Dreams as Teachers

August 4, 2013

Sometimes our dreams about our children don’t quite fit into any of the standard or most common categories such as water and drowning, falling and flying, bad guys and kidnappers, etc.

Thus this category is comprised of dreams that struck me as best conceptualized as the unconscious of the dreamer functioning as guide or teacher.  It is hoped that the dreams below might offer encouragement to readers to consider their own dreams, and the workings of their unconscious, as guiding and helping.



Annemaree August 2, 2012 at 3:43 am [edit]

I had a dream of children last night and was searching for meanings when i stumbled on this forum.
Mine involved 3 children of different ages>
I know they were all girls. The oldest around 10, next middle and insignifant child around 7, she did not figure much in the dream but was there >

The youngest little 3 year old kept running off on her mother (me).
The oldest girl ran after her time and time again and the little 3 year old just kept doing it >
I wondered why the mother left it all to the oldest child>
Finally the mother stepped in and took the youngest child to the psycologist to get help in knowing how to handle her >
The pyscologist had to show the mum (me how to handle the little girl that she needed love and that is what she was doing to get the attention>
Once the mum (me understood this she could handle the little girl.
Who then became the sweetest little girl you have ever seen :)

What do you think


Bruce August 2, 2012 at 8:08 am [edit]

HI Annemaree,

I love this dream and think is is very positive for you: you meet your “inner psychologist” who empowers you to understand you own three-year-old self and she is transformed into sweet and happy once she is understood and given the love and proper attention she needs.

The next step is to give love to the inner ten-year-old who has carried too much of the burden (see my post on ten=year-olds and their developing brains).

Finally, the seven-year-old is NOT insignificant. She represents the part of you who is left out, unseen and too quiet and lovely to act-up to get what she needs.

Maybe you’ll have another dream about her—if you do be sure to spend some alone time with her and give her extra love.

You’re deepest Self is guiding you and so I thank you for sharing this in that it might inspire others who happen across your words and may discover that their best psychologist turns out to be within, and the best therapy turns out to be Love.

Namaste :)

^ * * * ^


Megan March 2, 2013 at 5:12 am [edit]

Hi, I had this dream a few nights ago and it is still bothering me. The dream started out innocent as we were at my sister-in-laws new house. (We have actually not been there yet as they moved last week but I have seen a few pictures). We were all talking and getting along fine. It was a good dream. I have two daughters and my sister-in-law has one son. Her son who is almost 4 and my daughter who is 3 1/2 were playing together in the basement. I wanted to make sure they were being safe since that was the first time we were at that house so I proceeded to go downstairs with my 1 1/2 year old to play with the kids. We were all playing fine then I look over and saw him poke her in the eye and then proceeded to stick his entire hand down her eye socket. I woke up screaming!

(I actually don’t like my nephew and my daughter to play together as he doesn’t seem to have empathy and will do mean things for no reason out of the blue. In hindesight he did poke her in the eye on purpose at his 2 year bday party, so that could be where my mind came up with that)

I guess I was thinking this dream meant I don’t care for my nephew and since my sister-in-law won’t get him diagnosed it makes me dislike him more. But, as I was reading the other posts…. Maybe he was a methophor for me not liking myself. As I have been struggling with parenting my 3 year old… and been thinking my parents did a bad job bossing me around too much when I was 3 years old and I don’t want to do the same thing to my girls.


Bruce March 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm [edit]

Hi Megan,

I appreciate that you read other posts and have already began understanding your own dream. A few more ideas I would share to help along your creative process follow the lines of dream as representation of Self.

In this perspective you have “your sister-in-law’s new house” which could symbolize the new self of the not-me, or sister-in-law aspect—an aspect with which you have conflict, and thus a potential Shadow figure.

The children might represent your little girl self and your little boy self, “playing in the basement” could mean interacting in the unconscious.

It is interesting that this house is not described as “my brother’s new house” although presumably there is a brother (or sister) who is the spouse of this “sister-in-law.” It is as if you are refusing to recognize the brother, the nephew and thus the “male” aspect of self… that which holds power, money, hurts you?

In any event you go downstairs (you stare down, truly look at, what is going on in the forbidden realm of the unconscious) and you are holding the littlest girl, the self you have in arms protected, united if you will, at least psychologically.

And then the moment of horror: the nephew’s hand in the daughter’s eye and all the way into the socket. If the hand is a symbol of the aggressive instrument that hurts, and takes what it wants, and the eye is symbol of seeing clearly, perhaps without judging perhaps with higher wisdom to judge (the all-seeing eye) we have an interesting symbolic situation…

On the one “hand” it could imply that you, or your 3 1/2 year old self (and whatever you saw, felt and experienced when you were that age) has envy and wants to take what she sees, in a sense drawing the hand into her eye, her mind, herself where it becomes part of her.

On the other “hand” it could symbolize the part of you who feels aggression, shame, judgement… on your very own judgement (not liking sister-in-law or nephew in life, and/or in yourself); thus your secret aggressive hand strikes the eye that judges, envies, blames, etc.

Finally, the sense of a hand in a “socket” brings to mind a lightbulb and an illumination of some sort. For some odd reason Picasso’s “Guernica” comes to my mind, a painting about outrage at oppression of the underdog by corrupt powerful forces. Images of eye, terror, illumination and bearing witness make it one of the most powerful works of political art.

Perhaps on our way to a more compassionate world we discover the Self in all the others who have more and who have less, who are more contained and less contained, who are younger, older, similar and other.

Hope these ideas inspire better dreams and good waking times as well.


^ * * * ^


Shamika January 28, 2013 at 8:16 am [edit]

I had a dream last night about my 6 year old son that really bothered me. I dreamt he was hollering in pain saying “Ouuuuuuuuch”, and hovering over. We appeared to be in my living room. He was holding his 3DS video game in his hand which he loves to play a lot, a bit too much, and in between his hollering he’s saying “I can’t play my game, I can’t play my game” In the dream I ask him to show me where it hurts and he points to his chest. I took it that he was in so much pain he couldn’t play. Terrified I jumped up out of my sleep. I must add that I am 6 months pregnant and my dreams have been on the intense side lately but I’m still worried. His birthday is coming up as well.


Bruce January 29, 2013 at 8:06 am [edit]

Hi Shamika,

I’m wondering if this dream is about your anxiety around having the next baby? We could imagine that you had some sensations in your sleep, such as the baby kicking, and this triggered you to try and explain this “hovering” feeling by dreaming as you did.

Symbolically, your 6 year old might symbolize your child self, one who
“loves his baby” which is, symbolically, his 3DS. He can hold his baby but not play with it. Could this represent how you, at 6 months pregnant, and anticipating the demands of a 6 year old when you have newborn, are trying to deal with your fear that your 6 year old might feel pained by the new baby’s arrival on the scene, and you too are torn since you will love the new baby just as much as the first one.

Love is abundant, but kids have not yet learned to trust this, not to mention us parents who can’t imagine loving anyone as much as we love our first baby… until another comes along and love expands.

It is good you wrote, for if we talk about our feelings we can at least not be so alone in them. We can also come to trust that our fears, exhaustion, guilt (i.e. you don’t want him to play too much DS but it also gives you a break when he is quiet and focused).

Childbirth is a big event, and perhaps the “Ouuuuuuuuuch” is also about remembering the first one (a birthday coming up is also a memory of giving birth, and an anticipation of another giving-birth day in 3 months or so).

Perhaps you can dialogue with your child self in your imagination and assure him/her that you are there with them, will keep them safe and will get through life’s natural pain together and share in life’s joys together as well.

All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^


Diana Hart May 20, 2013 at 10:07 pm [edit]

well all i can say is i dread going to sleep at nights cause that means i will have a dream and when i dream it could be anything but the ones i hate are the ones that involve my two young children aged 5 and 7 i have woke up before now and started crying sobbing my heart out due to the content of the dream, sometimes i even wake up with my heart beating so fast and that scares me as i have SVT i can recall nearly every dream i have had but that would take to long, its just the ones about my children that i hate and when i wake up with my heart racing.


Bruce May 20, 2013 at 10:40 pm [edit]

Hi Diana,

My hunch here is that you are experiencing racing heart in your sleep, and because it is racing your mind comes up with stories to make sense of the physical sensation.

Since racing heart would suggest that something is terrifying, one of the most horrible things you can imagine, something that would “make sense” if your heart is racing, might be something bad has happened to your children.

I’m very sorry that you are suffering, both physically and, in turn, psychologically from bad dreams.

The main thing would be to work with your cardiologist, for if you were able to better regulate your SVT this would likely help with your sleep and particularly your bad dreams.

In the meantime, perhaps you can strive to become more conscious that if you are experiencing something nightmarish, there is a very good chance you are in a nightmare. Maybe if your first guess in a nightmare situation is that it must be a dream, you can try flying… if that works you know for sure you are dreaming. From there you can say to whatever is happening that you know it is a dream and that you know this is your heart running fast. Maybe you can imagine that the bad situation is just a symbol for your scared heart. Maybe you can try to “talk” to your scared heart and tell it that you know it’s scared but the doctor said, “____” (whatever reassuring thing the doctor might have told you about the danger you face from your heart, versus the fear you feel).

Finally, if you have found anything that helps you calm your heart, particularly breathing deeply, etc. so that your anxiety won’t continue to drive the heart fast, maybe you can try to do that in your lucid dream—imagine transforming the scary situation to something exciting but not dangerous (i.e. like being on a zip-line or riding a bike very fast), then your fast heart might make story sense without the story being about danger to your children.

Feel free to let me know how you progress. Certainly wishing you a calm heart and Sweet Dreams

^ * * * ^


Tracie February 18, 2013 at 6:32 am [edit]

I’m feeling really bad this morning and this has happened more than once. I don’t want anyone to think that I am a horrible parent by posting this because they are just dreams. I just had a dream about my youngest daughter and usually dreams like this are about her, but last nights dream consisted of me trying to spend some “quality time” with my boyfriend and she is sitting there w/ us and I get frustrated because I ask her to leave and go to her room. She doesn’t listen so I try spanking her and she still doesn’t listen. Finally I grabbed her by her ear and literally dragged her into her room all the while she is crying. I can clearly see the look on her face and I woke up almost in tears. I feel really horrible having dreams like this and don’t know how to stop them. I’ve had dreams before about the same child but sometimes a little more violent. I WOULD NEVER EVER REALLY DO THIS!!! I just want to make that clear. I don’t even spank my kids unless they are putting them selves in grave danger. I really hate these dreams and the feeling of guilt that follows when I awake. Can you help????


Bruce February 18, 2013 at 8:35 am [edit]

Hi Tracie,

Great news, your dream is completely normal and the way you write about it shows what a sweet and caring mom you are.

The “problem” is that to be a mom one has to be a little bit of a badass as well as a giver-goddess :)

But again, great news! Usually moms who are working out this issue dream about “bad guys” hurting their child (you may have had those dreams before, and only felt freaked out by this dream where you are the “bad guy/girl”).

If we look at this dream as something like a play, only your deepest psyche has cast all the different parts of you into different characters: boyfriend, daughter and self.

In this perspective your inner-boyfriend (who of course looks just like your actual boyfriend, but is better understood as an aspect of Self) represents desire, particularly sexual desire. This is the part of you who wants “quality time” (which is also a symbol for the kind of experience you wish your life to be), which means feeling pleasured, loved, wanted, protected, released, understood, bridged in loneliness and overwhelm… and after all, who doesn’t want to check into a great hotel with a trusted lover, have “quality time” and then room service and then a long nap… after which we are ready to show up for our adored child and cheerfully do the parenting.

Yet the fact that you have a “boyfriend” and a “daughter” obviously means that the girl is not the result of former “quality time” with the biological father. This missing father, in his absence from the play that is the dream, also tells us that the girl is not happy about this “quality time” as she wants mommy and daddy to be together.

Thus the girl is a symbol of the part of you who is torn between two loves: grown-up quality time and child quality time. Two rather different kinds of time.

You “ask her to leave the room” meaning you want the sad girl out of consciousness, off stage so to speak, so the grown-ups can make their own sort of time (ironically, the rhythmic sort of time upon which the rock & roll of life is built, and out of which come the little creatures we love so much and who then rise to their time as we slowly recede from the stage of existing at all).

You drag your little girl self by the ear, suggesting that you are using that instrument in the wrong way, for an ear is a receiver but not a handle. You have a grip on the wrong ear! But then you write to me and, as grown-ups, we can discuss what is really going on, and then you hear your own dilemma:

You love your actual little girl more than anything, but there is a little girl inside you who didn’t get all the love and attention and sweet words that she needed in order to grow up and trust that if we really engage the child, and take her to the park and read to her and listen to her she will get sleepy and when she falls asleep, then you have your golden opportunity for “quality time” with your lover self.

As I mentioned before, this is a good dream because you are already in touch with your power, now you must regain the compassion and gentleness that lets you use that power with true Love—not a renunciation of pleasure, but a delay of gratification until the time is right.

Sex, dream interpretation and comedy all may turn out to be about timing.

We wish our kids would give us a little time, until they launch and we wish they would return and spend a little time with us.

The magic happens in the place where the opposites meet and challenge us to reconcile them. As a mom you contain the child and the lover, and as an increasingly conscious mom you find what the Tibetans call “all accomplishing wisdom,” where you stop trying to have it all, serving what is needed in any given moment, only to discover that what you most want (to feel free AND safe; loved/protected AND self-expressed/seen) drops softly into your lap, woven naturally into the fabric of our sometimes confusing experience of being all by ourselves AND part of the everything.

Children are like ambassadors from another sort of consciousness, teaching us their ways and we feel just awful when we hurt them, for any reason.

Finally, go to the child in your dream and tell her that she is your child-self and you will never leave her and that you are sorry that she didn’t get what she needed in the past but you are mommy enough for your actual daughter AND for her. Whenever you feel distressed, guilty, anxious or angry, ask yourself if your own less trusting and less developed aspect is feeling abandoned or hurt. Give love there and it will spill over into your dreams, your life and your child in a good way, or at least this would be my hope and wish, for you and for all of us and all our kids.

Warmest Regards

Tracie February 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm [edit]


Thank you so much for your response and explanation. I feel better knowing that my dream is about me and not the fact that I might subconsciously want to hurt one of my children. I’ve been struggling with dreams like this for a while but only with the one child and not my two older ones (prob. being that they older two do not live w/ me). I really appreciate your web site here and will definantly be an avid reader now.

Thank you again!!!!

^ * * * ^


Lipja May 13, 2013 at 12:39 am [edit]

I just want anyone to interpret this dream for me please.

Last night my mom saw this dream. She saw in her dream that it is a dark place and there is a voice there saying that ‘a person’ is killing your children and cutting their bodies into pieces. After that my mom woke up and she was really scared and so came to our room and sat with us. Actually the voice she heard told her some name of that person but when she woke up she forgot that name.


Bruce May 13, 2013 at 7:11 am [edit]

Hi Lipja,

The very fact that you, the “child,” seek understanding about a dream your mother told you, may be a clue into a potential “meaning.”

More and more I am humbled that I don’t really know the meaning of dreams, any more than I would know the “meaning” of life. What I am interested in is a spirit of love and of bonding in our non-understanding; in a spirit of compassion for the parents and the children (not to mention the animals and the plants).

This dream comes on “Mother’s Day,” perhaps that is significant too—one day a year we take them to brunch, and most of the year they are just there to take care of us, but get criticized and blamed for everything that goes wrong. Still, it really does help a person to have a solid and loving mom; but if mom had a rough time of it as a kid herself, how is she supposed to just power up and be all perfect?

Maybe kids understanding how moms need societal support and not just a card on Mother’s Day is part of the deeper meaning of your mom’s dream?

In any event. Looking at the dream in terms purely of mother and her own psyche. The “voice” would be her own critical voice, her “Shadow” that she thinks of as the haunting bad guy or evil witch or villain, not consciously realizing that it is actually a psychological part of herself. This Shadow is very important in growing and healing, because it not only gives us trouble, it holds our power.

If the voice is so strong, and it became happier and more loved, the loving and warning meaning of the dream might be revealed: your mom is guilty and fears that she is a terrible mother. She has shame, and she fears that it is she who “kills” and “cuts into pieces” her own children.

But this is symbolic killing and cutting; needing the child to take care of the mother kills the “child” and turns him or her into a “parent” figure for the parent. This cuts the child into baby and parent in her own mind; and those kids grow up as caregivers, or caretakers or “co-dependent” people sometimes.

This may be how you get/got hurt (mom coming into children to share nightmares with them, in this case transfers the dread and fear to the child, who ends up worried about the parent, not the idea that a “bad guy” will kill them and cut them up).

Thus your mom’s unconscious wish, the child-like need (which is universally human, at least when little) is to be the center of attention, to appear like she is just trying to protect you kids while actually getting concern and attention.

Of course, not feeling like she gets enough love and attention is what makes her mad in the first place; but she ends up denying this anger, even to her conscious self, and so dreams about her “evil twin” part of her psyche who is mad at the unloving and ungrateful kids.

Your mom probably doesn’t want interpretation; it’s you who needs to understand your mom. If you can forgive her for being less than ideal as a mom, and gently explore if she might have been a little angry at you, or her other kid(s), she’ll probably not have the bad dream again.

And if you, when you are taking care of kids (now or in the future) keep in mind that we “cut things up” (which can also mean analyze them, or make them into smaller pieces so we can mentally digest them) not for it’s own sake, but for the sake of love.

If we break the cycle of parents not getting support and love, and then kids growing up never feeling truly safe, loved and understood, then we break the cycle of human behaviors (selfishness, brutality, lack of compassion) that are not only bad for the group, but bad for the individuals who, through being scared, lonely and unaware about their true feelings, and their true lovability, perpetuate lonely fear and shame for themselves.

LIke all of us, we forget the name of the bad guy who most haunts us: it is our own damned self! If we can realize that we all do this, we can take our love to the mirror and see that we are in fact lovable; and we can take that love to the world and reflect love back to it.

Thank you for writing. I see myself in this situation, and I also see that when people randomly connect and try for understanding and love (as you wrote in the service of your mom) we form new kinds of relationships, perhaps even turning our fast-paced virtual nightmare world into a virtual better dream.

All Best Wishes and Sweet Dreams all around!

Lipja May 16, 2013 at 9:12 am [edit]

Thanks a lot Bruce! For such a detailed and informative reply!
Stay Blessed! :)


{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Destiny-lejgh Rewi January 12, 2014 at 10:06 am

Hi there I had a dream my son was back in my care and we went with my friend to her interview and had to wait 4 her boyfriend 2 finish to pick us up it started to get late.ci took my son arcross da rd to go toilet at a restaurant place he cried cos he wanted to go home so I rung a taxi. I saw another 1 of my friends in the dream who lived 3houses away from mine asked her to drop me home. Halfway there I remembered my son was still at the restaurant I was panicking all da way there crying as she turned around to go back and get him. But as we got there I wake up and have a bad heAdache and toothache… wat does it mean…? I keep trying to figure out why I woke up at that moment not knowing if he was still there or not trying to re dream it and finish the dream but I cant..!


Bruce January 14, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Hi Destiny,

Please read through the dreams and responses above, and also the category about neglect dreams:


As I mention in all the main posts, I cannot quite keep up with the requests for interpretation, but I think you’ll have insights if you read some of the other dreams.

Hint: taking kid to toilet (maybe symbol of the child you needing to “get rid” of what is no longer needed)

wanting to “go home” could mean your wish to get back to your original and true self

a friend who lives 3 houses away could be the feeling you have that you are distant from yourself (maybe suggesting at trauma, at “leaving the house” of our body, and the need to get home, to heal)

headache could symbolize that it hurts to think about kids, including ourselves, being hurt. Toothache, I’m not sure, but I think of baby teeth, grown-up teeth (the ability to chew things and break them down, also our angry feelings we haven’t been able to express).

Hope you can read some other dreamer’s dreams too, and I hope you have better dreams ahead


Vita April 20, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Twice I dreamt that my soon to be 3 year old lost her arm (up to the elbow) and I felt horrible watching her try to play with her toys and or try to hold her bottle


Bruce April 20, 2014 at 11:18 pm

HI Vita,

I would advise you to read through the dreams of children being hurt, but perhaps one way to think about this would be a symbolic memory of you feeling handicapped at that same age? The idea that you have toys but cannot enjoy them because of a limitation, an “inability to grasp, or touch” your world.

Another idea would be the unconscious wish for her to remain a baby and thus dependent upon you the mother. Of course you never want harm to your child, and that’s why it’s a nightmare—the unconscious “cutting the nose to spite the face.” Mostly I find it useful to consider the dream as relating to how you feel within yourself and your situation—maybe a little helpless or a touch sad?

Thus you ask for a little help here (someone to “give you a hand”?) Bad as the puns may be, the unconscious sometimes seems to like them, and humor is partly about aggression, and finding safe ways to let out the steam of our darker impulses.

My guess is that you will have better dreams ahead—or at least I hope so :)


bianca June 27, 2014 at 8:19 am

I’ve been having different sort of dreams lately and I understand this may come as I am pregnant with my 3rd daughter. So here goes the dream that worries me most.
I was at a market with my mother and my two daughters I saw myself pregnant.
My mother decides to leave the market to go else where. We arrive to this other place looks like some sort of shopping center. Still with my kids holding their hands and all of a sudden my oldest (5years old) daughter disapears. I ask my mom where is my daughter if she seen her what happened and I start to run looking for my daughter I can’t find her and sobi throw myself to the ground and start to yell and scream so loud grabing my other child whom is 2 years old. I can hear myself yelling so loud but when I see a little walking down the street who looked so much like mine I wake up. What could this mean?


Bruce June 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Hi Bianca,

Please read through some of the other dreams for more insights, but in short perhaps you felt like you “disappeared” to your mom and/or yourself when you were around 5 years old. You maybe felt a bit rejected or unwanted (mom leaving the market, like leaving you), and with the new baby coming you may be feelings like your own kid will feel less loved, particularly the older one. You might also feel a bit irritated with her 5 year old demands, or perhaps her 5yr old love of daddy? Sometimes we end up finding the child “kidnapped” because we unconsciously are rejecting them or feeling overwhelmed, and then feeling guilty and bereft to “remember” how much we love and treasure them… even if they also exhaust us.

Parenting is hard, and even sometimes feels like a nightmare. Thank goodness for those times we “wake up” and are relieved to have our children and know just how much we love and treasure them.

Hope this helps…. Sweet Dreams


Bianca July 15, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Hi. I have had two dreams in the last two nights about abandoning my son. The first dream I dreamt was that I climbed on a bus to speak to my husband on the bus but left my son behind on the sidewalk. The bus started going and I rang the bell for it to stop, when it stopped my son was no longer where I’d left him, I could feel the panic in my dream when I couldn’t find him. I eventually managed to find him but he had blonde hair and a fair complexion, my son is dark, I am fair, he takes after his dad.
The second dream was that we were in a house but there w as s a war going on,the enemy was getting closer and closer, I was with my mom and dad and other family but then we decided to go to a mall and I left my son behind in the house with a very close friend. All the time I could feel the urgency to get back to my son, my parents still wanted to eat pizza at the mall, I felt like I was freaking out inside, I just wanted to get back to my son and make sure he w as s safe, the dream ended me feeling like that. Are you able to advise what these dreams mean exactly? Many thanks for your time. Kind Regards, Bianca.


Bruce July 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Hi Bianca,

Firstly you might go to the dreams parents have already left (and to which I have already tried my best to respond) addressing abandonment:


Or perhaps start at the beginning:


Meanwhile, a couple of hints, especially if you intuit that your dream is potentially teaching you something, then it’s best that you figure out what that is rather than me presume to know. Nevertheless I’m wanting to support your learning process.

Thus the bus is a symbol of the collective, and a part of you leaves your symbolic child self behind to join the group. You ring the bell (symbol of awakening?), get off the bus (the collective way of thinking, which does leave children behind) and find your own child-self (mirroring you with your hair and a fair complexion, which just might be a pun on things not being “fair” when you have felt abandoned, neglected, etc.).

In the second dream perhaps the house is a symbol of Self, that which holds the different personalities you may think of as your smaller or ego-self, not to mention the “enemies” that the mind cooks up to goad us to compete, to feel inadequate, to further our “success” in the world and thus our suffering (because we never seem to have enough or be good enough).

All the family, or parts of yourself are there, but the enemy is outside (symbol of power, aggression, etc. but YOUR power, anger, destructiveness). You go to the mall (even WORSE than the bus as symbol of the collective, perhaps collective so-called need for stuff we really don’t need). You leave your child self with a “very close friend” (i.e. the part of you you can trust to be a friend to you, and thus treat your kid-self right).

You are anxious to reunite with your child-self but your parents want pizza? Sounds like you have some unresolved resentments toward your parents, casting them in your dream (and thus your “parent self” symbolically speaking) as self-involved, “hungry” and shallow (the mall during war time?).

Hope these ideas help, but ultimately you will contemplate the meaning. Hopefully you will find yourself a bit more free of such inner wars and happier in the blessings of having a child and loving them, even if it is a lot of work and might make us unconsciously wish for a break from them (and hence a nightmare to remind us that we love them more than they burden us).

Sweet Dreams


Leslie November 2, 2014 at 7:32 am

I had a dream that my 17 year old daughter and i were laying on two separate couches and her Dad walks into the house (we’ve been separated since she was 4 years old) and shoots her twice and me 10 times…

Then im on the phone with 911 trying to talk while im choking on my blood trying to breathe and i look over and see my daughter just lying there… Then the next thing i know we were both recovered from the ordeal and i was explaining to someone how it felt to almost die… Then i woke up…


Bruce November 3, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Hi Leslie,

While I cannot presume to interpret your dream definitively, I encourage you to read around some the the various dreams, particularly about children being killed, for some possible perspectives.

A couple of hints to get you thinking:

Your child could symbolize your child self, and your ex could symbolize your male aspect.

If so, then you see your masculine side killing your feminine side, perhaps showing the way you feel at the moment (since the culmination is explaining what it felt like to die, thus the wish to be understood, which in some ways is the foundation of love… and likely the thing missing with your ex, and thus a partial reason the relationship didn’t work out).

As a therapist a couch tends to symbolize therapy (being “on the couch”) but it also could symbolize rest, or possibly erotic possibilities. You and your girl are on “separate couches” maybe symbolizing how your unconscious is trying to differentiate your self from your girl (in real life, but also maybe in your psyche—the theme of the girl having to die for the woman to be born).

Perhaps your child is thinking about going to college? or just growing up and turning 18 and beginning adult life? This is a big transition for parents and you may be reluctant to let her go, thus the unconscious kills her (in the form of the masculine or power aspect) but this is potentially romantic, like Romeo and Juliette, preferring death to separation.

Getting shot 10 times could just symbolize how hurt you feel from your ex (but also how much it would help you to recognize this figure as your power so that you could integrate with it and be more empowered rather than stay in a victim role as a way of asserting innocence at the cost of personal power).

Maybe the twice shot girl symbolizes how the break-up felt like it killed you two times over as a child (identifying with the girl) and as a woman (your man was like the father who hurts much as father might have hurt you; did he leave too?).

Most important is the fact that you both end up not dead and able to talk about the feelings. This suggests that your unconscious knows that you are not about to die, but rather face the potential for a sort of personal re-birth and a new chapter of self-expression, courage and healthy (boundaried, two couch) love.

Hope this helps. Wishing you Sweet Dreams and a great waking life too


Bruce April 14, 2016 at 6:41 am

P.S. For readers who may end up here, but who really haven’t read through the threads of dreams and interpretations:

Given that I can’t really keep up with the demand for dream interpretation that I have been receiving and that I don’t have time to organize the material into a proper guidebook to nightmares about our children I have elected to take an interim step: to offer nine blog posts dealing with the most common categories of nightmare with some insights about overall themes and a quick guide to get a reader moving toward nightmares that might most closely resemble their own.

My hope is that if you find the best general category, and then go to that list of dreams which have been organized in terms of the age of the child in the dream, you may find some insights that you can then use to think about your own particular dream (and hopefully feel less afraid and more conscious about what is being stirred up for you and about how you personally discover is best to take care of your own self and your child).

Note that the threads are long and you must be patient in scrolling down through dreams until you find some that match the age or situation of your own dream.

While I realize it is still cumbersome to scroll down through multiple dreams until you reach one matching your child or your theme, my hope is that it will be somewhat easier than the random thread of comments at the original post.

So… If your dream involves water or drowning click here: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/that-sinking-feeling%E2%80%94dreams-about-children-drowning/

If your nightmare involves falling or flying try here: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/nightmares-about-children-falling/

If the core dread is kids running away or being hurt from neglect click here: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/nightmares-about-children-running-away-or-being-neglected-or-abandoned/

If kidnappers or scary animals, bad guys or monsters are the subject go here: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/nightmares-of-children-being-kidnapped-or-chased/

If the child actually does die in the dream click here: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/nightmares-where-children-die/

If the dream involves overt abuse or graphic trauma read from here: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/nightmares-about-children-being-abused-or-traumatized/

If the dream involves poison try here: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/dreams-about-children-poisoned/

If there is a family feud or families fighting see these: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/dreams-where-families-fight/

And finally, if the dream doesn’t quite fit any of the above categories but you suspect that it is teaching you something consider these dreams: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/dreams-as-teachers/

And… Sweet Dreams


Gabrielle April 17, 2016 at 10:53 am

I am waiting on a court date for my son for child support. But I pray that I do get him back. Last night I had a dream about my son Xavier, my five year old. He was with his father. His father looked okay, but Xavier was in his PJs walking barefoot with him. I went to Xavier and hugged
him. His father didn’t want me to hold my son at all. I called my cousin and told her that I found Xavier. My cousin came and picked us up. I took Xavier with me. That’s when I woke up


Bruce April 17, 2016 at 11:49 pm

Hi Gabrielle, As you can see from the above comments, I can no longer interpret dreams at this time. Still, if you read through the other dreams you will see ideas to help you understand your own. No matter what, wishing the best for you and all your family, especially your child.


Desiree April 24, 2016 at 7:53 pm


I had a dream about my 15 year old daughter and it made me feel very emotional. it was a very short dream.
My husband and I came home and as we opened the door, I said to him very calm; I think the pain on her hand was just to much that is the reason she past away. and then I woke up…


Bruce May 2, 2016 at 2:18 pm

Hi Desiree, Please read any of the above posts or comments to understand why I can’t interpret your dream for you. I do wish you luck, however, and sweet dreams :)


Carol June 12, 2017 at 6:55 am

I had a dream last night about my six year old… And when I sat and thought that about the whole entire dream.. I realized I had that dream before, just a tad different.
First time: I’m at a street fair with my boys. My oldest was standing with my six year old, and I was somewhere else putting another one of my children on a ride. Then my oldest comes and says his brother is gone. Vanished. Nowhere to be found. I panic, and am running searching, crying and yelling for my baby. In the dream it seemed days went by, when my oldest comes and says his brother just walked in the door. He came home. Dirty, and messy.. As if he’d been living in the woods for days.

Second time: I go to his school to pick him up, and he’s not there. I start yelling at the teacher.. Asking how he can be gone, where did he go?! (He is
supposed to be signed out,only by me). So I race through the school searching.. Classrooms, stairways.. Closets even. He’s gone. Again I’m crying and screaming for him. So once again it seems days go by, and then he comes walking in the door. Dirty, and messy.. Just like the first dream. I woke up with actual tears.


Bruce June 16, 2017 at 9:56 pm

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