We realized that the main thing that was causing these fear episodes was her extremely active imagination. We decided that the only way to fight those fears was with the exact same thing: Her extremely active imagination. We used dialogue and actions to help her learn to control her imagination or imagine good things instead.
TURNING THEM SILLY: “Oh! He just fell down! Did you see that?! Oh! He fell down again! He just can’t seem to stand up that silly wolf, do you see him giggling?” or “Look closely at that raccoon I notice something funny…. He has a pink tail…. Did you notice that? Wait a second…. Are his claws painted purple?” Of course you can make up more scenarios and dialogue.
TURNING THEM KIND: “Oh look, he just wants to cuddle, I’m going to pet him!” (pretend to pet, kiss, and snuggle but don’t ask them too until they are more calm) or “Oh my goodness! Did you notice that he is cleaning up your toys! Did he come all the way from the forest just to help you clean up your room?” “Look that wolf found a puddle and he’s sipping water from it. He looks pretty thirsty maybe we should ask him if he wants some juice…” Once again, add in your own scenario and dialogue.
Or if that doesn’t work…..
INTRODUCE NEW IMAGINATION: “Oh, Look at all those baby bunnies hopping into your room! Oh my there’s one, two, three… wow! I see a white bunny with brown eyes, do you see it? Let’s see if he’ll let us pick him up.” (pretend to pick him up and pet him) We’ve also used kittens, puppies, or singing birds. Sometimes these fascinating SAFE animals were enough to distract her long enough to calm her down so we could talk rationally.