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From what age does a child have nightmares?

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Discover the explanations of Héloïse Junier, psychologist, in video:

Talking about children’s nightmares is talking about their ability to dream, and that is a great unknown, a mystery that seems difficult to solve. “It remains a gray area in sleep science, notes Héloïse Junier, psychologist and author of the book child’s dream (Dunod). We don’t know what, if any, babies dream about, and we don’t know the minimum age for having nightmares. Some researchers say 4 years, others say 2, depending on the lines of research. On the other hand, we know that between the ages of 3 and 6 almost one child in two has nightmares, and that there is even a peak of nightmares between the ages of 6 and 10. »

Nightmare or night terror?

Your child’s restless nights may be related to nightmares or night terrors. These are two very different events well documented by research. “Night terror is misnamed,” says Héloïse Junier. The boy is not terrified, he seems terrified. He screams, but he’s not really awake. It’s a bit like sleepwalking, but in a night terror version. »

The night terror arises in the context of a dissociated awakening: the child is in a phase of slow and deep sleep, but howls. “He can get out of bed, have his eyes wide open, scream, sweat, he really seems terrified when he is not awake and it is not fear”, describes the psychologist. If it is impressive for the parent, it is not traumatic for the child, who does not remember anything the next day when he wakes up, unlike the nightmare that he can talk about if he has it marked.

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Night terrors occur most often in the early part of the night, during slow, deep sleep, while nightmares occur most often in the second part of the night, during REM sleep.

To do ?

In case of night terror, there is not much to do, explains Héloïse Junier: “the child is not consolable because he is not in the relationship. Our actions will have no impact, but we can stay with it, it only lasts a few minutes. We wait for the child to come down on his own and accompany him to sleep.”

When a child has had a nightmare, we can interact with him. For example, we immediately notice that he relaxes when we take him in our arms. There is no miracle recipe here, but we comfort him, reassure him and stay with him to calm down and go back to sleep. “Nightmares are mild, the psychologist points out, but if they are frequent we can try to understand the cause, look for sources of stress and anxiety in the child’s life. »

nightmare chasers

the nightmare box
Find a box that closes well and offer your child to slip all his fears into it, at night, before bed. Close it tightly and store it away from his room. “It is not miraculous, but it is the basis of the suggestion: it can help children to better live their nights and the apprehension of nightmares.”

the other end
From 3-4 years old, it can be interesting to talk about the nightmare of the next day. “Invite your son to draw his nightmare, to tell the scenario. So offer to change the ending of the story so it doesn’t scare him anymore, so he becomes positive.” For example, the wolf did not eat him but agreed to share a snack, he became friends.
Find Héloïse Junier’s explanations on video.

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Family / Couple

Breath play or erotic suffocation, a dangerous sexual practice

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It is sexual behavior that is controversial. the breathing game which literally means “breath play”, is a form of erotic asphyxiation practiced during sexual intercourse. But its dangerousness is often overlooked.

What is the breathing game?

ends sexual arousal”, defines the English version of Wikipedia. In practice, “erotic asphyxia” consists ofchoking your partner in the middle of a sexual act. However, playing with your breath can be very dangerous, even deadly. “May result in accidental death by suffocation,” the definition says.

However, despite the risk of injury or fainting, this practice has many adherents. A study conducted in 2021 among 4,000 American students indicates that 26.5% of those surveyed had drowned during their last sexual encounter. Another study carried out the same year on other students reveals more worrying figures: 58% of them have already been suffocated by a partner.

L’suffocation erotic it is also very popular in BSDM circles. A french website dedicated to this type of sexual practices, explains that this restriction of breathing is “practiced in different ways: hanging, suffocation, placing the head in a plastic bag or strangulation,” reports an article in female earth.

A sexual practice that can be deadly

Very risky, the breathing game was popularized by the porn industry, making it an act in its own right, especially in sexual relations marked by domination. But in reality, the consequences of this sexual practice can be fatal. Too much pressure on the larynx can cause death.

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Although there are no official figures on the number of deaths caused by this practice, Grace Millane, a 22-year-old woman, died from it in 2018. Police found traces of strangulation that could correspond to a “four to five minute” suffocation. His partner, Jesse Kempton, was convicted of femicide and sentenced to life in prison. The defense had confided “that the young woman had accidentally died at the end of a sexual game that had gone wrong, a version that had been categorically rejected by the jury,” he recalls. paris party.

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Couple: what your position on the sofa says about your relationship

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the posture adopted by couples when they sit on a sofait’s a window into your relationship status. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by Georgina Barnett, a British psychologist, on 2,000 cohabiting couples. “Tell me how you’re sitting, I’ll tell you if everything is fine in your relationship,” says the specialist in an interview with Stylish Maternity.

Sitting next to each other: a sign of imbalance?

While most couples tend to sit on the couch together, there are some pretty subtle signs that it can be signs of relationship problems. When the partners occupy only one corner of the bench and are too close together, this is synonymous with imbalance in your relationship. “The comfortable person in the corner takes up the space, is confident, and has power in the relationship. The other, on the other hand, seems less confident. He is looking for contact and reassurance, ”explains Georgina Barnett.

However, there is a nuance when they sit more in the center of the sofa, maintaining physical contact, such as a hand on the thigh or another. “Couples established in this way have trust your relationship and therefore can afford personal space. It is a mixture of intimacy and freedom”, analyzes the psychologist. But although in love, the latter no longer experience the passion of the first days, according to the expert.

When the position on the sofa heralds a crisis

According to the psychologist, time is serious in the event that the two partners are sitting at two different ends. “It’s even worse if her legs are crossed in opposite directions,” she says. This posture is generally a sign of a Tension in the couple. It can also be a sign that something was left unsaid or resentment, according to Georgina Barnett.

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And contrary to what one might think, if the partners are based on different bases, distanced from each other, it does not necessarily mean that they are in crisis. can only be couples comfortable enough with each other to have their own space. Although this study is based on a fairly large sample, its conclusions must be taken with caution.

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The Relationship Escalator: Are You Following This Conventional Love Pattern?

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Dating, formalizing your relationship, living together, getting married and having children. Many people perceive this life path map as the ultimate blueprint. This diagram has a name: the relationship escalator. The goal of those who take it is to peak by aging together, after checking a certain number of boxes.

What is a “relationship escalator”?

This expression designates a love pattern widespread, but increasingly questioned within society. The Urban DictionaryThe bible of slang and popular expressions defines the relationship ladder as “the societal expectation that a romantic relationship should automatically follow a set of stages and lead to marriage, parenthood, and home ownership.”

Amy Gahran, author of Off the Relationship Escalator, Uncommon Love and Life, was the first to mention this concept. She explains that this notion is “a standard by which most people assess whether an intimate relationship that develops is meaningful, serious, good, healthy, committed, or worth pursuing or maintaining.” In other words, the escalator of the relationship denotes ME’set of beliefs that perceive the most conventional pattern of love as the most rewarding and valued. This concept is made up of several steps that can vary depending on the culture. But they generally follow this timeline:

• Flirt for a few weeks/months

• Becoming sexually and emotionally exclusive

• Introduce your partner to loved ones

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• Live together

• Get married or settle down

• Acquire real estate

• Have children

• Get old together

A satisfactory relational schema if it is not imposed

There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking this kind of path of love if it makes us happy. Instead, what can be problematic is imposing it on others as an absolute norm and the only valid model. Pointing fingers at this practice is also a way of denouncing the constant pressure on singles and couples who do not formalize their civil unions.

Gabrielle Smith, an author and poet who is very sensitive to issues related to sexuality and romantic relationships, analyzes this practice in an article by granist “The relationship escalator is designed for heterosexual relationships between singles and preferably for relationships within a two-income middle-class household. Many people are not part of this demographic, and those who are still feel the pressure it brings. »

If this mandate can affect all genders, it is particularly intense when it comes to heterosexual women. “Society makes you think it’s easy to get married, have children, or combine finances. But the reality for many is that it is neither possible nor smart”, concludes Gabrielle Smith.

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