"Everything is terrible!" "I just failed that math test. I'm no good at school!" "She's late. She probably got in a car accident!" "No one likes me and I have no friends."
Adults and kids alike can easily get lost in the twisted, tangled world of our own thoughts. Our emotional experiences *feel* totally true, but reality is a lot more nuanced than our often negative thoughts might have us believe.
Explaining cognitive distortions (otherwise known as thought holes or thinking errors) to kids can be a tall order, because the concept that our thoughts aren't 100% factual can be confusing.
Teaching how twisted thoughts happen (and what to do about it!) takes the the confusion out of big feelings and out-of-control thoughts, which makes it easier for kids to feel a sense of power over their emotional experiences.
our emotions can create thoughts and our thoughts can create emotions;
our thoughts are powerful and can get out of control;
when our emotions are out of control, we can't hear or understand anything around us;
different types of "twisted thoughts" that can send our emotions out of control;
how to choose a new plan when we're upset;
why there's no shame in losing control;
what to do when we lose control.
Meet Mia and Stuart
With her messy pigtails and sunny personality, Mia brings a bit of fun to books about hard topics. Explaining life's toughest stuff to her toy giraffe Stuart, Mia is the star of the What About Me? book series, where she's able to help kids feel safe by explaining exactly what they can expect when faced with big changes.
About the Author
Sara Olsher is the founder of Mighty + Bright, which helps families through hard things like divorce, cancer, and other major changes using visual magnetic calendars. Based on decades of research about emotional intelligence and how to talk to kids so they actually learn, Mighty + Bright's calendars have helped hundreds of families through some of the hardest times in their lives.