If given the slightest encouragement, most of us—even teenagers who are usually reluctant to talk about what’s going—enjoy talking about our dreams, especially the fun ones like flying or exploring new places. We also like to explore the meaning of a particular dream and get feedback when it is done in a respectful and supportive manner. This practice, especially if carried on regularly and informally in a comfortable setting like breakfast when the previous night’s dream is still fresh in the mind, has the following benefits. It
- Brings kids and their parents together in a conversation to which all can contribute and offer advice.
- Acknowledges that dreams play an important role in our lives and are not just side shows that either entertain or scare us.
- Lets the maturing child know that dreams are not something to fear, repress and forget but are gifts from our sleeping life that want integration into our waking life. They are messages from an important place inside of us which can give us insight on how to problem solve, create and heal.
- Introduces the child to a basic method of working with dreams and other insights from the unconscious which empower that child to draw on and use his or her own inner resources, thus giving the child a competitive edge most kids don’t have in dealing with problems.
In Dead Men Do Tell Tales, Ashlynn initiates the practice of talking to her father about her dreams. Like many people, he doesn’t hold much faith in dreams and in his own way is perhaps afraid of them. Ashlynn, however, has had the advantage of working with a dream mentor who helped her recover from her mother’s death through dreamwork. She knows dreams are important and wants to get her father involved in this important side of her life. She succeeds when her detective father realizes her dreams offer important insights into a crime he is trying to solve.