Supervillains are significant in comic book lore. Without a nasty villain, we wouldn't see how good the hero is; we wouldn't understand the dangers and conflicts a community or person is facing, and we wouldn't have someone to hate and blame for all the problems. we'd miss out on the perils, redemption, and high-stakes adventure that makes a compelling story.
I can remember that night so well. I was sitting on a beach as the sun started setting over the horizon. The sky was glowing with hues of purple and gold. I could hear nothing but the sound of the waves washing along the shore. I closed my eyes to take in every second of this little piece of "heaven on earth" when a waiter asked if I wanted another drink.
As he walked away, I started hearing the faint sounds of a child crying. I thought to myself, "Who in the hell would bring a crying child to a place like this?" The crying got louder and louder. Suddenly I found myself sitting in my room. The crying child was mine. I jumped up and ran to his room.
I spend the next thirty minutes doing my best to calm my son down. He's had nightmares before, But this one really took him for a ride. I finally get him back to sleep and I wind up passing out in a kid's bed for the rest of the night. I never did get to go back to that beach.
The next morning, I made a note to talk to my son Jake about his dream. At first, it was hard for him. He really couldn't explain what he saw. I grabbed a sheet of paper and a pencil. I asked him to draw what he saw.
I'm all about comic books and sci-fi. Like my son Jake, I love superheroes. I use these fin art therapy techniques to build a strong bond with my son. In today's blog, I'm going to throw in some advice on how to turn your kid's terrible nightmares into an amazing adventure. This exercise will hopefully accomplish a few things:
It'll help identify your child's fears as they struggle to interpret the events of the world around them.
It'll help them communicate the trauma of a bad event
It'll help them sleep at night
1. Drawing your Nightmares:
Bad dreams can be distressing for anyone. But for children, especially for children on the spectrum, a nightmare can a lot worse. Grab some sheets of paper, some crayons, and some markers. This is a great exercise to help your kids overcome whatever it is that bothers them. this is a good time to engage them and ask questions.
Were you alone in the dream? Who else was with you?
What was happening in the dream?
How did you feel?
Now the second part of this exercise is important to helping your child have a peaceful night.
Here's a side Note: Make sure that you save all of your children's drawings. This is a great way to record your child's development and also helps your children's doctor monitor their overall mental health.
2. Give the Mean Ol' Monster A Silly Name
When it comes to monsters, names like Freddy and Jason strike fear in most adults. But would you be afraid of a monster if his name was Bubbles or Dr. Doofballs? Create a silly backstory for the monster. It sounds nuts, but this silly exercise puts the control back in your kid's hands. Let them come up with any name they want. For this activity, the sillier, the better.
3. Drawing A Happy Place
Instruct your child to envision a place that makes them feel happy and safe. include friends and family into the drawing. Have them recall a favorite moment. Where did they go? This will be their go-to "happy place" should the monsters dare to return. tell them that monsters are not allowed in the "happy place."
4. Make Silly Monster Masks
Do monsters even know that they're scary? After you've given a silly name to your monster, Instruct your kids to make a scary monster mask. The object of this exercise is to "scare the monsters away with their own faces." Let your kids take the lead and let them use any colors they want. remember to ask questions. Once they're done, hang the masks around your child's bed.
5. Monster Repellent Spray
This is another fun activity that requires nothing but a spray bottle and some cold water. Every night before your child goes to bed, grab your spray bottle full of "Monster be-Gone" and spritz a little shot or two outside the closet and around your child's bed. This unscented repellent will keep away the creepiest boogymen.
There's one very important step that I almost left out. I feel that the biggest, most important part of the entire exercise is to have them narrate the story that they create. Once your kid has drawn their dream, it's important that they communicate their fear. take the time and ask questions. Use this opportunity to find out what's going on in their minds and help put them at ease. Even if you or your kid isn't a big fan of comic books, This is an awesome creative writing exercise that you can do on your own.
I just want to add this little note: I'm not a therapist. I never claimed to be one. I'm just a dad who's looking for creative ways to help my kid understand the world around him. these are exercises that I've done with my son and it has provided some incredible results. I hope that you find the same or similar success as I have. For more severe situations, I will always recommend that you seek the help of a licensed professional.