Dreams where Families Fight

August 4, 2013

While not the most common theme in nightmares, if a reader has dreamed about families fighting and feuding perhaps the dreams below will add some insight to the reader’s own dream:

[Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]



Corri August 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm [edit]

Hello! Ok so when I was younger I would always have a dream that my grandfather was cutting off my grandmothers face with a big pair of scissors :/ my grandma and i were like mother and daughter pretty much…i just wonder what that meant and why was it always reaccuring?


Bruce August 29, 2012 at 8:34 am [edit]

Hi Corri,

This strikes me as both personal and universal.

At the personal level, I wonder if your mom was not as present in your life or childhood as you might wish, and thus your grandmother became the key caregiving figure in your child’s world? If so, perhaps you felt that your grandfather resented the love and attention your grandma paid to you, and thus it might have seemed to you the grandfather wanted to “cut off that face” (the kind face).

On the other hand, you may have felt that your grandmother presented a false face of some sort (denial of problems, denial of trouble between her and your own mom, or perhaps these are paternal grandparents?). In such a situation the dream could represent an unconscious wish to cut that mask away and your need to see the real grandmother (so that you could learn to see the real you in the mirror and bring that real you to the world).

Now turning to the deeper or archetypal level we have a relationship between a Great Mother (perhaps the feminine principle, intuition and mystery, often symbolized by the moon) and the Great Father (the masculine principle, reason, rationality and intellect, often symbolized by the sun).

The scissors are implements which cut (the feminine connects, the masculine discerns or divides to make concrete “reality,” language, culture, architecture, etc. possible). The scissors can be seen as castrating to the male, or wounding, but also as phallic and penetrating. Thus your grandfather, or better understood, your own inner archetypal bossy-pants, cuts the face (the feminine, principle of compassion and family and community and understanding).

Sort of like the uptight banker who is preoccupied with time and precision in “Mary Poppins,” we have to see the Divine Mother principle enter (Mary Poppins herself) to rescue the children from bad manners and lack of life spirit and fun.

Thus scissors are a bit like hands of a clock. Time makes life as we live it possible, and yet also makes us sad for it passes. In our vast human history the sun and moon have eclipsed (or “cut”) each other many times, just as masculine and feminine eras have risen and fallen.

When childhood is sad, time hangs heavy. When we have kids of our own days take forever and years fly by quickly.

Thus at the personal and the collective levels it just might be time that we stopped blaming either men or women, stopped being slaves to time nor denying that it is precious, stopped trying to be right or “good” and instead learn how we are all woven together into some fabulously mysterious story.

In an Indian (Hindu) legend, the weaver of the universe is a spider. In a Greek myth the fates share one eyeball and use a scissors to “cut” threads of human lives… your dream taps into very old stories indeed.

In your psyche you meet all of us, and thus I am sorry if your childhood was sad or scary, lonely or painful, in any way. Now you are grown, so in simple terms, if you need love imagine your grandparents treating each other with love and respect and holding you safely between them. If you manage to feel safe, offer such integrated (scissors/knife/intellect & lap/hug/love/garden) compassion to anyone who seems to be scared or suffering.

That’s my two cents on your powerful and terrible and wonderful dream.

^ * * * ^



Laila Aslami October 27, 2012 at 8:11 am [edit]

Hi Bruce,

I had the weirdest dream last night. I don’t know what it means but I have been thinking about it all night, can you maybe tell me if it means anything. I have a 5 year old daughter but in my dream she was like 15 and we were at an event with alot of females. A fight happened between some families and I saw my daughter getting pushed on the floor and I went and fought with the lady who pushed her next thing I know the familes were getting kicked out for causing the fight and my daughter was with them and I had a feeling that she was going to get hurt by those ladies. I was trying to go after her but I lost control of my body and I went into shock and next thing you know I died in my dream but the crazy thing is that in reality my left side of my body was shaking and when I woke up my left side of my body hurts. Do you think this means something?


Bruce October 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm [edit]

Hi Laila,

For this dream I would look to your memories of life at fifteen. I’m wondering if a divorce or other conflict happened that felt like your own family fighting with itself, which is now internalized as symbol of your own inner conflict: the wish to be a good parent and the need to express the anger of your past hurts.

Perhaps a key detail is the shaking (which is part of healing trauma) which you felt on the “left side” of your body—a pun for the abandoned or rejected part of yourself?

Think about loving your inner five, fifteen and present self and bringing them together in your conscious mind, healing the family that live (and sometimes fights) inside all of us.

All best Wishes

^ * * * ^


(Private Email, not posted to blog)

Dear bruce,

I just woke up from a horrifying nightmare. I don’t know all of it but I remember the worst. There was a pregnant woman really close to giving birth and there were a bunch of us outside. By us I mean myself and my kids, some neighbor kids, my husband and some drunk which I believe was the father of the unborn baby. Someone left there car across the street and the drunk who couldn’t drive tried to drive it in the driveway very carelessly and crashing and then my husband yelled and some other guy beat them up and there was sstuff flying and the kids got hurt and heads were bleeding and I don’t even believe I can dream something like that! I did look at my kids and they were ok but I was sick that even happened and woke up sweating and scared and I was gonna check my kids again in my dream but woke up before that…please tell me what this can mean? Thank you so much in advance !                                                                      Shannon

Hi Shannon,

This is an interesting dream that might symbolize the birth of some new part of your own Self, inside the “house” (i.e. consciousness) that connects the “mother” and the “drunk” (i.e. the confluence of opposites that, symbolically, can constellate a divine or transcendent aspect of the psyche).

Your husband would be the protector/tough part of yourself while the “drunk” is a problematic part, but that which is thirsty for spirit (literal drinking is a problem but the wish for spirit is the birth of something new, but tumultuous).

That the kids get hurt with things flying could suggest that when you were a kid there was chaos, perhaps a parent with drinking problems, and the kid part of yourself gets a head injury (pain in thinking).

Your actual kids are fine, and you may be struggling to deal with the violent and unpredictable parts of your own deep personality.  We all have these parts, and in fact it is when we are unconscious of our anger, hurt, Shadow aspects that we may inadvertently cause pain to others, while through conscious realization we are able to birth a new personality that harmonizes our opposites and can help do that in our kids (i.e. they want to explore AND to stay safe).

Hope this helps.  Best Wishes, BD

^ * * * ^



samuel July 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm [edit]

Hi i had a dream about someone from my high school. We never talked or anything but i know who he is and his name. Anyways in the dream, we just got done playing basketball( since hes a basketball player) and we went to his house and then we started to play fight like if we were good friends for a long time. After that we kept hanging out at his house watching tv in his room then i woke up. Whats does this mean?


Bruce July 9, 2012 at 9:05 pm [edit]

Hi Samuel,

Perhaps this dream is about becoming friends with a part of yourself that you didn’t know so well before now—the part of you who is a basketball player (i.e. was “cool” in high school). The fact that you “play” fight means that you are no longer in real conflict with your “cool” self, but rather able to joke around and hang with that aspect.

I think this is a very nice dream and it suggests that you are more ready than you were in the past to chill and hang out with other people, enjoying friendship and friendly bonding—no longer feeling like there’s any reason that you aren’t a great friend, fun and should be included.

Isn’t that the feeling we would wish for all our collective children, real and inner?

All Best Wishes, BD


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica October 4, 2015 at 8:20 am

Dreamt of my family being all reunited and gathered in a haunted hotel. There was a secret passage way to the main hall. You could find a ghost there. When I told my family they didn’t believe me.
We gathered around so my father could pass out gifts from his travels. When he passed me a prune tree i began talking about it and making observations. Then my aunt pipes in “boy Jess, you sure do talk a lot”. Then I felt ridiculed because everyone seemed to silently agree and no one came to my defense. I got emotional and raised my voice. I left them after that and can’t remember the rest.

What does it mean?


Bruce February 25, 2016 at 9:15 am

Hi Jessica,

as noted above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

Hint on the dream… “haunted hotel” could symbolize your own full self, “haunted” by hurt feelings, family denies your experience “the ghost”

Dad gives you a tree (symbol of knowledge or perhaps wisdom) but even dad is a symbol of your giving parent Self…

hope you do feel happier asleep and awake :)


Bruce April 14, 2016 at 6:39 am

P.S. For readers who may end up here, but who haven’t read through the threads of other 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


Anonymous November 7, 2016 at 5:29 am

This morning I had a dream about me and my father getting into a heated argument. For some reason I was pushing my 9 month old up and down on the floor. After that part her father arrived and I put her in the car. Afterwards I took her out and left because for some resason I was trying to keep her away. Then at tree that I noticed my baby had burn marks with little bubbles on them. Is there a reason why this dream was so intense? It doesn’t name any sense to me why I would be having these types of dreams.


Bruce November 7, 2016 at 9:12 pm
Deep April 27, 2017 at 5:08 pm

When my Father and Grandfather fight in my Dream ? What mean


Bruce April 27, 2017 at 9:55 pm
Maria May 20, 2017 at 6:47 am

I had a dream that my son was brought unconscious by 4 men and left in my front yard. My son was not responding. What does that mean??


Bruce May 20, 2017 at 9:17 pm

Hi Maria,

Please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

A hint to get you started… sometimes a forbidden wish is revealed in a dream. Maybe your child is very demanding lately and you need a break, but also need to think of yourself as a perfectly loving mother. The kid is not responding, and thus not asking anything except for you to realize how much you love your son and thus be encouraged to keep up your endurance in the face of frustration that we all feel as parents. Also, if the child is your own child self, then perhaps there is the need to become more aware (conscious) about your own needs for love and nurturance?

Ultimately you must interpret your own dream, but best of luck!


Lawrence July 5, 2017 at 12:59 am

I am a single father and for some strange reason, I keep having these dreams. My 11 year old daughter and i would be somewhere, anywhere and I could ask her to do something but she would become defiant. We would end up in a fist fight with each other. She is so angry in the dreams. Of course, I habe the upper band in the dream buy it’s lime she just won’t stop.
In the natural, my daughter I very sweet, nice and respectful…..


Bruce July 13, 2017 at 9:41 pm

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