Picture this situation: Your child is at school in the lunchroom. Someone he or she knows walks past your child and doesn’t say hello. Your child thinks, “He always ignores me” or “She doesn’t like me”.
How does this thought make him feel? Let’s suppose these thoughts make your child feel angry. What will your child do with his or her angry feelings? Maybe the next time, he will ignore the person or perhaps when he comes home, he will slam the door and stay in his room all night. This is just one example of an ordinary daily situation that can occur.
Now, take a moment to reflect on a recent situation that occurred in your child’s life and how the thoughts it created affected your child and you as well.
After a moment, think about how you handled the situation. You may have:
Did any of these strategies work for you? If not, read on.
It is my intention to suggest another way to deal with this problem. The answer is for you and your child to understand, learn, practice and apply cognitive behavioral principles (CB) to everyday situations.
Dr. David Burns, a researcher in CB principles pinpointed the notion of cognitive distortions which we call unhelpful thoughts. Dr. Burn’s list is insightful and sophisticated, yet it was intended for an adult audience. In order to deliver the essence of the cognitive distortions in a kid friendly way our goal was to find idioms that most closely matched each distortion. We call our list Busto & Busto’s Iffy Thoughts.
Below you will find Busto & Busto’s Iffy Thoughts in blue, followed by Dr. Burns’ original cognitive distortions.
Witty Thoughts Game Cards
Iffy Thoughts Game Cards
Below is a list of Iffy Thoughts as previously indicated, followed by a Witty Thought that best challenges each one. Note: there is more than one Witty Thought that challenges an Iffy Thought.