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What to do if a child has a nightmare or screams in his or her sleep. Advice from psychologist Svitlana Roiz

ObozrevatelLife
Roiz told what to do if a child has a nightmare

Ukrainian family and child psychologist Svitlana Roiz told parents what to do if their child has a nightmare or screams in their sleep. At a time when the country is at war, children are very sensitive to everything that happens, and this can affect the quality of their sleep.

On her Facebook page, Roiz gave a number of tips to help parents cope with restless sleep in children. It is important to know how to act in a given situation so as not to harm the baby.

The psychologist notes that during sleep when a child has his or her eyes closed, you should not touch or hug. If a child dreams that someone is chasing him or her, or that he or she is trying to get out of a dangerous space, this can lead to an unexpected reaction. Roiz advises parents to sit down next to the child and say, "You're sleeping. You had a bad dream. It is a dream. I am your mom. I am with you. You're going to wake up now, and I'm going to hug you. We are safe."

When the child opens his eyes, you need to say his name: "Look at me. Can you see me? Nod. You are awake. What is your name? What is my name? And your cat/dog? You had a bad dream. Now you are awake. It's okay. We are safe. Squeeze my hand hard. Can I hug you? I am with you." You can also quietly sing a lullaby to your child, which will give them an additional sense of security.

A boy cries.

You also need to work with your child to drive away all the bad dreams. The psychologist emphasizes that it is important that the child can do this himself.

"Let's clap our hands (once), and the dream will go to a dreamland, and we will be in reality. We will push it away or spray it with a spray bottle (even an imaginary one) - a spray from monsters. Or we will blow (dreams are like fog, they can dissipate with breath). Or, "dream, know your place". We reinforce it with the words 'you did it, look, you overcame everything on your own,'" she advises to offer the child.

What to do if the child does not talk about their dreams

In this case, Roiz advises not to provoke the child. If he or she does, you should say that it was a bad dream, everything is over, and now the child is safe.

"If the child talks about enemies, or that he could not get out, or that there were shells nearby, you can scatter the enemies into dust, imagine that you have gotten out, with a world shield over you. We need to complete the process," the psychologist emphasizes.

Svitlana Roiz.

Roiz notes that whenever anxiety or danger passes, it is very important to say that it is over. It is necessary to reinforce this with the phrases "you did well," "you helped me so much." Every time you should put an end to the events. This is necessary so that we do not relive what is traumatic for us in our dreams or thoughts.

In a quiet time, you can sing your favorite song with your children and agree that this song will be your password – a reminder of safety. You can sing it when your child has a fever, tantrums, or sleep problems.

But to transform and work with dream images and plots, Roiz advises to turn to specialists who have specific techniques.

As OBOZREVATEL previously wrote, Svitlana Roiz held an open online meeting for parents and children on the Zoom platform and told how to stay calm, not panic in times of war, and direct their efforts to support their families and Ukraine.

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