This column is intended as entertainment. But psychologists who work with clients’ dreams say that dreams can hold a tremendous amount of significance; a particularly disturbing or repetitive dream may indicate the need to see a therapist.
Dear Nancy: I teach at the grade school level and have been struggling with discipline problems. Sometimes I feel lax and inadequate, and that the children take advantage of me. This dream seems to touch on this subject. Can you help me understand it? - Carolyn
My mother, who is 74 years old, has just had a baby after being pregnant for a couple years. After the birth (which was painful but quick and smooth), she rides a bicycle down a long hill. The baby is very precocious, walking and talking at birth. I know that I will raise him. He is so well-developed that I feel uncomfortable disciplining him, and my principal has to come in and tell him to take a nap.
Dear Carolyn: Let’s begin by looking at the mother, the source of this new baby. She may represent the wiser and more experienced part of yourself, the more mature you.
Babies and children in dreams often symbolize new developments within the dreamer’s personality or personal life. They also suggest new ways of thinking or behaving. The fact that the baby seems so well-developed and mature may be hinting that you feel this way about your own students. Could this be the reason you have trouble disciplining them? Do you view them as students or your own peers?
The baby could also be your new willingness to find a solution to the problem. The baby has been in gestation for a couple years. His birth tells us that this is not just something you’re thinking about anymore; it is time to do something - time to create a solution.
You know that you are going to raise the baby. This suggests that these new methods will need care to develop. You ask your principal for help. He guides you by showing you how to discipline. This implies that you have the knowledge and the strength within you to handle this issue.
After the birth, your mother rides a bicycle down a hill. This tells us that when you begin to use these new methods your teaching will be balanced and you will move into your new role with ease. Good luck, Carolyn.
Tips for readers: The dream journal is a vital part of keeping track of and understanding your dreams. In your dream journal include the date and notes describing your activities, problems and thoughts during the day. Sometimes your dreams are directly related to the day’s events and your notes will provide valuable information.
Upon arising, record your dream or dreams in as much detail as possible. If you only recall one image or part of the dream, write that down. Many times additional details will come to you as you do this. Remember, feelings are important, so be sure to record those also. Title your dream using an outstanding symbol or event. At the end, be sure to note any comments or feelings you have about the dream. Does it address an event or situation in your life or evoke more questions?
As you continue to record your nighttime adventures, you will see patterns and recurring themes and, at the end of the year, you will have an enriching account of your inner world.