Managing intrusive or unwelcome thoughts is part of the human experience, but for some of us, those thoughts may be dominating the conversation in our head. As adults, we tend to understand that thoughts are not permanent and not even always accurate. Children have a more difficult time understanding that concept. If it is running through their brain, then it must be true.
If you have a child expressing negative thoughts, you can introduce the concept of Sunny Thoughts and Cloudy Thoughts. When you link something like weather, it makes the conversation much more approachable for your child and for you. Just like a storm can blow into town, so can a negative thought. Those storms also blow out of town. How can we help those cloudy thoughts move out of your brain? Can we think of a sunny thought to replace that cloudy one?
For older children, I often introduce the idea of an Inner Critic, instead of linking with the weather. Older children can understand that there are movie critics, food critics, etc… And critics can share positive or negative opinions. When discussing an inner critic, you can remind your child that it is important to give a balanced review. Your brain is not being fair if it only shares one opinion. What is the alternate review?