Monthly Archives: May 2011

Talking to Children About Dreams (Video)

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It’s early in the morning and you’re busy getting your children ready for school. They are mostly cooperative, but one of them is moving very slowly and instead really wants to tell you about her dream. What do you do?

Maybe you’re a teacher, working with a small group of students who are writing stories. One of them proceeds to tell you his dream, and asks whether he could write that as a story. How do you respond?

If you have children in your life, eventually you will be faced with questions like these. Most adults these days want to encourage children’s creativity and avoid making them feel somehow “different” because of what they feel or experience. Talking about dreams with children is a great way to achieve both these goals, and many others besides.

I joined a dream group right after my third child was born, so by the time she was able to talk and tell me her dreams I had a little bit of knowledge about how to handle that conversation. The other ideas in the video below I figured out on my own, and I offer them here to help a new generation of parents become more comfortable talking with children about dreams.

My main requirement as a parent was that any dream activity or conversation had to be something I could do on the fly, without a lot of set-up, and whenever the moment felt right. There was just too much to do in our daily routine for me to stuff in one more must-do activity. Plus, I didn’t want dreams to feel like math homework—it had to be fun and non-stressful. Of course there are countless other ways you can bring dreams into the family (or school) conversation, but these will at least get you started. The basic idea is to expand our awareness of what is possible by bringing our dreaming creativity more fully into our waking lives.

This video presents seven great ideas for bringing dreams into routine family conversations, from keeping a dream map on the wall to making up dream stories in the car. It is the first in a series of “Essential Guides to Dreams” I have in the works, to share the most useful information on a number of common dream topics. Future episodes will cover nightmares, creating healthy sleep habits, and other topics of interest to parents and the general public. If you want to be notified about them as soon as they are up, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel. Be sure and leave a comment if you have any suggestions for future videos!

Look Ma, No Hands! – Dream Talk Radio Takes Off

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Last Thursday marked a milestone for my radio show, Dream Talk Radio, when I broadcast my last live show from the KOWS-fm studio in Occidental. For over three years, I have spent every Thursday from 9-10 am on the air, talking about dreams and sleep health, culture, creativity, and broader social issues. But from now on I will take my show to the cloud, so to speak, broadcasting on podcasts exclusively.

I spent the first ten minutes of last week’s show talking about how Dream Talk Radio came about and how it has evolved since that first live show in January, 2008. Then I aired a really interesting conversation I had just a week earlier with Leo Laporte, whose internet TV network, TWiT-TV, is based just a few miles away in Petaluma. TWiT (This Week in Tech) is currently building a 10,000 sq ft studio in the heart of Petaluma to house its growing broadcast operation, which now includes 40+ hours per week of live streaming video. I talked to Leo about how he built his network, and whether he sees its role in the community changing now that it will have a much bigger physical presence.

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If you are at all interested in where broadcasting is heading in the years to come, I encourage you to listen to the full show (it’s only 25 minutes long). At this point TWiT-TV has millions of viewers every month, and during each live show there can be over a thousand people commenting through an IRC chat. You’ll often see the show host peering down at the computer screen to bring up a point made by someone on the chat in real time, which makes it a very different viewing experience than watching regular TV, but also fascinating in its newness.

As for Dream Talk Radio, I now have up to 1,000 listeners for most of my podcasts, and have many recordings of past shows ready for upload in the near future. I also have several interviews in the works over the next couple months, including an update from Rev. Patrick McCollum about his religious freedom court case.

Not being on the air every week will allow me more freedom in scheduling my shows, but I couldn’t have arrived at this point without the amazing opportunity of having a show on local, low-power FM radio. If you’d like to support my former community radio home, KOWS gladly accepts donations. And if you want to find out about my upcoming shows, I post them on the Dream Talk Radio Facebook page and also on Twitter. It’s a whole new world of radio, people—I hope to see you there!