The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Dragons and fears

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dragons and fears

Children have many fears - bathtubs with swirling drains, thunderstorms, toilets, dogs, bees, and the list could go on and on with each child.  How can you help your child overcome some of their more irrational fears like monsters in the closet?  Try making a dragon box.  Here's how you do it:
  1. Explain to your child that dragons eat things that scare little boys and girls. 
  2. Transform an ordinary shoe box or egg carton into a dragon: Cut one end open for the mouth, then let your child paint the dragon any way they want.  Use buttons, beads, or pompoms for the eyes.  Add construction paper scales and tail.
  3. Identify the fear.  Let's say it's the toilet with a self-flushing mechanism (which frightens my granddaughter when she goes to public places.)  Find a picture of that device online  Print it out and let your child crumple the picture as if it were trash.  Then "feed" it to the dragon.  The next time, your child exhibits a fear of something, remind her that the dragon is taking care of it for her!
  4. Repeat the process for other fears by having your child draw a picture of the monster in the closet, etc.
  5. Place the box where you child can easily insert fears, but not in his bedroom where they will be a constant reminder of what's inside the box!
Naturally, you don't want to destroy healthy fears - strangers, snakes, and water.  But this tactic works well for those irrational fears that children are so fond of embracing.
    Happy parenting!

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