The first step is an exercise to help your child identify thoughts that are linked to an unpleasant feeling that they recently had. Choose a time and place without distractions. Sit down with your child with a relaxed attitude. Maybe have a snack or cold drink together. As the parent, you can help by gently reminding the child of a problematic situation that they experienced in the past days. Ask them to describe their feeling and label it in one word (e.g. angry, sad, or afraid). How often do they experience it? Does it occur in similar situations?
Then, have the child describe what they were thinking at the time. It can be anything—such as hate, blame, paranoia, distrust, fear, envy, or contempt—aimed at the self or another. What happened just before and when the feeling started? Who were involved? What were they doing? Be as specific as possible. If any part is not clear or complete, ask further questions. Print and write down your answers on the worksheet provided.
Download and print the worksheet here: Describe thoughts linked to bad feelings
Next, we help your child look at what s/he DID when the had the bad thoughts and feelings.