I’d had a precognitive dream!
I started keeping a dream journal when I was 15 years old, and have done so fairly regularly for the last, well, I’ll just say “many,” years.
Dreamguider opens with a brief tidbit about the Senoi people, also known as the “dream people,” of Malaysia.
“…the Senoi regard a child’s dreams as a learning opportunity. They believe dreams school us in the art of life.” From the introduction.
The Senoi believe that the dreams of children should be honored and respected, and that the child should be taught to learn from them. Unfortunately, most modern cultures take the easy way out, “it was only a dream, don’t worry about it.”
As a dreamworker, I learned a long time ago that dreams are telling us something that we need to know; something we need to deal with. Children who are taught to work with their dreams then have an advantage because they can work through things at a much younger age.
“Rudolph Ekstein compared a child’s dream to a fairy tale that describes a conflict and, at the same time, contains a method of adaptation.” From the introduction.
Dreams offer important insights into how children are growing and developing emotionally. Dreams also reflect stressors that the child may be experiencing in their daytime life. They may dream of struggle or conflict. When a child can’t give a voice to their anxieties, their dreams can. And the parent, or caregiver, who can recognize the importance of those dream messages can help the child move through the difficulty more easily, while also letting the child know they are not alone.
Dreamguider is a very easy read, and is about 181 pages. Denyse covers dreams of childhood, being a storyteller for your child and keeping a dream journal for them. Bedtime routines, dream allies, and nightmares are also discussed in depth.
“That children have bad dreams and nightmares is to be expected. A recurring nightmare, on the other hand, is like a wound never attended to or a problem never dealt with.” From the book – page 116.
She also talks about the importance of taking responsibility for your actions in your own child’s dream, how to pay attention to your child’s dreams, and how to make your child understand that you believe their dreams are very important.
“…when a child shares a dream in which a parent hurts his or her feelings, the child is providing the parent the opportunity ‘to repair the damage to his or her image.’… If you learn that you have hurt your child’s feelings in a dream, repairing your bond is your first step.” From the book – page 154-155.
Dreamguider is a valuable resource for parents, or anyone who cares for children. Well written, it offers insights and suggestions for how to work with children’s dreams, along with offering the opportunities to more deeply connect with your child. This book should be among the first that any parent buys when they discover they are bringing a child into this world!
“…the skills a child develops as a dreamer carry over into the child’s waking life.” From the book – page 120.
Deanna received her copy of Dreamguider from the publisher, at no charge, for review purposes.