12 Meanings When You Dream of a Child Dying

Dreams that involve death can always feel ominous and unsettling, especially so if those dreams involve the deaths of children. These are almost always dreams that get you waking up in a cold sweat. While negative connotations might immediately come to mind, these dreams can have different meanings.

Dreaming of a dying child can mean so many things. From personal anxieties, stresses, and fears to indicators of what people are going through in their lives, dying children in dreams often means that there are hard truths in life that you need to accept.

Meanings of Dreams About a Child Dying

  1. Personal Anxiety

man sitting on a sofa holding his head

It is not uncommon to have mental strain affect one’s dreams. In fact, it is quite understandable to have your everyday worries come up in dreams as dreams are often the reflection of your subconscious. These reflections often appear in a variety of forms – such as dreams of a dying child.

Because of how often anxiety is described as a worrying feeling, people often misunderstand the difference between worry and anxiety. Worry is the natural feeling one feels in response to a problem or difficult situation.

On the other hand, anxiety is an extreme form of worry such that the response is ultimately more difficult to control. Anxiety comes with feelings and emotions that can be overwhelming at times, with some people even requiring medication for it.

The problem with not understanding the difference between anxiety and worry is that some people can be experiencing anxiety but not addressing it with the necessary attention it requires. Therefore, people often keep their anxiety to themselves. Burying it as such can then let it surface in your dreams.

A child dying can be indicative of anxiety because of what the child in your dreams represents. Oftentimes, children represent the inner, innocent self – a version of you that wants to live life the way you want to. With how restrictive anxiety can be, it is no wonder you dream about a child dying.

  1. Parenting Anxiety

Aside from anxieties with your own personal ongoings, dreams of a dying child can also represent one’s anxieties of being a parent. Being one of the most fulfilling roles a person can ever play, the weight of parenting can easily become too much for a person.

Understandably, everything you do as a parent will impact your child in some way or another. If you are kind to your child, chances are they will turn out to be kind as well. If you do not spend enough time with your child, they can grow up distant.

However, even if you think you are doing the best you can as a parent, it will only take a single negative interaction to cause your child to turn out a different person, and that thought can be too stressful for parents to think of.

Perhaps dreams of a dying child are among the most direct representations of parental anxiety. At the extreme end of the spectrum, it is literally your fears of doing something wrong as a parent that will end up with your child hurt.

On a more metaphorical end of the spectrum, it could represent your parental anxiety of losing your child one way or another. It is not uncommon for parents to fear that they will follow the same mistakes their own parents made in the past.

  1. Emotional Distance

little girl on a beach

Parents are often plagued by a wide variety of stressors in their parenting. One of the most common causes of worry and anxiety is emotional distance. This typically occurs in parents who have been spending considerable amounts of time away from their children.

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It has become a common trope when parents ignore their children to prioritize other things (e.g., work, hobbies, relationships, vices, etc.). These are parents who eventually find themselves surprised that their children have already grown up and are ready to move out of the house.

Before the distance becomes an inevitable divide between parent and child, parents might get guilt-driven dreams about the emotional distance they are causing. This can possibly surface in the form of dreams, possibly in dreams of children dying.

Understandably, this dream could be distressing to have, especially for parents who have just begun to realize the distance they have between their children. As an early sign, these dreams could be a great reminder for parents to spend more quality time with their kids.

  1. Loss of Innocence

Growing up can mean a lot of things to different people. Growing up could mean becoming independent from one’s parents, moving out, getting a job, or even getting one’s own groceries for the very first time. However, it can also mean the loss of one’s innocence.

To understand the loss of innocence, you must understand what is being lost in the first place – the perception of the world through the eyes of a child. Growing up, a child usually believes in things adults would consider naïve, such as the triumph of good over evil, happy endings, and so on.

Unfortunately, growing up also means that people typically have to learn that some things are just not the way they seem – good does not always triumph over evil and not all endings are happy. The more of the dark reality people get accustomed to, the more they shed away their childlike innocence.

Dreaming of a dying child can mean many things, and it could also signify the loss of your own innocence. It is possible that you have recently crossed a line that you previously would not have thought you would.

  1. Stress

stressed out man working on his laptop

Sometimes, dreams can be highly representative of what you are currently feeling or going through. However, at times, dreams can also be just vaguely symbolic.

For example, it is highly possible that you are dreaming of a dying child merely because you are currently stressed out.

It could be from your job, or your relationships, but stress can have a deep impact on your subconscious – so much so that it can drive you to dream of images you personally find disturbing, such as a dying child.

The best thing about stress dreams is that they go as quickly as they come, as long as the source of stress has been dealt with. As soon as you are finished with the source of that stress, you will find that those dreams will be gone as well.

  1. Past Trauma

For parents, dreams involving children often represent their own children, their own future. However, children can also represent one’s past – especially when they dream of the child-version of themselves. Therefore, dreams involving their childhood selves typically have something to do with their past.

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Unfortunately, death usually implies negative feelings and emotions. Therefore, it is common for people to dream of children dying when they have experienced past trauma.

Past trauma can be different from one person to another. Usually, these events are highly personal and private to that person. Understandably, these events could be difficult for one to share with other people, even their closest loved ones.

However, these dreams will only keep recurring until the past trauma causing them has been addressed. Perhaps the best way to go about it is through professional help.

While some people can deal with their past trauma on their own, seeking professional help is the best way for other people. Talking to a professional, such as a therapist or a psychologist, can help seek out the root cause of these dreams, and hopefully find a way for you to get past these mental obstacles.

  1. Painful Memory

man touching his shoulder

In conjunction with past trauma, people often experience negative events in their lives that they would rather forget. While not as serious as events that could cause trauma, these events are still impactful enough to leave negative memories that people usually move on from.

However, there are memories that resurface every now and then. As a symbol of the past, the death of a child version of you can be a representation of these painful memories making their rounds once again.

Painful memories can be the death of a loved one perhaps, or even a breakup. These could be things that are tied to the person you used to be, and that something happened where that part of you was lost forever.

  1. Inner Conflict

There are times in your life when you find yourself looking introspectively and not liking what you see. This reflection could either be conscious or subconscious, but it is definitely happening enough that your dreams have become affected by it.

Since children, especially if it is an image of yourself as a child, can represent the inner self, their deaths can possibly mean that you are experiencing some form of inner conflict.

Inner conflict is not uncommon in adults. Sometimes, life does not end up the way people dreamed it to be. Inner conflict can be due to a variety of reasons. For example, you might not have the job you want or live in the city you want. You might have recently done something against your own personal morals.

Regardless of the reason, inner conflict is because you find yourself on a path that your inner self, or the inner child inside of you, does not approve of.

  1. Helplessness

man looking out the window

For the most part, you have control over everything in your life. However, there are times in everyone’s lives when control is not available. It could be a promotion at work, uncertainty in a relationship, or even a disease.

Feeling helpless is a strong feeling that can permeate into people’s dreams. It could manifest in several different ways, but it can commonly appear as a dying child.

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Unlike adults, children are often symbols of versions of people who do not have control. If you think about it, children have to rely on their parents’ permission for almost everything. Therefore, dreaming of their deaths can emphasize how much lack of control you feel in your everyday life.

  1. Fear

Given how death can often be representative of people’s fears, another common interpretation of dreaming of dying children can simply be your very own fears manifesting in your dreams.

Fear can come from a variety of sources. While others simply get them from watching scary movies, a lot of people get their fears from different aspects of their lives. It could be fear of moving forward in life, fear of losing a loved one, fear of trying out new things, or even fear of failure.

It is possible that you are currently going through something in your life that you are not entirely ready to go through. You might be in a situation that you would rather avoid. Unfortunately, you might also know that you cannot avoid it forever, which is why you are dreaming about it.

A dead child can be frightening imagery for practically anyone but dreaming about it can simply mean you are essentially afraid of something in your life.

  1. Mortality


Different images can have different meanings. Therefore, you will need to piece out different elements from your dreams to fully understand the possible interpretations they may hold. For example, dreams of dying children can also be representative of your own mortality.

For many people, children represent life. While adults are technically as alive as children, children simply live out life to the fullest that adults rarely do. Children go about their lives playing games and making new friends, and enjoying the world, while adults go about the daily activities that society requires them to.

Therefore, dreaming of a dying child might be your way of reminding yourself of mortality. Life is short and there might be things you would rather be doing instead of going to your desk job every day.

  1. Change

Dreams can have different interpretations across different cultures, civilizations, and even religions. While dreaming of death can often feel distressing, it can have quite a different meaning when looked at through religious lenses.

For one, death is a common part of most religions, and death is usually merely a step toward a new phase in your journey through the universe. Thus, dreaming of a dying child can be indicative of you moving on to a different kind of person.

To some, the change can be toward something better, while it can be the opposite for others. Regardless, the dream implies that the person you once were is no longer the person you are.

It is possible that you are having this dream while currently going through a significant event in life, such as moving to a new house, getting a new job, moving to a new city, and so on. A significant change can have you subconsciously thinking that a part of you is being left behind.

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