Nightmares about Children Running Away or Being Neglected or Abandoned

August 4, 2013

In these dreams a terrified parent, often feeling helpless to stop it, witnesses a child in danger, running away, perhaps into traffic.  Other variations include realizing that one has forgotten or abandoned a child, or a supposedly trusted partner has neglected their responsibilities.

Below are a series of dreams illustrating this theme.  The hope is that other readers will find some similarities with dreams they have recently had and find some new ways of thinking about their dream and perhaps finding some comfort, solace and insight into whatever might be going on for them and maybe even some inspiration toward healing or enhanced well-being.

[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.]


Danielle mcneil March 16, 2013 at 7:03 pm [edit]

Hi Bruce please could you help me i hae just woke in a pool of tears after my terifying dream.
I was driving my car with my baby in the back (newborn as she is now) when this man appeared on thr motorway and smashed the car windown i breaked suddnly. Next thing the police were there told thm what happened thn all of sudden i was in hospital beibg told that she was being kept in I.C.U don know why. I then got woken up by my partner with me crying like mad then i realised she was asleep in her crip next to me very safe.

However in this dream not once did i meet a doctor or actually see my babies face just saw a body in a car seat.

Thank you


Bruce March 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm [edit]

Hi Danielle,

Your dream, as well as your poetic language, give us excellent clues into what you are experiencing…

You are a new mom and this is an awesome, challenging and profound time in your life and in that of your child. Some ideas about meaning, I hope, will help you simply feel better and more safe.

You wake up in a “pool of tears,” (I just watched “Life of Pi” and his name is from “piscine” or pool (in French) and a pool of tears is like the ocean in which he floats, realizing all sorts of things about God, life, nature and existence and himself.

Pools of tears also bring to mind Alice from “Alice in Wonderland,” and also the unconscious and the Great Mother… and this is all before we actually get to the contents of your dream :)

I’m wondering if your delivery was “normal” or if you had an unscheduled C-section; and also what your own delivery and birth were like when your mom was birthing you.

For example, a “man in the road” who “smashes the car window” would be an apt symbol for a doctor who pulls the baby out of the “car” of your body (where you were together with your baby) and then you don’t see the baby as they sew you up when you need to have the baby right on your skin and the baby needs you right away.

If you, or your baby, experienced any birth trauma, then the dream would be a way of saying that you need to make sense of your story, and heal from it, which includes crying, and tremors and the body’s natural way of coping with a big injury that it doesn’t understand.

And even if the birth was “normal” I am told by many women that it is rather physically intense (I’m a man so I can’t speak from experience, only admit I don’t really have a clue).

You meant to say she was in the “crib” next to you when you woke up, but you wrote, on accident, “crip” which is like “crypt” and again I am thinking that your own very early life may have included the NICU and/or separation from mother and some sort of feeling of deadness, drowning or confusion, which the birth of your own baby might have triggered into almost consciousness via the dream.

The main point is to help you feel better and not have another nightmare like this one. Hope that is what happens.

All Best

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Nicole September 14, 2012 at 7:18 am [edit]

I had a dream last night that my 14 months old daughter was running away from me through a city i used to live in and my ex husband currently still does live in. I was running in what seemed like slow motion and she was running faster than she normally can. She kept getting further and further away from me and i was screaming out to her and telling her to stop. People were just watching her run by and not even attempting to stop her or grab her. We were coming up on a c-train station and i was still stuck in this slow motion running as she is running around on the tracks. the c-train was coming and the driver wasnt stopping, still nobody was grabbing her no matter what i was yelling. then everything went dark and i felt a wooosh like you would if you were standing next to the train but in my dream before the darkness i was still far away. i woke up screaming my daughters name and my heart was pounding for about an hour after, i was shakey and crying but she was sleeping next to me. What could all this mean? Someone had told me it may mean that something could happen to my daughter in the near future and its a warning and then i also had another person tell me its saying that im afraid my ex is going to take her away from me and ill never see her again(i dont trust him at all and wouldnt be surprised if he took off with her or did something stupid because hes bipolar)…. I just need another opinion please


Bruce September 14, 2012 at 7:50 pm [edit]

Hi Nicole,

While we parents always have to keep our kids safe, this dream is not necessarily a warning about your daughter being in danger.

Another way of looking at this dream is that all the parts might symbolize your different feelings and then the dream would represent your inner situation emotionally.

In this way of thinking your baby is symbolic of the child part of yourself. This vulnerable and innocent part of you is trapped in the city where your bi-polar ex lives. This might be symbolic that your inner baby does not feel safe, or that your inner feeling is one of anxiety and fear.

The baby is running, as if she is afraid and trying to get safe (but she could be just exploring and expressing her newly found ability to run—to go where she wants).

When our baby gets old enough to walk or run, she gets old enough to run away from us. This creates the possible danger in the big bad world, but it also creates the feeling that our beloved baby could run away from us.

I wonder how your life was when you were fourteen months old? Maybe you felt unsafe then, or there was danger in your household. If so, you are reliving the nightmare of the past, not having a premonition of the future.

You might take note of Nikki’s dream (posted a couple of comments before yours), the theme of a train shows up there as well, and we might wonder what a train could symbolize? Trains are powerful and they don’t steer left or right, only running on pre-set tracks. Perhaps the train is the part of you that fears she’ll be railroaded into the pain of the past, unable to protect her baby self, as the world stands by doing nothing and the darkness of unconsciousness swallows you up.

By having this dream your fears become conscious; by writing about it and asking for opinions you become less alone (even if all our opinions are wrong, in some way we all actually care that you and your baby should be safe).

More important that what the dream might mean is the need we all have to not be alone, to be free, to care about each other and each other’s children. When we are scared or hurt we need community, and we need love and compassion and understanding. And when we feel strong we can give protection , compassion and understanding to others.

I’m sorry you have been scared and hurt, probably not only in your mind but in real life; and it’s clear you desperately want to keep your baby safe. Yet sometimes a dream has a little bit of secret or forbidden wish inside it; and the truth is that as much as we adore our children they can be exhausting and parenting can be very very hard sometimes. When the child runs away in a dream we might be facing the forbidden feeling that we need a little break sometimes.

Maybe your friends can help you get a little “me” time (if there is someone you can trust to watch your girl). We always say “it takes a village,” but we don’t quite yet form that village or feel like there is a net to catch us if we stumble or struggle.

When we allow ourselves to be aware and honest about our fears and our frustrations we come together and are less lonely.

Maybe you can think about these ideas and then see if you get some new dreams, maybe dreams that guide you or give you comfort (such dreams are like signs from within that you are on the right track).

And if you have had hurt or trauma in your life (i.e. some real reasons that might lead to bad dreams), seek a qualified professional to talk this through—you will become less scared and your happiness and sense of security will help your baby grow more confident and secure as she develops.

All Best Wishes

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Sunny October 29, 2012 at 8:16 pm [edit]

Wow, was searching up on dreams about children and chanced upon this site. Would like to share my dream last night, and see if I could get any sense out of it.

In my dream, my boy is about 9 years old. My dad and I were involved with this other family. It seemed like we had a feud with this other family, and they wanted to take revenge. I had to fight with someone in that family and win, but I did not. The family could exact out their revenge in any way they want, which they eventually decided that they would take away my boy.

I could feel the pain to have to lose my son, and my dad was also very upset. We were given some time to spend our last moments with my boy before he was taken away. He seemed to be so understanding, and told us he would be all right. We were so sad. I did not realise my love for my boy was so great, and that losing him would hurt so much.

In my dream, I could somehow feel the other family subsequently relenting, and may not take my child away, but I woke up before the end.

In reality, my boy is just turning 14 months, and looks nothing like the boy in my dream. I just wonder if this is a bad omen, or if it’s trying to tell this mother something about me and my child.

Thanks in advance for your help Bruce!


Bruce October 29, 2012 at 10:56 pm [edit]

Hi Sunny,

This dream might be about pain you experienced when you were nine. Look to other dreams above and you will see some families in conflict with other families.

In your dream you seem to realize the depth of your love for your boy, but also the pain of giving to a child the love and understanding that I suspect you did not get when you were a boy.

Think of all the characters in the dream as part of yourself and you will see a big extended family of characters trying to sew themselves together into one compassionate totality.

It is tough (and fantastic) being a parent, and particularly in trying to break cycles of pain, conflict, loss and even shame that can haunt families for generations.

One other note is that the multiple family aspect could hint at a collective aspect in the dream, the notion that we need to begin to see others as our brothers, cousins, relatives… and that our extended family of humans needs to start to care for and better nurture each other’s children.

The way your child is in the dream, so understanding and lovely, hints that this child aspect being a part of yourself that is gentle and trusting, the part of yourself you treasure and which proves superior to the fighting and distrusting (and previously hurt) part of yourself.

Here’s to consciousness and compassion for all the parts of yourself, and for your fellow parents and kids as well

^ * * * ^



kylie November 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm [edit]

Lately I’ve been having really bad thoughts about my daughter who is 18months old that she was in danger in her cot and i always go and check on her. But last night I dreamt that I had left her in the car while I had lunch with my mum as she was asleep and I got distracted by a guy i liked (whom i have no idea who it actaully was in my dream) and when I returned she was out of her car seat eyes puff from crying, she looked dehydrated and laying against my front seat. When I picked her up she was ok There was a mother and her two kids playing near by who told me they had been watching her for me and made sure she was ok as I’d left the window down. I have two children and find my bond is a little closer with my daughter.


Bruce November 2, 2012 at 9:43 pm [edit]

HI Kylie,

This dream makes me wonder if as a very young child you might have felt forgotten or left alone by your mom. It makes me wonder also about if your dad was around, or if your mom might have met a new guy when you were around eighteen months?

If we think of all the characters in the dream as symbolic aspects of your own self, then your inner child is left alone in your car (maybe a symbol of the part of you that can go where she pleases). You are a mom now, so you and your inner mom go to eat, symbolically feeding the grown-up part of yourself while forgetting the child part.

This dream would suggest that the child you once were, and the child you carry inside yourself, is a sad little girl. The other mom and two kids is, symbolically, the mom who you actually are in waking life, the mom who does not forget her baby (and this mom, like you, has two children); this inner “good mom” has the ability to watch a third child (the ability to take care of your own child who was left behind and now needs love and understanding, even if just in your heart and imagination).

Maybe it would be good to imagine that you are back in the dream. Thank the other mom and imagine becoming one person with her. Imagine saying to your own mother that you forgive her for loving the grown-up part of you and not being so great at dealing with the baby part of you. Imagine speaking to the guy you liked in the dream and saying, “I know you’re the part of me who is a cute interesting man, so help me take care of my baby and make her safe and happy, and then maybe we can have some grown-up time together. Finally, go to the baby and pick her up, in your imagination, and tell her that it may be true that she felt forgotten as a baby, but that now you are grown-up and a good mom and you promise you will take good care of her and not forget that she has feelings and fears being unloved and alone.

My hope is that this sort of thinking will help you have better dreams and also realize that what you fear happening to your children might be better understood as dim memory about what actually (at least emotionally) happened to you as a kid.

All Best Wishes


kylie November 3, 2012 at 6:36 am [edit]

Thank you for your insight. Today I mentioned my dream to my aunty and how I’d read a lot that many dreams of children reflect your inner child she gave me some information that my mum left me alone in my cot when I was younger (not sure how old) and went to the shops on the corner forgetting she had me at home. My father also was not present for any of my life and still is not. With your information I hope to have better dreams tonight thank you again.

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Jamie February 10, 2013 at 10:08 am [edit]

Hi Bruce,

I have just awoken in the middle of the night from having a nightmare about my 2 1/2 year old daughter. I was in what seemed to be a very old video/dvd store. There were many people there and as we are looking around, I am holding my daughter and we find a $5 note sticking out of the dvds, so I get her to grab it and was congratulating her on the find. While in the store, a middle eastern man was singing a song something about being happy. Next thing you know, my daughter is gone, she is missing, so frantically, I start to walk to try and find her, I go into a corner store where it is evident she has been there as some lollies have been chewed on. I speak to the lady behind the counter asking if she has seen her and she says she has not. While this is happening the thought is in my mind that she has this $5 and would be looking to buy lollies. So frantically I start walking again. This is all occurring in the dream within the suburb I live in yet doesn’t look anything like where I am, I then make my way to the police station, but its not in my local area but in the area I previously lived and the police station is in an old building that is now a pub in real life but used to be a post office, its a heritage building. I tell them my daughter is missing,I am desperate and crying I was suspecting the middle eastern man, but he turns up behind me in the police station singing the happy song that he was singing with his wife. It is dark outside so I am aware of the fact that she is alone somewhere out there in the dark.

There was much strange goings on in my dreams before this dream but it is extremely hard to explain I can’t seem to get it straight in my head.

I do know prior to sleeping I left my ex’s house after he basically kicked me out, where I had to endure 24 hours of him picking at every little thing I would say and he kept going on about me being a bad parent and that I always cause trouble (which is not true of course) this is the father of my child.

If you could tell me what this dream would mean, would mean a lot to me. Thank you!


Bruce February 10, 2013 at 8:49 pm [edit]

Hi Jamie,

While I must emphasize that I’m in no position to “know” what your dream means, I am happy to offer some ideas and hope it sparks your own creative process and some sort of understanding to guide you to feel safe and well and to be your best Self as a parent.

Some thoughts might be that finding money in some old DVD could symbolize finding value in the old stories, the past, the narrative of what your marriage once promised (but sadly did not come to a fully happy ending, given the split-up and the feeling that your ex is mean to you).

Your child is the product of that old story, and your child self goes looking for lollies (symbolically the search for innocent fun and for the sweetness in life).

The “middle eastern man” could symbolize your need to re-think the “bad guy” (perhaps a symbol of your ex, and the need to better understand his pain too, for he would not be mean to you if he didn’t feel hurt and therefore angry).

The police station could symbolize how one building (symbol of self) could have multiple meanings: pub (where social gatherings occur, where lovers might meet, where people drink too much and misunderstandings occur, where defenses drop and love or sex, symbolic candy for grown-ups, might happen); post office (where communication occurs, messages sent and received); and police (authorities, justice, or the dark side of power, depending on what these symbols mean to you personally).

The middle eastern man, singing a happy song, WITH his wife, could symbolize your wish to be happy and married, perhaps suggesting that while you are angry at your ex, you might still have some unconscious wishes to reconcile?

Symbolically, if your ex truly is not very nice, the dream might be challenging you to recognize the less than nice part of your own psyche and to learn how to be in better relationship with it.

The child who disappears could symbolize your wish to be cared about and looked for, in contrast to the pain of being “kicked out” by your ex. Maybe you are looking, symbolically, for your own sweet, innocent, child self? Maybe inside your own mind there is a happy mom, dad, child (a true family) and perhaps if you discover and cultivate this inner family you will find your waking life becoming a little sweeter and happier too?

While it does not hurt to dream of a happier life, maybe our sad and disturbing dreams are trying to teach us what is missing, what is wrong and how to become more understanding so that we have less quarrels, do not “lose” the child aspect of self, and learn how to bring love (the happy song) and limits (the police) into one building (one personality), for the sake of your child and your Self.

Hope these ideas get you thinking in new and compassionate ways, and that you feel better both asleep and awake.

Jamie February 10, 2013 at 9:20 pm [edit]

Thank you very much for responding, I think you are spot on with this….I definitely hear you on every aspect of this, you have shared with me what has been going on in my head as well as my wishes and dreams within that. I have actually been trying to understand my ex a lot more, and I think I am on the road to understanding him more and maybe being a bit more compassionate…I was focusing more on how it felt to be treated bad rather than looking at why he felt the need to do that in the first place. I could say so much more, but it would take a novel, thank you soooo much for taking the time to look at my dream and help me to look at it in a different manner…very much appreciated. x

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Farha November 9, 2012 at 11:16 am [edit]


I had a dream that my husband and I and our three children ages 7, 3 and 6 months were parked on the side of the road in our big truck. My husband seemed rushed and he got out the truck with a case of tissue in one hand and a case of food in the other. He ran down the street with the items to a building a block away. I got out and ran behind him to see what he was doing. When we finally left the building to go back to the truck, our 7 year old met us half way. I asked him why he got out the truck and left the little ones and he said he was looking for us. So we went back to where the truck was parked and it was gone and so were our babies. I bawled. And we searched and searched for the truck. I could feel my heart sinking. I kept searching with my husband beside me. I could hear myself saying, ‘I can’t live without my babies’. I’ll die without them. I kept asking my 7 year old if he saw the truck but he was unsure. I ran Down the road across the bridge and back. The heartbreak in the dream was so real I felt it when I woke up. I felt hopeless.

What does that mean?


Bruce November 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm [edit]

Hi Farha,

While I can’t really know what any dream means for certain, I can encourage you to think about the elements of your dream as if they were all symbols of parts of yourself. Maybe this will open some clues for you.

In this way of thinking your husband might be the male aspect of you, and this part carries tissues (perhaps a symbol of the ability to deal with tears or sadness) and food (symbol of the provider, the ability to nourish and help the family live and grow).

The husband part of you leaves the truck (the part that is always moving around) and goes to the building. Maybe you secretly wish your husband would get rid of the truck and buy a house instead?

In any event, when you chase after your husband to “see what he is doing” (perhaps meaning you have some trouble trusting) the seven year old part of you gets worried about abandonment and runs after you guys.

This makes me wonder if anything like loss or parental split-up happened when you were seven—maybe having to choose between two things, maybe feeling like you had to grow up fast and take care of younger siblings (the sudden loss of innocence and the childhood you might have wished for?).

Then the truck and the babies are gone. This could be symbolic of how you felt taken away from mother or father when you were three or perhaps six-months old. Dreams sometimes reveal our anger and our overwhelm; in this sense we might wonder if you yourself feel alone in your parenting and overwhelmed by having three children. The kids disappearing could hint at how you need extra help in dealing with it all, and also a lot of tissues to help dry your eyes from sadness past and present.

The good thing is that your unconscious is giving you clues about how you really feel, and this can help you know to ask for help (as you did in writing to this blog) and also in talking to your husband about how you feel.

Men often need to be taught to just listen and give hugs and tissues rather than offer suggestions about what others should do differently. Feeling truly understood is a big part of feeling loved, and this helps us find the energy to parent well and trust that even if we have had loss and hurt we can rise above it to keep our kids safe, soothed, fed and compassionately understood.

Hope this helps. Certainly wishing you better dreams ahead.

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raychel trusty October 1, 2012 at 8:30 am [edit]

I had a dream last night that both my children where on a plane with a family member who I can’t remember who it was but the plane crashed but my kids survived but were trapped in some kind of big hole that was used for a underground business or something in not sure but I could see my other family member tied up but I couldn’t see my kids all I could hear is one of them crying which was my daughter she is 2 now and my son will b 4 but in my dream she was a baby n my son was two. I woke up a few times but when I went back to sleep the dream continued I just don’t know why I dreamed that it’s really not sitting well with me.


Bruce October 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm [edit]

Hi Raychel,

This strikes me as a dream about conflicting opposites (planes going up/crashing down and holes underground).

A “Plane” takes us to a higher level, but this could be symbolic of some depression you are struggling with; in this way your unconscious shows you what you are doing (going higher up), but it then crashes you back down.

Men who don’t want to grow up love getting away from mother earth, and so there is a bit of Peter Pan in all of us, male or female, and when we go crashing to Mother earth, and end up in a “hole” we are symbolically, possibly, talking about being back in the womb, or at least in a baby state of mind.

This is confirmed by your babies going back in time a couple of years in your dream. The children symbolize the child-self who you once were, and although you have gotten to the two and four stage, it sounds like you might have had some emotional crashes when you were a baby, up until around two.

The “family member” who gets “tied up” would be the part of you who feels trapped in the unconscious past. The past before we have memory, before we are around eighteen months old, is symbolically like a tangle of impressions and feelings.

I think these are coming into your consciousness in order to heal, and so that your past does not impact your kids (or “bring them down”).

Perhaps you can soothe your “baby self” by suggesting to her that even if childhood had some pain in it, now you are a good and capable mom and you can take loving care of this part of yourself, bringing her out of the “hole” of sorrow and loneliness and onto your loving conscious mind.

I know this is a disturbing dream, but if you meditate on it while imagining that you hold your own self as a baby on your lap or chest, perhaps the dream will evaporate and much better dreams, and happier waking life, might rise up to meet you.

All Best Wishes

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Bruce October 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm [edit]

Felina writes (but left at “blog roll” so I moved it here):

Hi i keep havin dreams of my 4 year old.. Ive dreamt thats he gets knocked down by a red car and last night i dreamt he fell up some stairs and when ive gone to pick him up his left side of his face is all caved in and he’s died.. Please help i dont why i keep dreamin of this of my son when ive 7 of them..Am not worried about any of them this has been happening for over a year now thankyou..xx

Hi Felina,

I would think about life when you were four. A red car might symbolize something big and perhaps angry (red) that hurt you. Falling “up” some stairs is unusual, and suggests moving to higher, or more, consciousness—in contrast to being knocked unconscious by blunt trauma or by emotional or other trauma. The “left side” of his face is injured (left as in abandoned possibly?).

Having 7 kids is a lot of work, perhaps there is something about that 4 year old that most reminds you of yourself. In any case, try to imagine the hurt child in the dream as a way that the unconscious is telling you that you have been hurt.

Work on imagining that the child did not die (for she lived to be a mom of 7), and try to picture holding that hurt kid and soothing them, protecting them and truly understanding how they feel. Do this before going to sleep (hopefully it will end the bad dreams); consider seeking some sort of help for the trauma of the past, but even if you can’t find time/money for that, perhaps when you feel sad, scared or unsupported you can picture this 8th child that you love and parent in your imagination.

Besides being a nice thing to do for yourself, if you do it consistently for a few months you may find it makes a lasting difference in how you feel

All Best Wishes, Bruce

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Crystal December 23, 2012 at 5:44 am [edit]

Hi there,
Shortly after 5 am I awoke in a panicked state, feeling very anxious and disturbed about a dream I have just had. In the dream I have accompanies by husband to a function for his work. He is in conferences and meetings and seminars and our children ( 4 and a half and nearly 3) are with us. The local surrounds are nfamiliar and the environment is busy with various people rushing past us in a blur. Next thing I remember is that w all end up separated. my four year old daughter is with my husband and my son and I are together. When I finally randomly meet up with my husband he is alone (without my daughter) and he is angry. He tells me that he is late for a meeting he had to attend and that I apparently forgot about. He is rushed and tries to move past me. I ask him where our daughter is and he tell me that she was misbehaving and he put her on the bus (as in the public transportation bus) I panick and proceed to the nearest bus stop to try to find her. I rode from bus to bus andrn from bus stop to bus stop but couldn’t find her….until I woke up anxious and tearful.

I am very protective and passionate about my children so the thought of my husband disregarding my daughter is devistating. I have been struggling with my roles lately as I have been back to work full time for a year now. This is a bit of a challenge for me as i feel that i should be at home raising my children but i am also a professional who is in high demand and earn a very comfortable income which we rely on in conjunction with my hsbands income. My daughter can be difficult at times because she has a personality that does not always mesh with with the rest of us. My children are also very bonded together and have adjusted well to child care. I have to admit that my husband and I’s relationship has suffered a bit over the past year, likely because I feel unable to juggle my role as a mother, full time professional, and wife.


Bruce December 23, 2012 at 8:58 am [edit]

Hi Crystal,

Given that you are aware of the surface meaning of this dream—that you feel anger toward your husband, frustration with your daughter’s personality and a special bond with your son—I would encourage you to turn to this dream in terms of what it might be telling you about your own Self and your inner struggles to individuate (fancy word for moving toward your fuller and more grown-up Self).

In this perspective the dream is like a mirror of the different parts of your own psyche. Thus your husband in the dream would be your masculine aspect, and at the moment that achieving part of you (the provider, the one who deals with the “conventional” world at conventions, has the hunter-gatherer agenda going and doesn’t relate very harmoniously with your conscious ego-self, the one who is left thanklessly tagging along on the business trip.

You are consciously identified, in the unconscious of the dream, with the wife-mother who is not appreciated. Your anger creates the seeming fear, but also angry wish, to “all end up separated. In marriage separation is a step toward divorce, but the hope of the unconscious is to make things more conscious so you might not have to do that all-too common solution to frustration in relationship.

In the psyche, its all YOU, so there’s no getting separated from yourself, there’s only better and less integrated relating of the parts. Women often deny their Shadow, thus they do not like to think of themselves as “bad” or abandoning, or aggressive… and so end up projecting that onto men who seem to do their dirty work for them. Poor men who have enough troubles of their own in their own psyches (as they tend to project the loving and nurturing onto women and then resent women for things those women never actually did to those men, such as abandonment, betrayal, etc. in the pain of not being understood, we start to act out the projections we’ve been told we do, be it too unreliable, too remote, too needy and relationships break down and everyone ends up losing and feeling lonely. so sad).

Ok, you relate to your son, and he symbolizes the hope of a re-do. He is your “little man” and your unconscious feels the sort of bond with him, intimacy, closeness, easy connection, that reflects your child-Self. To see with child-eyes again, while retaining the maturity of being a mother and wife, is to move toward individuation, where masculine and feminine, young and wise, dark and light, must become harmonized SO that you can better relate to the group (the collective conscious and unconscious… the world that we might make better, might make worse, or might conclude is to be lived in more than changed).

Your daughter is the brilliant and misunderstood part of you. In real life she stands in danger of becoming the black sheep of your family (the one most likely to end up on the therapist’s couch because she carries the higher consciousness of the family—she’s not the worst of you, in some ways she is the best of you).

Thus she ends up on the bus, a symbol of collective travel, a girl of the people, of fairness, of exploring and wandering and keeping it real, rather than the conventional aspects of working the room, making the connections, advancing and excelling in the more elite realms of business.

Your daughter is like a symbolic Rosa Parks of the family… she’s on the bus and you want to get her off the bus. You go looking for her, realizing that she is your treasure and you would rather be with her on the bus than without her at the convention.

It would be wrong to imagine that your husband wants to ditch your daughter; your unconscious masculine aspect is trying to make things better for the family, but he feels misunderstood. If you tell him you appreciate how hard he is working (at least in your psyche, it might not hurt to say it to the real man in your bedroom and your kitchen), and you understand that he does truly care about the good of the group, he will soften and you will be closer.

Once he’s done feeling unloved and misunderstood, he will understand that you too want to play with the big boys and have a part in the group, that you too care about all the kids (son, daughter, but also the kids you guys used to be, and all the kids left out of the business culture and left off the bus).

Maybe your “role” is neither mother nor professional, these are just aspects of life lived; maybe all of us would be better understood, at least by our own selves, if we thought of our “role” as that of soul—as that which is honest and caring and wants to contribute and bond, work and play, be treated fairly and wanting to treat others fairly—at least we will feel calmer and less left behind… and maybe that will bring out the best in us.

Best of luck in waking and sleeping life


Crystal December 23, 2012 at 11:06 am [edit]

Thank you for the unconscious, psyche perspective. There are definitely some harsh truths to acknowlage and address. I certainly have some work to do.


Bruce December 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm [edit]

Hi Crystal,

I know these may seem “harsh” at first glance, but it’s terribly important to apply consistent compassion, curiosity and non-judgment to your inner explorations; place your own growth and rising happiness in the service of your children, your family and all our collective children and perhaps this will invite the wind of spirit to fill your sails and smile on your journey.

Warm Regards

^ * * * ^



Taishe November 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm [edit]

My son has been gone for about a week now to spend time with his father he is 4 im not use to being away from him I keep having dreams that he is hurt,sad,and crying what does this mean?i know for a fact his father wouldnt hurt him please help me before I lose my mind.


Bruce November 30, 2012 at 6:28 am [edit]

Hi Taishe,

You just miss your boy. Your dream is also about the child part of you who misses her own mom or feeling of being safe and loved. Pretend you are in the dream and comfort your child as if it were your own 4 year old self; have a group hug as if the father of your child is also your own “father self.”

Unify these parts, with love, in your imagination and see if your dreams don’t turn lovely.

I hope they do :)

^ * * * ^



aishling November 30, 2012 at 9:40 am [edit]

I had a dream last night, it was about my 4 year old daughter she was standing in the middle of the road laughing, cars were passing and i was trying to get her off the road but she wouldnt move. i then gave up and stood there with her in the middle of the road i was extrealy worried and she was laughing thinking what she was doing was fun then i woke up. what could this mean?


Bruce December 2, 2012 at 8:32 am [edit]

HI Aishling,

I love this dream—it is a very good omen, or so I would like to believe. After the many conventionally upsetting dreams in the stream of comments, this one shows a mother who is being taught by her own Eternal Child Self to laugh, to relinquish fear and trust that the “middle of the road” (which is neither too far to the left nor to the right, and also the very center of the river of life) is a safe and fun place to be.

The middle between fear and desire, the place of play and gratitude, the place of love but for all of our children, our elders, our ancestors, our animal friends, our earth and our air, our ideas in all their diversity, our technology and our old-school artisinal ways.. this is where we meet, this is where we heal, this is where we LAUGH, and few things are more transformative, liberating and healing.

This also shows that you are a terrific mother—for you are carrying the worry and your child is safe and confident and playful.

Of course in real life you must protect her from the street until she learns how to stay safe without your grasping hand, but when the parents are worried the kids can feel free; it’s the oblivious parent that leaves her child at risk.

Thus here we are, two strangers, meeting in virtual space, connected by a shared concern for children.

Be happy, don’t worry any more than is necessary to keep your child safe (well maybe worry enough to care about other people’s kids too—since if we all cared a little more, we’d all know to drive carefully when children were playing).

Trust your love, trust that your inner child is very happy and confident. This world is looking safe for you to heal and love, or so might at least be my wish for you and for all of us.

We use roads to get places, to chase goals. But your child, and your child-self, may know better. The laughing child could have just as easily written these words as Herman Hesse in “Siddhartha”:

“When someone is searching,” said Siddhartha, “then it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that what he searches for, that he is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind, because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed by the goal. Searching means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal. You, oh venerable one, are perhaps indeed a searcher, because, striving for your goal, there are many things you don’t see, which are directly in front of your eyes.”

^ * * * ^



Rachel Rollins October 26, 2012 at 8:43 am [edit]

Good to know others are having dreams about their children. I have had two different dreams now about my 5 year old little girl. The most recent one, I had last night. I was driving down a very busy highway that did not have a median, and I had to pull over due to car problems. Soon as I pulled over, she jumped out of her car seat and ran into traffic, luckily not many cars were there at the time, and I called her back fanatically and she came back to the car. Of course I got onto her. Later in the dream, I had to pull over again because of car trouble, and again she jumped out and ran into on-coming traffic, this time cars were coming at her. I ran towards her (it felt like I was going in slow motion) and I knew I was gonna be hit by the cars myself, but thought to myself I would rather die with\for her, then watch it happen. So I grabbed her up, and somehow made it out. Barely.. We got back to the car, and the police showed up, and said it happened twice and they were going to arrest me. I was trying to explain to them that I was trying to save her. When I woke up…

The first dream I had, we were at a park that had a pond (a park I had never seen before), and she was running ahead of me, I was yelling for her to come back, but she kept running. She ran up over a hill, I could not see her, finally I came up over the hill and she was floating face down in the pond. I jumped in the pond, grabbed her and started CPR, I was screaming out. It was horrible. Then I woke up.

I took a dream class once and they professor said that dreams are always about YOU. I thought that was interesting. I dream every night, and I can recall my dreams very easily. I am fascinated by them. But this one about my little girl, is really getting to me. My husband and I have been trying for #2 for 2 years now, I wonder if its my fear of losing my only child?? Thank you in Advance for you insight, Bruce!


Bruce October 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm [edit]

Hi Rachel,

I would go with your professor’s idea. In this sense the “car” is your ego-self, and the “car trouble” is symbolic of you needing to pull over (i.e. slow down, be more conscious) on the road of life—your personal issues/problems.

Your child is your child self, perhaps hinting at a trauma you experienced around 5 years old? The traffic going the other way is the part of you that wants to go back, not forward… but also the collective world or outer self that can seem indifferent to the vulnerability of children.

The police are your inner critic/authority, and this shows your guilt as a mom, the feeling that you did something wrong AND the knowledge that you did not. You wake up and your actual kid is okay.

The pond is about the child self drowning in the mother self, or the tears or the unconscious. You are confronting that your past/own child must heal in order to continue on your road (were you a second child? Perhaps if so your fear is about metaphorically birthing yourself and your reluctance to revisit pain).

Even if your childhood was difficult, you have a chance to commune with it via your dreams, and your active imagination. I think just writing about it and thinking about it will bode well for your dreams.

I hope they turn sweet and peaceful soon (I would expect something hopeful, maybe an animal symbol?)

Try to be in the now. Heal the past, but also trust that now you are grown-up and you can handle keeping your inner kid safe.

All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^



Lee McLin August 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm [edit]

Hi, my name is Lee and I am a single mother of 3 (ages 12, 6 & 4). I happened to come across your forum while trying to find some understanding of a recurring dream I have been having involving my kids for almost a year now. After reading a number of dreams others have posted and your responses I was curiouse what you would think of mine.

I have had the dream numerous times and the specifics of it change but everytime there is a catastrophy, usually something apocolyptic going on in the world around me. I am always trying to get my children to safety, as any parent would, but somehow every single time I loose ONE of my children. The child I loose always changes, sometimes it’s my oldest, then it may be my youngest or my middle child. I always wake up anxious, physcially shaking and feeling horrible for loosing one of my children. This occurs a few times a month and I have to go into their rooms just to see them, then I spend at least an hour trying to go back to sleep. Just like many of your other readers who have written about dreams involving their children I love mine and do all I can for them. So what do you think?


Bruce August 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm [edit]

Hi Lee,

Firstly I’m sorry you’ve been plagued by this very disturbing dream, in its various configurations—let’s see if some new ideas can help stop this particular dream cycle (for if we get it right, the dreams will end or change, and that’s how we know we’re on the right track; and if an idea doesn’t change the dreams, then we go back to the drawing board and try a new idea).

I think the key clue to understanding this dream comes in your slip of the keys in typing your question. While your spelling and grammar are otherwise excellent, you mistakenly use the word “loose” when you consciously mean to suggest the word “lose.”

To lose something, your dream terror, is to no longer have it, often in the context of something terrible (like a bad dream, or an apocalyptic disaster); to loose something is to no longer hold a tight attachment, but by one’s own conscious choice (like letting go of a leash, a balloon, setting free an animal, letting go of control, etc.).

In your dream you are struggling with conflicted and mixed feelings: kids are our treasures and to lose them is our worst nightmare indeed; yet to help them grow up and become able to live, love and contribute, eventually to survive without us, is to loose them, I suppose. Launching kids (I’m soon to launch one to college) is extremely mixed as we’re happy they’re growing and devestated to let them go because we’re so attached to them and will miss them terribly, even as they run off to meet their joyous destiny we hope.

Your kids likely symbolize yourself at different stages of development. Thus the 12 year-old is about to enter teen-age years and this means they will be trying for more independence, and they will be facing new risks (emotional, sexual, intellectual, etc.). This child-self is the one that wants freedom and adventure, and that’s hard on any parent, particularly a single parent, particularly a single parent of three kids.

Your six-year-old self is the part that is also developing new abilities, but it is your middle child and that part of yourself might be prone to feeling lost rather than loosed, as the 12 year-old demands attention and the 4-year-old gets to be in the baby role.

Yet your 4-year-old is no longer a true baby, and thus you’re losing your precious time as a mother of babies (we grieve each transition because they are so cute and wonderful at every stage; but we don’t yet trust that they will keep being amazingly adorable and precious all through their lives… and so we hesitate to loose for our fear of loss).

If you realize that your dream tells you that you’re trying to love your baby-self, your lost middle self and your emerging adventurer self… and take good and loving care of your mother self (not to mention your poet, gardener, lover, animal-lover, reader, cook, athlete, spiritual, weary, transforming selves, etc. etc.) you might imagine a sort of psychological boat or hotel or garden… someplace that can hold all of your inner aspects, and all of your distinct and ever changing children in waking life, in some sort of safe and respectful “place” in your mind and heart—a “place” where everyone is free to explore within the bounds of what they are ready to handle, but protected from danger to the degree necessary. Maybe a magical park where there is something for everyone at every age, including friendship, love and community for all the single parents.

While it may be awhile before waking life looks like this, perhaps we can start in dream-life, and then see if it ripples out into your lived and renewed experience, trusting that you are not alone in your deep wish to truly loose all your parts of yourself and never lose any of them.

Feel free to let me know if the dreams get better. Meanwhile, wishing you great dreams and great days treasuring your self, your life and your children as they all grow and change, maybe toward a better and better sense of security and understanding, of fun and freedom safely held.

^ * * * ^



Monica October 26, 2012 at 10:54 pm [edit]

Hi Bruce-
I attended a new hire orientation today for a job in a hospital setting. They were giving flu shots, so I got one, and it made me feel very tired. After getting home and putting my kids to bed, I laid down to rest and fell asleep. I had the most awful, horrible dream I’ve ever had! Please give me your interpretation of this unsettling dream.

I dreamed that my 8-year-old daughter died in a car accident. I found her in her baby carseat (she was younger in the dream), and she was peacefully dead. I started crying hysterically, and my husband was comforting me. Then, another mom I know from my daughter’s school was telling me all about her daughter’s progress in school, and I began to sob again. I told her maybe I could have another baby. I was thinking about my daughter during the dream, and reflecting on some of the wonderful times we’ve shared in her short life. In my dream, I felt that I somehow knew or intuited that my daughter would die as a child. I was having some kind of experience in the dream, an epiphanic moment about life, the universe, the limited time we have on this earth. Then, I went back to sobbing and feeling true sorrow in the dream.

I woke up feeling as though I might vomit. I felt physically ill and emotionally upset. I had a feeling of extreme relief that it was just a dream, and in reality my daughter was sleeping comfortably in her room.


Bruce October 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm [edit]

Hi Monica,

Perhaps your girl in your dream is the girl part of yourself. I would think about life for you when you were 8, but also when you were that younger age your daughter was in the dream. The other mom in the dream might be the part of you who has a daughter who is making good progress (maybe even suggesting that your inner girl is healing—and thus your wounded or killed former self must die, or better stated, your identification with some past victim self, or slow to progress self, or late blooming self, this aspect must “die” so that your grown-up, safe, good mother, good progress aspect can be born into lived reality).

While we are all vulnerable as parents, and as humans, and do what we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, your dream may be more about coming to terms with a painful past than it is about any premonition. The dream seems to be saying the eternal truth about life and love and time being precious. As we say of parenting, the days can take forever and the years fly by.

My hope is that my contemplating these themes your bad dreams will resolve and a greater feeling of joy and presence to the life and love you now treasure can be savored and fully lived.

All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^


Christine May 24, 2013 at 12:43 pm [edit]

I had a dream last night that definitely left me a little distraught after I woke up. I was walking with my boyfriend and my two sons down an ally. There was a small corridor to the left that led out into a small concrete area with benches there was also a gate 10 feet farther from the corridor that led there as well. My oldest son who’s 8 years old turned and ran down this corridor and I could hear voices from the corridor after he ran down it. I quickly ran through the gate to stop him from running after he left the corridor but I couldn’t get there soon enough and he kept running out another gate and wouldn’t reply or listen as I was yelling for him to stop and come back. My boyfriend then started chasing him and my son ran across a busy road and kept running. My youngest son who’s 5 started crying and a lady appeared and was trying to talk to him. I picked up my youngest son and started chasing after my boyfriend and oldest son. No matter how fast we ran we could not catch up to him. My son ran into a building and we followed we seen him turn and run down another corridor we got to the corridor and he was gone. The corridor was dark but we began walking down it and calling my sons name. And that’s when I woke up. I managed to fall asleep shortly after and found us in my dream walking down this same ally. My son turned and ran down the corridor again and this time I chased him down the corridor with the sound of voices all around me. I managed to catch him after we left the corridor. I woke up right after the encore dream. After I fell asleep again the dream occured again but this time my youngest son went to run and I had grabbed onto his arm to stop him from running and my boyfriend had caught my oldest boy from running. I then woke up again and immediately ran to check on my boys who were fast asleep in bed. I’ve tried finding an interpretation on this dream and am having no luck. I have never seen this ally or benched area, or even the abandoned building where we lost my son in the corridor. I was scared to sleep after these dreams therefore stayed awake. Any help or insight to what these could mean would be greatly appreciated.


Bruce May 24, 2013 at 2:23 pm [edit]

Hi Christine,

While the “meaning” of a dream is more an art than a science, and your own deep Self is the architect of this dream, I’ll offer some thoughts and hope it sparks a creative process within your own mind.

An “ally” is is someone you form an alliance with, which is an interesting mis-spelling, and possibly a clue to the dream. I believe you mean you were walking down an “alley” which signifies the back route, a classic place for trash and for bad guys to lurk and for bad things to happen.

Your children would be the child parts of yourself, and like Alice in Wonderland, your older one takes off down the rabbit hole. The settings are concrete and spooky, perhaps suggesting a mood-state for you of alienation, fear and confusion, as the corridors are a bit maze-like.

Crossing the busy street could signify your kid crossing another dangerous threshold and going into a sort of abandoned building. This might symbolize your own feelings of abandonment. Chasing in dreams often occurs when the conscious feeling is abandonment, however you are doing the chasing, suggesting that perhaps you wish you felt more “wanted” in your own childhood.

A lady talks to your crying 5 year old self (perhaps you had a nice kindergarten teacher? someone who tried to help when you were five?). Your boyfriend might represent your own male aspect, the part of you that won’t just give up but rather helps you keep the kid self feeling safe and also cared about.

The dream gives you three tries, but finally the family is united and safe; perhaps your family as a kid didn’t stay together and your wish is to deal with the fear and loneliness you still carry with you and come to trust that now you and your kids are safe and loved.

Hope this helps. Sweet Dreams

^ * * * ^


Bruce March 31, 2013 at 3:41 pm [edit]

Hi Elena,

Perhaps the motorcycle is a symbol of a machine that can do harm if it is not controlled—in other words the part of yourself that feels “out of control.” Perhaps, parenting teens, you find yourself losing your temper sometimes and your kids might even tell you that you are “out of control,” or otherwise dismiss your parenting as mouthy teens may do.

Thus feeling powerless; as you are first off the rage-machine, then your husband is off the motorcycle (the “mother-cycle” of anger and sadness?), perhaps symbolizing how you don’t feel like he backs you up when you try to set limits, perhaps he takes the position that the kids are growing up and need more freedom and trust, more responsibility and you are the protective mother).

To prove your unconscious point the motorcycle nearly hits a grown-up (your kids are “nearly grown-up”) but hurts the son.

Now we get into symbols of parts of our Self: kid without legs (i.e. can’t run away, can’t grow-up and leave you… it’s so hard to allow them to grow up, as we love them so much it breaks our hearts… and then they piss us off and we unconsciously want to show them how it feels to be cut off at the knees by little kids who have no clue about paying bills and dealing with life).

Grandmother in wheelchair: the “great mother” aspect of Self that is impaired in a parallel way to the child. This hints at your original trauma: having a weak mother who failed to stand up to father and set an example of powerful and able love.

The aunt who gives food (in contrast to “real life”) is the sister of the mother, or symbolically your sister Self as mother—generous and abundant, just what is needed by your inner family that is starved for respect, and a good balance between freedom and appropriate protection.

Given that this is a dream, thank goodness, and not “real life” consider “The Little Mermaid” where Ariel wants both her voice and her legs. Imagine that you are the child and you magically get your legs sewn back on (Tim Burton’s “Strange LIttle Mermaid”) and then you sing beautifully and you and your husband discover that the motorcycle has transformed into two elegant horses and you ride off together into the sunset as you splendid children grow up safely and live happily ever after. Years later you host many feasts and feed your children, grand-children, parents and aunts and friends most abundantly and just keep living happily ever after.

I know it’s a little Disney but hey, it’s Easter and I just want you to have better dreams :)

All Best Wishes

p.s. It’s also Passover, and to “look at the symbol on the door” could relate to themes of protecting the son by the blood of the lamb and also the door as symbol of passing from one consciousness (alone, aggrieved, scared) to another (understood, respected, loved)

^ * * * ^


KMarie March 13, 2013 at 5:20 am [edit]

I am so glad I found this. I just woke up sobbing. My youngest son had somehow called me on our home phone and I couldn’t find him. He is five but in the dream he was three. He had his winter coats and boots and glassess on and he said into the phone, “mommy, I want to come home.” I remember feeling so proud that he thought to call but then I was distracted by my husband and said the stupidest thing, can you find your own way home?” As soon as he hung up I realized my mistake. I ran outside yelling his name into the dark , waiting for his little body to show up. My husband drove out looking. I told me other two children to sleep as I got on boots and ran outside again yelling his name frantic. Then I woke up.
Also, the house I was in was a previous home we had when the kids were babies. Our first official home and we were in the same town we are in now.


Bruce March 13, 2013 at 11:54 am [edit]

Hi KMarie,

Jumping right in, perhaps the “first official home” is a symbol of your own first self when you were a baby. In those terms our own skin is our first self, and the love and nurturance help us grow into increasingly sophisticated Selves… however perhaps Mother Earth knows best and we are all already “home,” and it’s more about waking up to this and loving in a wider way.

In the meantime, the three year old self calls the mommy self; your baby that you once were is reaching up and out to you, using language and you are proud. Once upon a time your childhood felt cold and lonely and you didn’t have a phone or language or perhaps a receptive and attuned mom to answer.

You say to find his own way home, but Dorothy must do this and it’s more a matter of some helpers along the way.

But YOU are now the helper (I am more a Trickster to help you know this, but you too are also a Tricketer, asking the baby to find YOU, as being looked for does feel like love).

Go into your imagination and re-conjure the dream. Say to the child, who you see as your own Self, something like, “I know you are scared and in the cold, you haven’t been on my radar of love as I’ve been loving the new ‘real’ children, but you are real too. I am proud of you, you have a coat to be warm, you have glasses to see, and you have a device to reach me. I am going to talk you toward home as I walk toward you. Then we will hug and get warm and have hot chocolate and a warm bath and stories and snuggle and you will from now on and for the rest of our life together live happily and safely ever after knowing that you have found your way home.”

Hope this helps

^ * * * ^


Kirstie March 31, 2013 at 12:46 am [edit]

I keep having horrid dreams about my son being hurt or lost or something like that; always short dreams tagged on to another.. A week ago, I dreamt that as we were getting on a train to go on holiday, the doors shut and my son was taken away, and no one could find him. I woke up so distressed that I had a panic attack and had to go find him ): . I just woke up from another dream, one in which I was in the next room from him and the roof collapsed on him in a massive storm. He was struggling to get to me and I was fighting to get to him because the door was stuck. I eventually got hold of him and bundled him up, then ran to the nearest undamaged house, battering on the door to get in. I didn’t know if he was hurt or just wet and scared.

I don’t want to have these dreams ): I love my son and they’re horribly distressing ._.


Bruce March 31, 2013 at 7:54 am [edit]

Hi Kirstie,

I am sorry you have been disturbed by these dreams but at least the point in talking about them is to try and learn from the dreams and thus allow them to stop, and a more happy time of it in sleep as well as awake to be more probable.

The themes here are about separation in the first instance and direct harm in the second. This shows two ways we are hurt, as babies and as grown-ups: abandonment (leading to loneliness) and attack (which can feel like nature/”God” coming down from above in a terrifying way; or some “bad guy” chasing, abducting, abusing).

It is worth noting that to me, as a psychologist, it seems that we first feel lonely (abandoned) and then we panic and either are hurt when we ask for help or cry out (a bad early learning that sets us up for such bad dreams later when we become parents) or continue to be neglected (and then imagine attack as a defense against abandonment).

In simple terms, I’m wondering if when you were a baby your parents’ limited ability to attune with you (or even refrain from getting too upset with you about your needs) is not imagined as you the mother separated from the baby self… able to both wish to be with the child and also imagine how the baby could feel abandoned and terrified even though that is not your intention.

The abandoned dreams/separation dreams then give rise to persecutory dreams.

Here the “storm” (perhaps a symbol of your own stormy anger, fear and fierce nature that can be dark as well as all-loving and soft) crushes the “roof” a symbol of that protection over your head, which could also mean your way of thinking about things.

Again we see the situation as symbolic: you are separated from your baby, but now a train becomes a single house and a mere wall the divide. This is a symbol of increasing closeness (between your grown-self and your baby self or the past hurts).

The “Massive Storm” could symbolize the way your childhood felt, or perhaps a singular event (i.e. if parents spilt up and separated after fighting on a stormy night).

Then you and baby-self are “struggling” to get to each other (to unify and become one complete person) and the “door was stuck” (the boundary that can help you connect the rooms and parts within yourself, but which can also serve as a protection or appropriate boundary (i.e. between your actual baby and your unresolved pain/fear about the past).

You bundle up your baby (excellent, you hold your baby-Self even if no one could in the past) and you run to the “nearest undamaged house” (a symbol of a non-damaged self, thus a symbol of a new Self quite nicely arriving on Easter which, whatever your spirituality, is a time of Spring and re-birth in the northern hemisphere).

You couldn’t yet tell if the child self is “hurt, or just WET and scared”. This is also a nod to parenting; when the baby cries is she hungry, wet, scared? But also “wet” suggests emotion. You have a lot of tears inside and perhaps if you cry a little river of love you will find yourself softly holding your new Self and clear that you did survive and you are blessed with a child in your life and another one inside your psyche.

My guess is that with more understanding and compassion, you will not need to have a dream like this again.

Please let me know if this turns out to help, or if more nightmares come let’s see if they are the same or different.

All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^



Erin September 11, 2012 at 6:24 am [edit]

Last night I had a dream that my daughter was gone. I do not know if she died or was kidnapped or what. However, it was several years later. And I had a new lil girl about two or three. I was laying in a beautiful field with the sun on us and i was looking down at the new daughter and she was just smiling and laughing with the sun on her face. I remember all I could think about was my real daughter and how I would never love this new child. I do not know if she was mine or how I became with her. All I can remember is how I felt in this dream and I can not shake it! My daughter is five…


Bruce September 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm [edit]

Hi Erin,

I would view this dream as being about you in relationship to your child self. Perhaps when you were around five something difficult happened in your own life (loss, separation, a move, etc.) and the might have felt like your childhood innocence or some sort of feeling you had when you were three was “stolen” from you.

Thus your unconscious shows you what it wants and needs: for you to be conscious (“in the sun”) in a field (in the reality of life on earth) lying down (close to nature) and with your smiling, laughing happy child self.

This is a good dream. In waking life you have a five-year-old who you adore, but in your dream world you also meet a new child who doesn’t need the sort of roll-up-your-sleeves work as your “real” daughter, but who needs you to relax and enjoy and allow the magical epiphany of this dream to restore some sense of wonder, play, hope and joy.

You’re real daughter was not kidnapped, just removed from the center of your consciousness for a few brief, and potentially lovely, moments in your dream. Just as going out with your girlfriends is not the same as abandoning your child, dreaming of your secretly forgotten child self is not about losing your real little girl.

Love is abundant, shower it on your daughter and on your inner child too.

All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^



Pia January 3, 2013 at 10:38 am [edit]

Hi Bruce. I’ve been researching all morning for dream interpretations after having such a vivid dream/nightmare which had me wake balling my eyeballs out. I dreamt that I left my 3 children in a moving car on the highway. I didn’t have the intent to hurt them, I just got out and left. Realizing I did that I frantically went up to a police officer and told him that the vehicle was still in motion with my children inside. He radioed in to locate the vehicle and I was told that they were ok. In the next scene, I was in the back of a police van and I borrowed an officers cell phone to contact my dad to pick up the kids. I had the hardest time remembering his phone number but I could see myself dialing and as soon as he picked up I told him what had happened and he said he had my son but not the my 2 girls. I told him that I didn’t know why I did what I did and I don’t know what was wrong with me. I needed help. My dad tried to reassure me that I was fine and nothing was wrong. While on the phone with my dad, the officer next to me pulled out a report stating that I attempted to harm my children just 1 week before by injection. So I was never going to see them again. If I went home they couldn’t be there they would go to foster care. I couldn’t take it so I tried to kill myself with a pair of scissors but was too scared to go through with it. From there, I woke up almost hyperventilating with tears flowing and I couldn’t stop. It felt so real. And just the night before I dreamt of my deceased grandpa giving me money. Any relation? Will my children be ok? Will I be all right? Two vivid dreams as soon as the new year arrived.


Bruce January 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm [edit]

Hi Pia,

One way to think of this dream is that you have a deep wish for your father’s love, and that you do not feel fully understood by your dad. From this perspective you “abandon” your kids SO that your dad will have to step up and parent them (as compensation for not feeling fully parented by your dad when you were a girl? Perhaps dad left mom, or went away for awhile when you were the age of one of your children now?)

But even so, your dad takes the boy (perhaps he wanted a boy, perhaps you have a brother you think dad favored?) but not the girls, echoing your own feeling of not being wanted.

The police are your inner critical voice, so while dad says you are fine and you don’t feel truly understood, the cop says you’re a bad mother and you do feel ashamed but seen. The idea of injection might be a symbol of how bad feelings get transmitted from parents to kids, as if in secret. Maybe you carry the secret knowledge of your dad’s feelings of shame and inadequacy?

You then take to scissors, which are used to cut things, like ties, connections, umbilical cords, and you turn them on yourself. But you don’t really want to die, you want to stop feeling abandoned, overwhelmed, ashamed and lonely.

You can also think of all the parts in the dream as inner aspects of your own self, and thus your car is like your ego, but you feel false and empty, like you’re not really yourself lately (this could be a sign of old wounds from childhood being triggered as your older girl hits the tripwire of what life was like when you were her age… perhaps a time you felt abandoned in some way?).

The children are your own child selves, the part that gets abandoned, etc with the injection being the toxic part of you and the cops the authority part of you.

We need rehabilitation of the psyche here, not punishment for crimes you do not commit in waking life; you need compassion and understanding, for out of that you will heal and your hurt and your destructive impulses toward yourself will transform to more loving impulses. Your kids are your motivation to do this as they benefit from a happy mother who feels good about herself. Parenting is not something we can do alone, and so we need community and a sense that we all might care about each other’s kids in order to break the cycle of kids feeling unimportant and parents feeling alone and overwhelmed.

Finally, your grandfather is a symbol of your Great Father. The fact he gives you money could be symbolic for giving you the resources you need to be able to parent and provide and feel less alone in your caregiving.

My hope is that understanding of this dream will help it not need to repeat, and also guide you to continue, as you have done with this email to me, to reach out and let others help you. Even if your dad was less than ideal when you were a kid, perhaps he can redeem this by actually helping with your girls, even if you did not benefit from it when you were little. If you can forgive your own parents you will more easily be forgiving and compassionate toward yourself, and then you at least won’t feel so alone, even if things are truly difficult sometimes.

Wishing you better dreams and happy times awake too

^ * * * ^


kia February 21, 2013 at 3:54 am [edit]

hi, ive had many dreams that come true… i had a dream last night that i was doing my hair in the bathroom,. looking in the mirror.. then i realized i didnt hear my daughter so i looked down.. My little sister was there and had put my 3 month olds head into the toilet by the time i took her out her face was pale.. i tryed to scream but no sound came out and i ran to the bathroom door to get away but my sister ran and closed it.. by the way her eyes were gray..can you tell me what it means?


Bruce February 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm [edit]

HI Kia,

I would love to hear more about the dreams that have come true. Were they good or bad things that your unconscious saw coming?

Certainly, even if a dream might come true now and again (finding love, for example), when it comes to nightmares we clearly want them not to come true.

And as Jung suggests, by being conscious of things we may even help avert their needing to constellate in waking life. I really don’t know if that is true but a little extra consciousness, hopefully, will not hurt.

Perhaps in your dream the hair you are doing is a symbol of your unconscious thoughts, for those too grow spontaneously out of your head to be combed and shaped into a sort of sense or left wild and tangled.

Looking in the mirror might symbolize looking at yourself, not just physically but also psychologically—noticing where you are at and what you think and feel right now.

“Realizing” that you are “not hearing” your daughter could mean you feel guilty about not paying attention in waking life enough, bur more likely as a symbol it is your little girl self you do not hear.

Thus it is your “sister self” or the part of you that is related to you but is not the same as you who puts the kid you’s head in the toilet, symbolically saying that the child is like poop—unwanted and disgusting.

This is symbolic for low-self esteem, and raises the question about how you and your sister might have felt when you were your daughter’s age.

That you cannot scream might symbolize that you felt you had no voice to speak up against mistreatment when you were little (or it could reflect the real fact that you were sleeping while dreaming and did not have a voice for this reason).

Your sister self blocks your exit from the situation, showing how you are forcing yourself to look at your past hurt, and your current fear/pain, so you can heal and be safe and hear both your child in reality and your child self within your psyche.

The grey eyes of your sister could symbolize the integration of light/dark, good/bad, the part of you who sees both sides of things?

What this all “means” depends on what it means to you, but I do hope these ideas help you gain new insights and that you have better dreams ahead and good times awake as well.

All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^



gina layne December 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm [edit]

i keep having this continuous dream of me driving through a town and going over the tracks and getting stuck and the train starts coming towards me so i get out and not able to get my one year old sons carseat undone and get him out befor the train hits my truck and it takes off with it with my baby still in there. i never know if he dies cause i always wake up cryin and jus grap him and hold him as tight as i can. i wish i knew what it ment! i havent been around train tracks since i started having this dream. Help!!


Bruce December 21, 2012 at 12:08 am [edit]

Hi Gina Layne,

The “tracks” are a classic symbol of the divide in a town (“wrong side of the tracks”). In the psyche you are trying to cross the tracks, which could mean cross over from the past toward the future, but you get stuck. This might symbolize that having a child has triggered feelings about the past, about feeling emotionally insecure and on the wrong side of the tracks of power, love and self-esteem.

The train might symbolize forces bigger than yourself, that huge thundering mover of people and freight that passes through the town and just keeps going, mothers and babies be damned. The train may symbolize power, but power lacking in compassion.

A train is also rather phallic, so it could symbolize men or maleness that has hurt you, even though you have your truck (a somewhat macho vehicle) it is no match for a train.

If the bad news is that the baby is a symbol of your own self, as it may have felt hurt and carried away, the good news is the train symbolizes your own awesome power (it just needs to be harnessed toward compassion and understood so that it no longer terrifies and hurts).

Whether husband or your father, the train may also represent a wish to be carried away by father. This, for example, would make good sense if you were raised by a single mom in a town with tracks and father left you behind with mom… the wish for father would then be stirred up by having a baby.

I can only make some guesses to get you thinking, it’s for you to meditate on the meaning of this dream.

Finally, trains are powerful, but they have no free will to turn, thus they are limited (i.e. the “one track mind”).

What we fear is often a reflection of what has already happened and hurt us and made us stuck in that fear and overwhelm. Whatever has scared you probably made you feel like the helpless mother and the helpless child.

My hope is that if you can understand this fear, you will realize that you, and your baby, are safe. Then the dreams can shift into guidance on where to go, rather than helping you understand that you are stuck.

Hope your dreams turn sweet and safe very soon

^ * * * ^


keshana June 18, 2013 at 4:29 am [edit]

I just had a trouble dream….at first out was about me reserving a McDonalds for a babyshower then it jumped to me my cousin and my son and grandmother on a bus tryingTo see what’s was going on because a lady had just gotten robbed and i told them to come on lets go then the door closed and the bus started moving but no one was in the driver seat. I heard my son call my name….we was leaving him.he wad in the middle of the street with oncoming traffic…..he ran further into the street as I’m yelling stop the bus. After that i woke up in tears.


Bruce June 18, 2013 at 10:11 pm [edit]

Hi Keshana,

While I cannot be certain about the meaning of any person’s dream, I can make some suggestions and hope it helps you figure out your dream and what it means to you.

The key symbols here seem to be a bus with no driver and a child left behind. This might be a symbol of your personal feelings about being “out of control” in the face of taking care of your child. Certainly parents could benefit from a lot more compassion and hands-on support, and maybe your dream reflects this?

In the world of “no child left behind,” many parents and kids are “robbed” of their right to equal opportunity, but that might or might not have anything to do with the meaning of this dream for you (that’s why I say you must contemplate the symbols and see what feels right).

A bus could be a symbol for a collective mode of transport, it could symbolize the community, the family, or even your own self containing all your different feelings and identities. From this perspective you yourself are a child, a cousin and a grandparent figure within your total personality.

Not sure whose babyshower you are planning, but maybe you feel somehow like you are being asked for more than you are willing to give, thus a robber has robbed the lady aspect of you…

Not sure your feelings about McDonalds, but it doesn’t seem to be a positive association. Perhaps it could symbolize the part of you that is no place to actually feed or celebrate children?

Finally, the child left behind, besides political symbolism, could symbolize that a part of you does, or in the past did, feel left behind.

This sort of scenario makes me wonder if when you were the age of your son if you felt somehow abandoned?

It could be that the child part of you has to be “on the bus” of your full personality (not to mention the missing driver part of you to steer the personality that is you). In this way the dream might invite you to trust your instincts that you need family, grandparents, the consciousness of a driver, social justice against “robbers,” and understanding for the Les Miserables sort of “robber” born of social injustice—and the whole community (both inside you and then between all us grown-ups/parents) is needed to keep the kids safe (in our own deep selves, but also in the world we all share.

Remember, this dream tells you how much you love your child and how you need love and family to be your best Self. Tell your cousin, your grandmother and that woman you see in the mirror that you have love to give, you need love too, and you want to all work together to keep your child safe and showered with opportunity and love.

Sweet Dreams


{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica April 26, 2014 at 6:40 am

I had a dream last night that I all of a sudden remembered that when my daughter was born (she’s 7 now) she had been born a twin and I had left the baby at someone’s house and just forgot about him for all these years and in my dream I felt so guilty and started crying and just wanted to go find him and bring him home.


Bruce April 26, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Hi Jessica,

I think if you read through the dreams and comments above you will get some ideas about ways to consider this dream, but it’s mostly upon you to trust your instincts (and keep in mind that we can never be definitive or certain what a dream might mean, maybe even nothing—and yet they certainly feel powerful and important sometimes).

That said, my primary thought would be about wondering if you, now or in the past, felt neglected or forgotten in some way? Whatever the dream “means” if you do feel a bit unsupported or sad, and are able to use that insight to ask for help, or reach out to friends, or form more feeling of community, then your sad dream would have served a purpose in guiding you toward a happier life; and if you can make that happen, while awake, by whatever rational strategies you can put into practice, I would imagine it benefits your child as it’s generally much nicer to have a happy parent than a sad one.

Sweet Dreams


GracieG June 20, 2014 at 8:43 am

Hello.. Was very interested in learning what my dream will interpret.. I felt worried and feel cautious now after last nights dream. I dreamt that we were all together in a home I cannot identify, a big house with my family. We had just had a get together and were staying at this house I guess supposed to be a family members house and my 11 yr old son, 13 yr old brother had left the house in the middle of the night, and only finding this out because there was police cars in front of the house knocking on the door at 5am and explaining to us that the kids had been found walking. Then when we looked over at them we can see that they had been wet from being in pool or sweating and there eyes bloodshot as if they we’re exhausted. Later to find out my son admitted to seeing drugs and smoking A cigarette while being out and other kids offering it to him. When my mother heard the police tell us they were found my mother automatically freaked out and started screaming and getting very upset at my brother were I just showed to be disappointed and worried sick after hearing that they had been out all day. After this dream I still now prob even more, feel as if I need to be more careful and have more lectures and talks with my boy and brother about peer pressure?? Please help me understand this bad what it means to dream this.!!


Bruce June 20, 2014 at 5:54 pm

HI Gracie,

Firstly, you may have neglected to read the post above, but I wrote:

[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.]

So, please do read through the interpretations I have already offered to see if they make sense to you.

Beyond that, I would say that “more lectures” may or may not be the answer to your concerns about parenting. While it might seem cheesy to suggest it, since I wrote it, my book is designed specifically to help deepen understanding of such issues and avoid “talking at” our kids.

If you have an e-reader you can get it from Amazon for a rather cheap price that I hope is fair for the seven years I worked on it.

Certainly wishing you and your kids Sweet Dreams and good times awake even more :)

If interested in the book click here:


Stephanie June 22, 2014 at 7:42 pm

My son has been waking up crying hysterically for a week with nightmares. The most recent, he woke up and told me that I has hurt him. I
Said “mommy would never hurt you” and I just started crying more. I gave him some water to cool down with and he eventually went back to sleep with me holding him but it is still breaking my heart that he would wake up that upset from a dream
About me. What could have caused such a terrible nightmare for him.


Bruce June 22, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Hi Stephanie,

As I 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.]

However, you might want to ask your child what happened in the dream, how you hurt him, etc. Perhaps he has an internal picture of you, and perhaps he is feeling a little abandoned (maybe you have been distracted, or had to work more, or something that feels to him like being abandoned?). Then he might dream that you are “hurting him” the way we dream about monsters “chasing us” sometimes when our real fear is about being alone.

See what you learn from listening to him more deeply (and remembering that you’re not trying to hurt him, and so even writing to me is about how much you never want your child to ever suffer—listening deeply is a good way to help).

All Best and Sweet Dreams for you and your kid


Sonia August 15, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Today early morning I just dreamt at around 4.30, that in my dream I was hurrying back to work late evening, it was dark outside, I do not remember why I had come home, but I was in a hurry and was driving my car, when a bus stopped before me and there were a couple of bikers between me and the bus and as i indicated to go ahead, one of the biker suddenly tried getting ahead before me and I crashed into him, I had moved ahead a little so I parked my car and got down to see what had happened, and to my horror I saw one broken bone behind my car and some fish fillets, I went behind but the road was clear, no bike, no bus nothing just the bone and some fish fillets near my car behind, I was so scared i just pushed the bone into the side with my foot and got in the car, next morning the police came to my house inquiring if I had seen any accident and thats when I woke up scared and confused.
Earlier few months back I had a similar accident dream, I was driving my other car in the city and there was some blockade by police at certain points, and when the cop directed me to go in one direction and I went that way I felt as if my car had gone over something small and when I turned behind on my seat and saw I could see a big pool of blood on the road.
Prior to this many months ago I had a dream that I was coming home late in the night and a tribal lady was walking on the foothpath who suddenly jumped under my car and I immediately stopped my car and got down to see what happened to her, but I was shocked to see the same lady and more similar people coming from behind running towards me and I had woken up screaming that that lady is alive I did not do anything.
In all these dreams the roads are the ones I travel daily while going and coming back from work, I go to work in the morning and travel back home very late.Please help me understand these dreams as I am very scared about them.


Bruce August 16, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Hi Sonia,

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.]

Also, this is a thread about parents dreaming that harm came to their children…

It seems that perhaps the dream is a bit like your approach to getting help with your dream: you are driving too fast and it makes trouble for you. Maybe the point of the dream is about slowing down and being more mindful?

Thus if you do read through some of the other dreams and comments you will get some different ways to think about your own dreams.

Finally, a couple of hints: the symbols in the dream could provide a clue to their meaning for you; bone (this might be that you are seeing to your own true feelings or concerns, as bone is structural and hidden by skin, by the masks we wear); fish fillet (a fish swims in the water, so it might symbolize the part of you that is unconscious, sort of like bone… and “in the road” might suggest you have to “come across it”); and a “tribal lady” would possibly symbolize the tribal part of you, the more natural, ancient, instinctive.

The dreams seem to suggest conflict in which you are worried you will cause damage, and are confused about whether you did or not. Maybe you are hurt in some way and not comfortable to be angry at whoever hurt you, maybe because you depend on them for love or protection? Maybe you turn your anger against yourself, and then feel hurt (to your bones, to your tribal self)?

If you worry about whether or not you are “good” or feel guilty, but also feel that it’s not fair because you haven’t done anything wrong, maybe the dream is simply reflecting how you feel.

Then again, it is just a dream and may just be random firing of your brain and in any event I certainly wish you well and hope you will have…

Sweet Dreams


Debbie October 14, 2014 at 7:21 pm

My Husband just last night was crying and talking in his sleep… I then just today asked if he had a bad dream? He said you don’t want to know. I said why what was it? He said that he was in a field and someone was running in it he then wanted to see who it was and he said they told him his time was up because he didn’t help one of his sons????


Bruce October 14, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Hi Debbie,

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.]

Please feel free to read through some of the dreams, or suggest this to your husband, as it will give you different ways to consider this particular dream.

A hint to get you guys started: a “field” in a dream… brings to mind “Field of Dreams”

If you build a good dream maybe it will come true, but a nightmare doesn’t mean it will come true. In fact, if could be the unconscious “warning” that the “son” isn’t being taken care of.

Could the son symbolize his own child self (and any pain left unresolved in the past)?

In terms of psychological maturity it has been said that the boy must die for the man to be born (meaning our identification with the child, helplessness, the past, etc.)

Time is up could mean simply that it’s time to face something about the past, or about feelings. Remember, if you are having a nightmare and “time is up,” then id could mean that it’s time to wake up (and not to die).

I like to think that we need our lives to be more like good dreams if we are to truly awaken from them (i.e. take care of all the children and work toward a better world, rather than just repeating the past—sort of like “Groundhog’s Day” to reference another movie, and movies are a bit like dreams, don’t you think? Sort of powerful but not particularly “true” in most cases).

Wishing you both Sweet Dreams and a good time awake too


Angela Moustafa October 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Hi there. Hoping you can help. Last night I had a very vivid dream that I half woke from feeling devastated. There was a lot going on but the main part that had me so upset follows.
So (in real life) I have 2 boys, 5 and almost 4. The youngest has multiple anaphylactic allergies. In the dream I was working in a deaf school which my youngest was attending. I half awoke to the sudden realisation that the reason I was working in the deaf school and that my son went there even though he isn’t deaf is because he has a twin brother that I’d forgotten about. In my semi sleep dream state I thought back to when I last saw him. I went through photo albums and I’d almost figured out where I’d last seen him so I could look for him when I woke up. I felt devastated and like there was a massive aching hole in my heart where my sons twin belongs. Even writing it down now has me with a lump in my throat. When I woke up I tried to remember his name and got James but I’m certain that wasn’t his name in the dream. Any thoughts?


Angela Moustafa October 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm

I also think that I’d figured out he was taken from me rather than I lost him


Angela Moustafa October 20, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Sorry. I just noticed that you no longer interpret individual dreams. Sorry


Bruce October 20, 2014 at 9:23 pm

HI Angela,

Thank you for reading and noticing that I’m not able to give detailed interpretations for all the dreams that keep rolling in.

So… do read the other dreams as I think it will give you some ways to think about your dream.

A couple of hints to get you started, however: the idea of a missing twin could symbolize your own child self, one who is hidden in your unconscious, never heard even in your own childhood… the child is male, symbolizing your masculine, but undeveloped aspect (maybe, I could be wrong of course, as your dream really means whatever it means to you).

In the dream you become aware (i.e. becoming conscious of something formerly unconscious) about this child aspect, and the “lump in the throat” feeling makes sense in terms of your own uncried tears about past sorrow, feeling unseen, unheard, etc.

The trope of a school often shows up in dreams when some sort of new learning is called for. Do not despair now, as the hard part is in the past. You have grown into an able and loving mom, and thus you can direct your love to your actual children, and also to your own tender heart, loving that symbolic child that you fear you forgot or left behind, but which is actually your most beloved, innocent, eternal and beautiful self… like a soul forgotten as the cruelty of the world forces the authentic being deep underground.

I would take the dream as a good harbinger. Perhaps meditate upon this child, let them know that even if you cannot “see” them, and they cannot “hear” you, they can feel you and you can feel them.

One way I like to think about parenting is as a path, like yoga, that heals us by giving beyond ourselves. If you’re interested to learn more about it, my book is a bit like a course in spiritual growth as much as it is a “parenting self-help book”

Certainly wishing you Sweet Dreams and a Sweet Waking Life


Elizabeth Kinsella November 7, 2014 at 11:51 pm

I had dream my son was running away and i was crying chaseing him saying please dont lave me what does this mean


Bruce November 8, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

As written 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.]

So… if you slow down, read some of the other dreams and answers, you will get a few ideas about your own dream.

A couple of hints to get you started: maybe your dream is an unconscious wish for a little peace and quiet. Given you couldn’t even read the post above, you are probably overwhelmed, tired and frustrated. Parenting is like that. You need compassion and rest (probably more than dream interpretation). It’s not wrong to wish for a little peace, but if you’re trying to be “super-mom” then it’s forbidden to want a little alone time, then the wish comes out in the dream where the kid runs away from you (when in waking life the kid probably wants more mommy time, not less).

Still, you need to think it through, as it could be about your fear of abandonment. This would make sense if when you were the age your child is now you had some sort of loss. If that rings true, then you need help coming to terms with unresolved loss…

Think on your dream, read other people above and the comments, trust that you will get insights into the meaning, and that also you are not alone. This is part of why I’m writing to encourage you to learn and grow, but not just do all the work for you. Connecting is important for you, for me, for all of us.

Hope this makes sense, hope you have better dreams ahead and a lovely waking life too


Victoria December 19, 2014 at 3:42 am

Hello Bruce,

It is 5:34am and I just had a dream/nightmare that I just can’t get out of my head. I deampt that I was running late for work and I was driving from across town from my grandmothers and I was in traffic and my daughter wa strapped in her car seat in the backseat. Well I parked the car and took my bike off the back and left my daughter in the car an ride my bike to my house as fast as I could but as I got half way I starting to think of how freaked out she must be or scared that I wasn’t there so I started to freak out and having a battle within myself to go back and be late or just go pick up my clothes for work and ride as fast as I can back to my car. I chose to go pick up my clothes but fearing and thinking of the consequences if I were to get caught because I know I was checking my watch the whole time and what felt like a lifetime was only 15-20 min. I never went back to the car because I woke up with a heavy chest! Please help if you can. Thank you.


Bruce December 19, 2014 at 11:19 pm

HI Victoria,

[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.]

A couple of hints to start you off (and then you have to put in a bit of effort reading and considering): Going to grandmothers could symbolize movement toward maturity, while getting on your bike could represent the wish to regress and be a kid again. Preoccupation with clothes could signify identity and the watch about time passing (linking past/childhood with future patience/maturity).

If you think of all the part of the dream as aspect of your own self you will be supported to see the need for integration of parts, and the pain you feel about being somehow left behind in your childhood, and feeling like you are out of time to grow up… yet dream time is sort of timeless, and thus you can imagine your grandmother self attending to your child self in the car seat and maybe you can go look for your mother (the absent figure in the dream) and work out your love-hate relationship with her, if not in waking reality at least in your heart/mind.

Hope this helps & Sweet Dreams


Tess February 26, 2016 at 2:34 am

Hey Bruce just had a terrifying nightmare that my son was left out of state somehow. My dad thought Dorian (my son was going with the sitter) meanwhile my sitter thought we grabbed him. She got a phone call crying telling me he was last seen playing near a major interstate by the airport. Next scene; I’m in hysterics getting on a plane ordering a rum and coke as I frantically try to get in contact with ANYONE at the airport to try and find my son/keep him safe.


Bruce March 4, 2016 at 3:22 pm

Hi Tess,

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.]

It’s just that I can’t keep up with the demand. A couple of hints to get you started: The theme is neglect and suggests you might feel neglected in your own mind by your inner father and inner babysitter; there could be unconscious wishes to get a break from parenting thus the losing the child as forbidden wish for that break. Not sure if drinking is an issue but the rum and coke get justified by the stress, suggesting a thirst for “spirit” and the danger of turning to something other than human love and connection to deal with that stress or sorrow.

Certainly wishing you sweet dreams and waking life as well :)


Sherly February 28, 2016 at 7:57 am

I need help in this dream please answer back.
I had a dream of me and my best friends younger brother holding my hand leading me to their house since is one block away from my house. When all of the sudden two guys come walking out of the nowhere in front of us and we turn around the opposite direction from their house and run super fast. When were about to get to my house we see the guys chasing us and a police car comes and leaves this kids there outside the car and the two men kidnapped all of them fast. Him and I were in the backyard when one of them jumps the gate and they wanted to take us as well. I was knoking the door while that so that my family could open, my mom opens and scream he had my friends younger brother with them. I run and punch the one holding him and he lets go and then I pick him up and run inside carrying him in bridal style and let him catch his breath in my room. I calmed him down since he was scared they were going to take him away, I told him that inside the house they’re not able to come in. After a long period of time he calms down and sleeps. I see him sleep when I hear my phone ring and see the text of my friend worried that her younger brother was missing. I texted her everything and told her to don’t walk late at night. The next day they had school and I was glad that at least my brother and him are the same size of clothe we met my friend and her brothers all of them were happy to see him and I was proud to do something for them. We walk towards their elementary and after that her older brother,her and me walked to or school.


Bruce March 4, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Hi Sherly,

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.]

A couple of hints to start: Being chased might mean that you feel abandoned yourself and imagine “bad guys” after you as a strange way of feeling wanted. You carry the child “bridal style” suggesting the kid symbolizes the part of you who wants to be loved, carried (like a baby) and get a chance to be safe and rest.

Wishing you sweet dreams and waking life too :)


Bruce April 14, 2016 at 6:32 am

P.S. in case other readers end up here and have not read through the above thread:

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:

If your nightmare involves falling or flying try here:

If the core dread is kids running away or being hurt from neglect click here:

If kidnappers or scary animals, bad guys or monsters are the subject go here:

If the child actually does die in the dream click here:

If the dream involves overt abuse or graphic trauma read from here:

If the dream involves poison try here:

If there is a family feud or families fighting see these:

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:

And… Sweet Dreams


Lauren April 17, 2016 at 8:22 am

I had a dream that me and a group of people were waiting on a bus. Now in this dream we missed 2 buss on the third one when i was walking to it I seen my 1 year old son sitting on a seat as i tried to hurry to him the bus took off an I tried everything to get to him but never cought up to him.I woke up crying. What could this mean please.


Bruce April 17, 2016 at 11:51 pm

Hi Lauren,

As you can see from the above post and recent comments I can no longer interpret dreams at this time. If you read the other dreams and replies you will get ideas to understand your own dream. It’s up to you to put in the effort. No matter what, wishing you and your family well.


Emma September 1, 2016 at 1:08 am

Hi I was just wondering if you had any ideas what my dream means, last night I dreamt I was out with my two children who are 3 and 6 and also my little sister who is 10 and my children’s cousin who is 5, we was on a train and it was the stop to get off so all the children got off the train I went to walk off the platform with them and I turn around to see my son and daughter back the train with the other two children so I rush to the doors and they slam shut and the train starts to go, I’m banging on the doors and run to a worker I see standing on the platform and he doesn’t help me, so I’m trying to get help or get to the next stop on this train and my mum appears and starts trying to help me and I’m in absolute panic and then the police appear and I ask them to help me and they say “I have to ask my boss to see if we can help, I’ll get back to you this afternoon” obviously that’s too long for me so I’m just running trying to get to my children, I wake up at that point, then drift off back to sleep and then I’m in a plane sitting next to my son, my daughter is sitting with her dad, and I’m extremely nervous about take off the plane starts to go but instead of taking off its driving down the road to get fuel, we then find ourselves out of the plane and chasing it to get back on, my husband then leads us a different way thinking we are going back to where the plane will take off from and we end up back at the train station. Very odd dream to me, please can someone help me understand it


Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:28 pm
Nona Lea September 13, 2016 at 8:55 pm

My dad had a dream where I was knocking at the door and a man was running after me. My dad woke up shouting and crying, because the man was so close to getting to me.

This bothers me a lot, I hope you can help me find meaning to it.

Thank you.


Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:26 pm
Christina October 10, 2016 at 7:23 am

Hi Bruce,
I’ve had the same dream for about 4 times. I’m walking on a busy street with my 4 year old daughter and she starts walking faster than me and turns and disappears. So I start calling her name, going up and down the street yelling her name looking for her.
We live in a suburb so there are no busy streets here, but my mother lives in a city.
The dream I had today was a little different: my daughter fell in a pond twice. The first time she was running around and skipping as she usually does and she fell in the pond by accident. I got her out and she was fine. The second time, there were two women walking (I knew the women in the dream, they were friends in the dream). The momen were walking and did not let my daughter pass as she was running and skipping past them and she fell in the pond. I was angry and yelled at the women. As I rushed to my daughter, one of the women got her out of the water. My daughter was fine.
Suddenly, my daughter and I are walking on busy street and she walks faster and get lost. I run around, up and down the street, completely distraught, yelling her name, hoping she’s going to reappear or that I will see her standing somewhere but I don’t see her.
Instead of yelling her name today, I was yelling my younger brother’s name, but I was searching for my daughter.
I wake up and realize it’s a dream and she’s sleeping next to me.


Bruce October 10, 2016 at 9:47 pm
Nina February 12, 2017 at 5:08 am

My son passed away last year.He was 27.He was always on his own doing his own things.This my second dream about him missing and everyone is looking for him.Can you please explain the meaning .Thank you in advance


Bruce February 13, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Hi Nina,

I am so very sorry that you lost your son, I truly believe this is about the worst thing that can happen to a parent.

Perhaps the dream shows us the current psychological situation for you: if people are looking for your son, they would symbolize the part of you who is still looking for him, the part of you that, very understandably, cannot accept that he is gone, at least from the current reality we share.

While often parents dream of the death of a child when the child is safe in waking life, in your case the need here is not interpretation but compassion for your loss and support for you to heal.

I would encourage you to notice that in dreams of those we have lost there is sometimes a pattern—maybe seeing them in our dreams, maybe over time seeing them from further away, some sort of way we come to terms with the the unbearable.

I hope your son had a good life in his short 27 years and hope that you can find a way to endure, and perhaps realize that the love you have for your son might be able to help another parent going through a loss, or perhaps a child in need of a missing parent’s love.

I have a colleague who specializes in this area so if your dreams do not begin to go away and your grief move into mourning and later acceptance, perhaps you can allow yourself some extra support.

My colleague, Amy Luster, would be knowledgeable about this if you want to check out her site:

Again, I am so sorry for your loss and wish you all the best when nothing and nobody really has the power to make the reality of this better.

Warmest Regards, Bruce


Niki February 23, 2017 at 6:04 am

The night before last I woke up frantically searching for my baby. I looked all around and also in my 3 year olds bed for “my baby”. I don’t have a baby but we are trying for our 3rd child and not having the best of luck. I finally woke up and went back to bed.

Last night I had a dream that I went into labor and while I was at the hospital something bad happened to a family member (I don’t know which one) so I had to discharge myself. My baby stayed. Well a whole week passed and my baby was still for some reason in the hospital (NICU). I called to let them know I was coming to get my baby and they told me I would have to wait until tomorrow at 2pm after his bath. I was pretty distraught. While all of this was going on, I remember trying to find a picture of my baby because I couldn’t remember what he looked like or even what I had named him. It was all just so weird. Can you explain this? Thanks in advance!!


Bruce February 23, 2017 at 6:53 am
Rany March 20, 2017 at 6:40 am


I had a dream at dawn time. ..that me,my elder son and youngest 5 year old are in my hometown which is a metro city very busy ….we are about to board a double decker bus and as soon as I and my elder son board the bus starts moving and somehow the bus starts moving and I see my 5 year old is left behind. I scream and I cry but the bus doesn’t stop…my son starts running after the bus trying to give his hand so that I can pull him..I try holding his hand. ..other people are trying to help but the driver doesn’t stop…my son falls down on a road on a gutter face down unconscious. ..I an begging him to stop the driver doesn’t stop…my elder son is in hiw own world reading harry potter book on the second level of the bus..he comes down but doesn’t understand what’s happening. husband has also been left behind but he is not with my 5 year old. .after getting off the bus I reach a small hut which I lock and sobbing 😢 I leave with my elder son to find my 5 year old 5 year old is going for sleep dentistry shortly. …but I don’t understand what my dream is trying to tell me…till today most of dreams have come true. …please help..thanks


Bruce March 20, 2017 at 3:11 pm
Ashley March 31, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Hi bruce, pls explain this to me.

Had a terrible dream about my son and my family.
I was in my old house where i grow up in Srilanka. Where i saw my mom and my elder brother in the dream too( now hes in dubai). My mom just build one story up so we can stay there when we travel. I live in Australia since marriage. So my mum stock up all things that we need and showing me all. My brother going to live with us too. So we our construction unfinished in the upper floor, so my mom asked my grand mother to look after my son 4 year old while he plays there. I was sleeping there in the lounge A dark short man tried to steal my chain but i asked a vampire to fight with him and save me. And then My brother ready to fly and come back so we sending him off. While me n my mom talking to my brother i heard my son original voice like in real hes screaming and crying that he couldnt breath. I went i saw that hea face stuck between the food and nailed. I just fainted by seeing this and woke up crying. Pls explain this


Bruce April 1, 2017 at 8:02 am
Jessica July 27, 2017 at 2:15 pm

I’ve had increasing nightmares about my two year old. In this dream I forgot him on the bus and was freaking out trying to find him. When I finally did I was getting him ready to get off the bus again when he ran off the bus and the bus doors shut and started to move again the bus driver wouldn’t stop. I have read the book and still can’t get a clear answer on why I keep having recurring nightmares this past month about my son


Bruce July 30, 2017 at 10:13 pm

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