Nightmares are a good thing!
Ok so the titles a little misleading, anyone who’s a parent knows that its not great being woken early hours of the morning because your child is having a nightmare and then whats worse is that they kick you all night because they have to squeeze into bed with you because they’re so scared.
But by using some NLP techniques you can use this problem and many other problems as an opportunity to give your child some really useful resources.
A few years ago when my son was around 5 or 6yrs old he started to have a few nightmares and on a couple of occasions I suffered a few sleepless nights as a result of being kicked, well I like my sleep :), and hate the thought of my son being upset by this so I thought that I’d better help him to sort it out.
So then the next time, I hadn’t even got to sleep when he woke saying he was scared. I started to explore with him what was actually scary about these dreams, and it was something about zombies, (turns out his older sister had shown him the music video to Michael Jacksons thriller) So I asked him what he would like to dream about and he told me some sort of cartoons which he liked at the time, I got him to start to think about these and began to joke around with him, helping him to relax, but then he told me he couldnt think about this as whenever he closed his eyes these zombies would appear, I told him this was really cool, as if he could get these zombies to appear in his mind then what other things could he see. I knew at the time he loved Ben 10, and for those of you who dont know Ben 10 is this cool kid who fights off scary aliens by becoming an Alien himself. I got him to tell me when he could see himself in the picture and what were the zombies doing,(this allowed him to disassociate from it and reduce any negative emotions) and then asked him what would happen if you suddenly became Ben !0, at that point things started to change from being a nightmare to becoming a game which of course would be fun, I then asked him who else he thought would be useful to have in this situation, and he started to come up with all sorts of suggestions like batman, superman, and many other super hero’s, so his dreams were like the Avengers movie way before he even got to see it.
Jacob took this a step further and realised that each one of these super hero’s had different resources, to help him defeat the different types of bad guys, in fact he even had to start inventing new bad guys in his dreams because he was enjoying it. I also suggested to him that these super heroes could help him create a forcefield so that he get his rest when he’d finished beating them. This was important to help him sleep peacefully. I think we also created some cool sounds effects in there too!
The great thing about this was that not only was I teaching Jacob how to deal with the nightmare but a much more powerful resource for any child, to consciously take control of his internal world, the things he see’s, feel’s and hear’s inside his mind. Its not that Jacob never had a nightmare again, he did, but with a little prompting he was soon coming up with all sorts creative solutions about how to deal with his internal world, and I also got some sleep :).
Thats how you can turn a problem into a resource using NLP.
Leonne Daniel specialises in using NLP to help Parents and Children.