One way we help our boys to process their lives is by telling them “Elliot the Dragon” and now “Callum the Dragon” stories. We just make them up according to what seems particularly pertinent at the time. Someone heard me tell one to Elliot the other day and suggested I write it up. This one was an attempt to teach some mindfulness around cognitive distancing for negative thoughts.
Once upon a time there was a little dragon called Elliot. He lived in a lovely cave with his Mama Dragon, Dadda Dragon and baby brother Callum Dragon. Elliot was green, with sparkly green wings. Mama Dragon was blue with sparkly purple wings, Dadda Dragon was grey with sparkly blue grey wings, and Callum Dragon was golden all over because he was only a little dragon.
They loved each other very much, but sometimes a strange thing would happen to Elliot the Dragon. Sometimes when he realised he had done something wrong, a thought would pop onto him, “It’s my fault.” That thought would turn his feet red and it would start creeping up his body. By the time the red got to his knees, it was “I wish you weren’t my Mama,” and by the time it got to his hips, “I wish I lived in an orphanage,” and as the red crept further and further, and Elliot the dragon felt worse and worse, it would cover his wings and he would say, “I want to die.” Soon Elliot was all red. It made him feel terrible.
Mama Dragon would say to Elliot when the red got to his knees, “You’ll always be my Elliot,”” and when it got to his hips, “We love having you live with us!” and when it got to his wings, “You are very precious. We love you and God loves you.” But Elliot did not want to listen to these words. It was like he couldn’t stop the red thought creeping up his body turning him to green.
The thing was, Elliot was a powerful dragon, and he had a powerful tool to help him to stop the red in his tracks. The next time the red appeared at Elliot’s feet and started creeping up towards his knees, Elliot the dragon grabbed that thought in his claws and held on tight to it. Then he brought it up to where his face was. He looked at that thought and he said to it, “You are not in charge.” He took a deep breath in and out (breathing always helps!), and because he was a dragon, the out breath was a fire breath, and it burned that red thought up!
And that’s the story of how Elliot stopped the red, and learned how to keep his lovely green colour.
Categories: Written by Tamie
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.