My daughter Miki has her own bedtime routine that includes the usual shower, pajamas and teeth brushing. She also rounds up her favorite stuffed animals that she cannot go to sleep without, and she chooses the music that she wants to listen to as she falls asleep. We read stories earlier in the evening because I found that by bedtime, she was usually too tired to make it through one. I go into her room to make sure she is tucked in, and then let our dog in, who sleeps at the foot of Miki’s bed. I then return for the last bit of conversation, love on her, and then we say prayers. We always say our “thank you” prayer first, followed by any concerns on our hearts and people we want to pray for. We then do our “kissing hands,” I tell her she is safe and she is loved, and then we say good night.
Now, Miki has been periodically plagued by bad dreams throughout her young life, and we’ve talked before about dreams, discussing various ways to make them go away. I can’t tell you how many nights during the past ten years I was startled awake by Miki’s crying and needing reassurance that I am there, and that she is safe and she is loved. I’ve tried various ideas, even one from an episode of “Little Bill” in which Little Bill’s grandmother gives him a blanket she used as a little girl to ward off bad dreams. We have even tried positive imagery, but with little success.
Friday night, Miki climbed into her bed, but didn’t want to go to sleep because she didn’t want to have bad dreams again. I talked to my little girl for a bit, and then told her to take it to God. I said good night with kissing hands, and went downstairs to do some reading. After about an hour, I finished getting ready for bed and went to sleep. I woke up the next morning and realized I had slept through the night. I didn’t say anything until bedtime, when I casually commented on the fact that mommy had gotten a good night’s sleep. She said “Yep, I prayed to God about my bad dreams, and I didn’t have any. So, what do you think about my prayers, Mommy?” I told her I think she needs to tell God “Thank you” right now, so she did. We did our routine and said good night.
This morning, again I woke up and realized that we had night number two with no bad dreams, and I said my own” thank you’s”, not for getting a good night’s sleep, but because it was evident that God was making his presence known in Miki’s life by responding to her request for help. She took it to Him, and He answered her. She was understanding the power of peace by trusting God. My little girl had her own firsthand experience with Him, and for that I am truly thankful.
- Nightmares and Terrors-How Little Minds Work
- Teaching Kids to Pray
- Dreams, Nightmares, trust, and God