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?
With the arrival of 2017, always comes a wave of resolutions, ideas and other plans for what to begin. Though I am not always one to jump on this bandwagon, I saw this post and thought it would be a nice tradition for a family to begin. So if you are looking for a new way to integrate more positive thinking and a way to take note of the smaller things in life, this might be worth a try! Happy New Year!!
The final parent workshop was to discuss “Cyber Safety”; How to help keep you and your children safe while using the Internet. Attached is a copy of the PowerPoint created. It focused on how to talk to your children about safely accessing and navigating educational websites for schoolwork, social media, and media/entertainment websites. A few important messages: 1) the internet is accessible by all, and therefore, it is absolutely okay for you to check what your child/children are looking at, while surfing the web 2)No matter how secure a site may seem, there are usually ways to work around those systems and your child/children will possibly be able to figure out how to make that happen 3)Talk with your child about their digital footprint and if they would be okay with their principal, teacher, doctor seeing their posts.
Starting around grade 3, as boys and girls begin to develop interests and notice similarities and differences between themselves and others, stronger friendships begin to grow. On the flip side, exclusivity and unkind statements begin to be thrown around as an attempt to understand the changing social dynamics.
A common problem is, “I want to play with aa, but I (cc) don’t like bb and bb is friends with aa. What should I do?” And, most often the solution they come up with is to be unkind to bb and exclude them from games and conversations.
It is important to remember, when helping your child in a situation like this, that if your child is bb or cc, both are feeling extremely vulnerable. They want to protect their friendship with aa, and feel liked and apart of the group. They need to be reminded that they can be friends with aa, and should also try to find things about bb or cc that they like so all can be feeling comfortable and liked as a group.
If your child is aa, encourage them to tell bb and cc they like spending time with them both and would like to find a way for all to play together. And, if possible, encourage them to find dd!
Attached is a nice article from a parent’s perspective when she realized her daughter was excluding another.