“The message from my father, “You are a bright kid,” left open the freedom, creativity, and energetic resources of my Child Ego State. The Child is the most “real self” as well as the strongest part of the personality. It is responsible for feelings, biological needs, motivation, and expressiveness. It is the child at two, and at four and at ten, with all the daring and spontaneity of those early years.” Quoted from All My Children by Jacqui Lee Schiff
Unfortunately many of us do not get encouraging words or good information about life from father or mother, instead we get the most terrible put downs, or else wordlessly we are defeated and crushed. Usually links with your own feelings arising from your childhood. The Dream child can also depict feelings regarding your growth or vulnerability, such as dependence, or the emotional links you have with people. What is happening to the child in the dream will give a clue to what sort of feelings. If the dream child is one of your own children look up son or daughter. ; boy; girl; daughter; son
Sometimes a child can represent the marriage – what was created by their marriage. Hitting a child: Sometimes an attempt to repress or control your own urges that you were trained to hold back, or were punished for during your own childhood. See: archetype of the child; hitting.
Children appear in so many roles in dreams, and mostly as already said, point to those facets of oneself that either were hurt in your own childhood, or have not grown beyond that stage. But a child can express playfulness, uninhibited enthusiasm, or feelings of pain or hurt. The lost child might indicate either feelings of responsibility and panic about something vulnerable, or that you need to ask yourself how you have suppressed your own inner child. See: Inner Baby and Child; baby in my dream.
The child in a woman’s dream might also have a connection with the deeply instinctive process of producing, caring for and rearing a child. So it might indicate what is happening within the dreamer in regard to this. The following dream illustrates this as Angie, the dreamer who is 18, struggles with the difference between her inner feelings and the attitudes of those around her. See A Woman’s Creative Power
Example: I dreamt I had a child and had to cancel a test because I had to take care of the baby. I was breast feeding the baby, because it is healthier to breast feed than to give formula from a bottle. The person that I had been seeing wanted to know what I thought I was doing. The question was in an accusatory manner, like I had no business breast feeding my own baby. Then I left the baby with my friends and left. When I came back, they were feeding the baby Tabasco sauce because they ran out of milk. This shocked me because I thought my friends were more responsible than that.
Carrying or looking after child: In a relationship sometimes we come up against the child in our partner. The child manifest in the adult as jealousy, dependence, anger or helplessness if left, unwarranted emotional outbursts, and other behaviour that is natural to young children but difficult in an adult. Sex may also be more of a ‘thumb suck’ if it hasn’t matured beyond the child stage, rather than two people caring and sharing. An example of this is given in the following dream.
Example: I was near a hospital where nurses were trained. A lot of young women were about and I hoped to become friends with at least one. Later I was with one and hoping to become intimate. We then went into a room where a woman was examining a queue of nurses. She asked each one questions as their turn came.
There were a lot of children, mostly girls, who had no parents and were trained for nursing from an early age. One of the girls came to me as I lay in a chair. She wanted a cuddle. I held her for a while. Then a boy came for a cuddle. I said to one of them, perhaps the boy, “There are plenty of mums about (meaning the nurses), but you want a daddy don’t you?” I held him with my strength. One of the children asked me if my nurse friend had got a man yet. I considered for a while, then said no, she hadn’t, as I realised I was not her “man”, only a friend. Alec.
Alec was a married man with children. His wife had been a nurse. When Alec explored his dream he described what he experienced as follows.
It was clear early on that the nurses represented my wife, but the rest of the dream was still beyond me. But as I imagined myself as the young boy I knew this was me. I didn’t like seeing that part of me. I had kept it covered up with pride over the years, but it was there and I was at first ashamed to see this childlike, dependent, emotionally hurt part of myself. It was because I related to my wife in this dependent, childlike way that the dream showed me holding him. My father had never really been a man for me and the child me was desperately in need of knowing that strength. The boy’s question was a turning point for me. In fact my wife didn’t have a ‘man’ yet because I was still moving toward real manhood. But suddenly I felt what the little girl in the dream meant. I said to my wife, “You’re the little girl in the dream. Do you see? Every time I get back to my warm sexual feelings I’m a little boy again, because I haven’t really grown up sexually yet, and that scares you. Whenever my weak side shows, you feel really threatened so you attack that part of me. It’s because you need a strong daddy, and every time I show my weakness it triggers the little girl in you whose daddy was weak. He never grew up, so you never had a strong man for a father. That’s why you married me. Okay, I am strong enough now to be your strong daddy like I am in the dream.”
There was more to the problem though. Why did my wife’s little girl trigger my withdrawn little boy? I enter into into this. I remembered how, when we had separate beds, I had often wanted to masturbate but had stopped in case my wife heard. I realised how much I wanted to hide my masturbation from her. At the same time I realised how I easily stood before her naked and with an erection, so what was this problem over masturbation? Of course, it was mother again. My mother had given me hell over masturbation as the disapproving mother, and when my wife got into her “downing” role I saw her as the disapproving manhood killing mother again, and was deeply repulsed by her. I am not going to be killed again by/mother/wife, so I will cut off from her and will give my manhood to women who do not kill me.
Child dying or dead: One dreamer said, “I saw him jump off a bridge to his death.” This occurred at a time when her young son was making his first moves toward independence, and it was a difficult thing for the mother to face – the loss of her son. So it can easily be shown as the death of ones child in a dream.
When a mother or sometimes a father sees their child leaving them it is like the death if one part of their life. A parent has been everything for their child for years, has told them what to do or even ordered them, and when a child begins to make its own decisions or leaves home to go to college it is the end of a long period and can be shown as the death or even murder of their child.
Another women describes it differently as follows:
‘I am standing outside a supermarket with heavy bags wearing my Mac, though the sun is warm. My daughter and two friends are playing music and everyone stops to listen. I start to write a song for them, but they pack up and go on a bus whilst I am still writing. I am left alone at the bus stop with my heavy burden of shopping, feeling incredibly unwanted.’ Mrs F
Example: A male reporter who was interviewing my wife and I about our work ended by asking us about the meaning of a nightmare he experienced the previous night. In it he was walking arm-in-arm with his wife across fields, followed by his four year old son. Looking back he saw his son fall into a small but deep hole. He ran to help, but the child had disappeared under water in the pit, and he was tormented by the decision of whether to jump in himself – he might be killed by the fall. Then his son was out of the hole, his heart faint but still beating.
The man was deeply anxious in case the dream had predicted the death of his child. This may seem ridiculous if one has not had such a dream, but the strength of emotions in nightmares tends to create anxiety in even the most rational minds. The original scene, however, depicts marital togetherness, which led us to tell him the dream was about a recent threat to his marriage rather than his child. Astonished he confirmed his marriage had hit a bad time, and he was fearful of the survival of the relationship. “But” he said, “why did I dream about my son?” The reason is probably because the son represents what has been created by their life together. There may also be the added association of the son being a factor which bonds the marriage, and a threat to the son would mean less mutual bonding.
Holy child: This miraculous child is a symbol of the Self that literally “depresses” the ordinary human being, even though it is the only thing that can redeem him. In many works of art the Christ child is depicted as, or with, the sphere of the world, a motif that clearly denotes the Self, for a child and a sphere are both universal symbols of totality. When a person tries to obey the unconscious, he will often, as we have seen, be unable to do just as he pleases. But equally he will often be unable to do what other people want him to do. It often happens, for instance, that he must separate from his group-from his family, his partner, or other personal connections-in order to find himself. That is why it is sometimes said that attending to the unconscious makes people antisocial and egocentric. As a rule this is not true, for there is a little-known factor that enters into this attitude: the collective (or, we could even say, social) aspect of the Self. (A quote from Jung’s writing.)
Useful questions: What is happening to this child in the dream, and what, as an allegory, does that suggest about my relationship with my own inner child? Is this about my relationship, showing how we are triggering each other’s childlike responses? If I imagine myself as the child what do I feel and how do I describe myself. (See Stand in Role under peer dream work for help with this ). See Stand in Role – Secrets of Power Dreaming - Easy Dream Understanding