Have you ever had "one of those days"? Of course, we all have. Children and adults alike. Everything goes seemingly wrong, it seems that nobody wants to be around us and we end up feeling dejected, lonely, sad, distressed or depressed. How do we break free from such feelings? How do we teach our children to break free from negative feelings and to smile again?
These two questions led me to conduct some research on children's books while online Christmas shopping for my six-year-old son, Dalton, a few weeks ago. I ended up purchasing a book that promised to provide a technique, in a format easy for children to understand, to question our negative, self-defeating thoughts and to turn them around. This is the book:
Tiger-Tiger, Is It True? is a story about a little tiger who thinks that his whole world is falling apart: his parents don’t love him, his friends have abandoned him, and life is unfair. But a wise turtle asks him four questions, and everything changes. He realizes that all his problems are not caused by things, but by his thoughts about things; and that when he questions his thoughts, life becomes wonderful again. This is a heartwarming story with a powerful message that can transform the lives of even very young children.
The book teaches the following four questions to apply to ANY thought:
1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it's true?
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?
It also teaches children how to turn the thought around, then find at least three specific, genuine examples of how the turnaround is true in their lives.
I sat down with Dalton at bedtime on Saturday (New Year's Day) to read this book together for the first time, and at the end he and I discussed how he could use the same technique that Turtle taught to Tiger-Tiger in his own life. I've since been working with him to apply this teaching whenever the opportunity presents itself. Dalton has also picked up the book and read it on his own on at least one occasion since our first reading of it. I'm sure he is beginning to understand the concept, and I'm very pleased to have found this book, not only for him, but also to help remind myself not to identify with my own thoughts without question. I highly recommend this book to everyone, children and adults alike!