Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

Wouldn’t that be a great alternative name for this blog? “How to Train Your Dragon—The Loving Approach to Discipline.”

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, go get it. It’s a lesson in parenting!

Here were these difficult, impossible dragons—each with its own gifts and challenges. But the single perfect way to train each of them was not by coercion or manipulation or brutality. It was just all about learning to read them and appreciate them and give them the simple things they needed. It was all about mercy and gentleness. As soon as those dragons felt perfectly safe, they were tame. And they were bonded and devoted. They became assets instead of liabilities.

I loved that moment of truth—when Hiccup came to slay the dragon and then he looked in his eye and felt that connection. Instead of feelings of power and domination, he felt empathy. He recognized that the dragon felt just like he did. He dropped his sword and treated him as he would like to be treated. That was the turning point. Only then could he slowly, over many days, win his love.

And wasn’t it interesting how he started out relying on the tried and true dragon book for all his information. But he wasn’t successful until he threw it away and trusted his instincts.

And I loved how he stood alone—going against the culture of the day, caring more about the relationship he had formed than about what outsiders thought of him.

But gradually, as people began to see this new higher way, they became believers.

Now I realize it was fiction---but it contained a lot of truth.

So just keep it on hand and pull it out at the end of a long day and remember what kind of parent you really want to be—what kind of relationships you really want to have with your children.

Are you willing to eat a few raw fish if that’s what it takes to connect?

Have a great day with your own little dragons.



And another thing….that awesome dragon that he tamed was “The Night Fury”. Think about that when you’re walking the floor with a teething baby at two am.


  1. We love the Dragon movie! Leah especially loves Hiccup :) Thanks for the reminder that parenting is not about "power and domination." I needed to hear that today.

  2. Thank you! This was a perfect post after I had been hearing so much anti-LDS stuff, and noticed that the main theme among those that had fallen away was that their parents had forced them to live the gospel, rather than loving them through the process, insisting that they behave, rather than guiding them and loving them. I had just made up my mind to start parenting in a more loving way (not that I wasn't loving before, I just slipped into DO IT NOW mode more than I liked), and I came across your post. Thanks!

  3. What a lovely reminder. Just recently, I was struggling to get my teething ten month old to take longer than a thirty minute nap. Each day I grew more frustrated (and tired, since my husband's been out of town for the past week and a half and we're moving so I've been packing every chance I got). It wasn't until yesterday that I realized that she needed more positive interactions with me. I could see her trying to connect with me throughout our daily activities that I'd been just going through the motions with. I spent the whole morning playing with her, ignorning the duties I had planned on accomplishing. She took a three hour nap. It was a reminder to me that the more loved and secure she could feel, the better she would sleep. I'm sure not having her dad around had her feeling less secure than normal. And the best part: I loved every minute of playing and giggling and snuggling that we did and felt WAY more positive about our relationship as I put her down for a nap.

  4. I loved that movie, but didn't think about relating it to my life! What a great, great connection.

  5. Thank you for relating this to us! We just watched this movie last week... so it was perfect timing!

  6. Thanks for the recommendation-now I have a movie to request for date night instead of being stumped on what to watch.

  7. Thanks for this reminder, I have a 3 year old that I swear was sent to me just to defy everything and anything that comes out of my mouth, yet she just melts into us when we just sit down and love her. I will rent this movie again! Thanks Jane, I always appreciate your insights

  8. One of our favorite movies! It makes me cry and gives me goosebumps, I always have an emotional time with kid's movies. One thing that I learned from Hiccup is how sometimes you can be so unexpected with your talents. I struggle sometimes to be the mom I want to be, and I feel like I don't have natural talent when it comes to being a homemaker, but I can fly and soar if I just keep learning how. Maybe I won't turn out exactly how I thought, but with Heavenly Father I know I"ll be better than that.

    I love your blog, please come back soon and post more!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.