The Dream Catcher – Ojibwa Legend has it that “Dream catchers were hung above the beds of sleeping children to protect them from bad dreams and evil spirits. The spider web design of the dream catcher would allow good dreams to pass through and float down the hanging beads and feathers to sleeping children. The bad dreams would be caught in the web. As the first rays of morning light hit the dream catcher, the bad dreams would disappear. Children sleeping under a dream catcher would thus be protected from nightmares.”
One Monday morning, a concerned mother in our Emergency Shelter came into my office, asking for a bit of advice regarding her two daughters. She disclosed to me that one of her daughters was having terrors and the other one had started to wet the bed. The poor mom had tried everything, from teaching them daily prayers and instilling faith into their lives to buying them a cuddly teddy bear. She told me that her daughters were afraid of that their father would appear and snatch them away. The is a very common thing for the children here at the Emergency Shelter. They are petrified of the possibility that a horrible human being could steal them away from their mothers.
As a child mentor I questioned myself, how can I bring them a sense of peace and comfort? It’s not something I can easily promise. However, I can provide tools for them to use that can hopefully improve their day, at least.
One day I came across a dream catcher and after doing some research, I thought it would be perfect for the children in our Shelter. I began to gather materials such as tree branches, feathers, yarn and beads. Staff and women at the Shelter also came to make dream catchers. Just the process of weaving and threading the yarn helped to relieve some of the pressure caused by stressful anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. After a couple of days, the same concerned mother came into my office and shared that one of her daughters truly believed in the power of the dream catcher. She faithfully hangs the dream catcher above her bed every night and it brings her peace.
By: Bernesia Aguilera, FBWC Child Mentor/Neurofeedback Technician