At bedtime last night, my son was once again worried that rhinoceroses would come and get him. Months ago, when this fear first surfaced, I told him that he was safe, because his bedroom is upstairs and rhinoceroses can't climb stairs. This reminder did the trick once again, but his concern also reminded me of some of the other explanations we come up with to allay our childrens' fears. On the night he was concerned about giraffes coming into his room, I reminded him that a giraffe is waaay too tall to come through our front door. When he was concerned about lions, I told him that with that great big mane, a lion's head was just too big to fit through the front door. (By the way, there's a zoo on my front porch now - all those animals lined up trying to get through my front door.... And why, why, is a rhinoceros able to get in when the others can't? So, you'll find the rhinos in my dining room, at the bottom of the stairs that they can't climb, while everyone else is stuck on the porch.)
One of my favorite stories, however, was told by a friend whose daughter was also afraid of lions. She sprayed "Lion-Away" all over her daughter's room - night after night - to get her daughter to go to bed. And when I say everywhere, yes, you guessed it - under the bed, in the closet, everywhere. (Lion-Away, for those of you who have not heard the story, was just water in a spray bottle. Clever, eh?)
If you have a great story to share about calming your child's fears, please share so others can benefit from your idea!