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Free Parenting Articles

The Sadness Solution: Help Your Kids Solve Their Problems Now!

By Jean Tracy, MSS

The Sadness Solution Helps Kids Cope

Lucinda locked her bedroom door. She sat on her bed and stared at the wall. The tears began to fall as she remembered how Penny giggled when she shouted to the 7th graders. "Look at Lucy!"

"I'm so ugly," thought Lucinda. "I hate my braces. Why did Penny make them laugh at me?"

"Lucy, it's time for dinner," called her mom. But Lucy stayed in her room and sobbed.

The Problem with Sadness:


1. Sad thoughts can flood your child's mind.
2. Sad thoughts often include a twist of pleasure.
3. Sad thoughts take effort to overcome.

When Sadness Floods the Mind:

Lucinda wanted straight teeth. She accepted the braces but wasn't thrilled with how much they hurt or how they made her look.

After Penny pointed to her braces:


1. Lucy decided she wouldn't smile until her braces were off.
2. Lucy's sad thoughts filled her mind like a fast dripping faucet.
3. Lucy felt miserable.

When Sadness Brings a Twist of Pleasure:

It's weird but true. When Lucy started feeling sorry for herself, it felt good to nurse her pain with self-pity. She justified her feelings with:


1. "Nobody likes me."
2. "I'm so ugly."
3. "I'm all alone."
4. "Mom doesn't understand."
5. "Poor me."

Yes, self-pity can be a twisted way of feeling good because we can enjoy feeling sorry for ourselves.

When Sadness Rules, It Takes Effort to Overcome:

Lucy's teeth would take a few years to straighten. If she fills those years with self-pity, she may create a sadness habit to last a lifetime. Fortunately, she can be helped. But she'll have to be willing to change her thoughts.

The Sadness Results:

If you're the parent of a self-pitying child, help is here. Explain that feelings come from thoughts like, "Nobody cares. I'm so ugly. I'm all alone. Poor me." If your child doesn't take charge of her self-pitying thoughts, they could take charge of her life.

If she lets these thoughts rule her outlook, she could turn into an unpleasant person. If so, no one will want to be around her. Others may see her as a whiner, a complainer, and a real downer. Don't let this happen to your child.

The Sadness Solution Scale:

0----1-----2------3------4--------5-------6--------7-------8------9-----10


No Sadness = 0
Disappointment = 4-7
Sadness = 8-10

Try This Solution On Yourself First:

If you understand how the Sadness Solution works on yourself, you'll be better able to teach your child.

Think of a time when you gave into sadness and self-pity big time. Close your eyes and feel it in the 8-10 range. Then bring it down to the 4-7 range or lower. Take your time.

When you've lowered it, write down the thoughts you had that brought it down. Chances are those thoughts were reasonable and true.

How Parents Help Kids Change Sadness to Disappointment:

When your child is in a good mood, teach her the Sadness Solution by drawing the scale. Explain to her that she can use this special method to control her sadness, think honestly, and become a happier person.

Ask her to clearly visualize a time when she was very sad. Tell her it must be in the 8-10 range. When she has it, tell her to close her eyes and bring it down to the 4-7 range or lower. Give her all the time she needs.

When she has brought it down to disappointment or lower, ask her how she did it. She may say, "I don't know." Ask her to guess. When she answers, let her know that feelings of sadness come from the way we think.

Conclusion for the Sadness Solution:

Word of caution, if your child is more than sad and has a tendency toward depression, realize that this is not normal. I suggest you have her evaluated by a trusted professional.

For most children the Sadness Solution is an effective method. It teaches your child to feel the sadness and bring it down to a reasonable range. If she consistently uses this method throughout her life, she'll be in control of her emotions, think honestly, and become a happier person others enjoy being around.

Pat yourself on the back because you taught her to face life without self-pity. You helped her build character too.

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Treat your family to our THOUGHT STOPPING KIT and enjoy teaching your children turn into thinkers with winning attitudes at http://www.KidsDiscuss.com

Jean Tracy, MSS invites you to subscribe to her FREE PARENTING NEWSLETTER and receive 80 fun activities to share with your kids.

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