DREAMS AS AN INDICATOR OF WELL-BEING: WHICH ELEMENTS HELP TO INTERPRET THEM
How often do you wake up in the morning with a dream still fresh in your mind and eagerly rush to tell someone about it and ask what it means? We often find ourselves with relatives or friends who know all the symbolism of dreams and so we can discover details and feelings that we might not have expected to feel or still have in our head.
Adults certainly manage to remember the stories that come to life during the night with greater clarity and rationality, managing to connect the dream dimension to the real one with a critical sense, but children also dream and the images that their minds reproduce are precious tools to be taken into consideration. They will learn with time, as they grow up, to put the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle to see what situation the dream they have just had is connected to but, in the meantime, it is up to the parents to intercept the various details.
Obviously not all their dreams have an unambiguous meaning but should be considered on the basis of their daily life and age. Like drawings, dreams can also reveal a lot about the little ones and, even if the stories are often not very precise and so we end up not giving them too much importance, they are a very important indicator of their well-being. So, what are the key elements to bear in mind when listening to your child tell the story of their dreams?
The first element is the main images. We must ask ourselves what details stand out most and whether it is related to something that has just been seen or experienced. The second is emotions. During the story, it is important to observe the child's expressions and feelings and to try to investigate their intensity. The third element is the role. We must focus on the child's function in the dream. To understand if they are a main character, a spectator and if they are experiencing the events in first person or from the outside. The fourth and final element is frequency. In fact, there are dreams that can be recurring, creating warnings about certain deep-rooted feelings in the child.
However, dialogue is the basis in understanding the well-being of children. Establishing a relationship of trust and respect with the child from an early age is essential because they will then be able to open up and recount every detail of their day, even the ones that seem apparently insignificant, and through the dream it will then be possible to reconnect everything.
The most important aspect is to respect the individuality and sensitivity of the child. Children must feel understood and comfortable, otherwise they will keep all these emotions to themselves. We must try to make storytelling a spontaneous habit in the day and respect its spaces. If they do not feel like telling their story one day, they will do so the next if they know they can open up and trust each other. This climate of serenity is also important with a view to the future, both for when they begin their first experiences at school but also for when they are teenagers and eventually adults.