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Some children seem to have a hard time dealing with fear, worry, or anxiety. It’s hard as a parent to know how to help our children when they’re in that situation. Tame Your Thought Monster was created to do just that–help children learn to “tame” those fears, worries, and anxieties. We are pleased to be able to give away a copy of this program, so be sure to read the reviews below and enter for a chance to win this yourself!
NOTE: This review was done by both Liz and Taunya. The first part of this review was done by Liz. The second part below was done by Taunya. Be sure to read the whole review to get both perspectives.
What Liz had to say: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Now that I have children, that saying rings true on a daily basis for me. My children have inherited so many of my nuances it baffles me. However, one of the things I’m sad to see is my son inheriting my own anxiety, worry, and fear. Despite my best efforts, as a homeschooling family we are together all day every day meaning that no matter how hard I try to model perfect behavior, it’s impossible. I’ve actually even visited with a therapist and pastors in order to help my son overcome some of his fears and thoughts. I do feel like we were doing all we could and that we were making some progress. However, I still felt like I was addressing the issue as if my son were an adult. He is far from it. His fears need a child-like approach. I couldn’t think of a way to solve the problem.
I was given the opportunity to review KidThink’s How to Tame Your Thought Monster with Hip Homeschool Moms a few weeks ago. I was skeptical. I really thought my son would have to out grow his fears or that the workbooks might be too advanced for him (he’s 7). When I received Katie McClain’s books in the mail, I was immediately impressed. They were well written and brightly, professionally illustrated. My sons appreciated the visual aspect and were anxious to get started that day! The first level of How to Tame Your Thought Monster is ideal for K-3rd graders. My son is in 1st/2nd grade. Gotta love homeschooling! The set of books came with a parent manual and a student workbook. The author lays everything out step by step, word by word, for parents so that it’s impossible to ‘mess it up’. I appreciated this. When dealing with emotions, the last thing the Queen of Word Vomit (Me!) is to stress my child out while working on his stress! The books are separated into 5 sections, called ‘Models’:
You work through each section at your own pace. There’s no rushing it. You can work on the lessons for 5 minutes or 30. In the car or at home. It’s very conversational and the time spent with your child is really precious, or at least I found it to be awesome. Within each ‘Model’ are tools, exercises, and tips for success. Again, an awesome guide that give you the confidence to work with your child.
So what about the ‘monster’? How on earth could that help a young child feel more secure? I was kinda skeptical at first. Why would we want to think of our feelings as horrible monsters? “This couldn’t possibly work!” However, I was wrong. The author describes our thoughts as monsters. We don’t want to get rid of them completely. They are there for a reason. However, we can ‘tame’ them. My son loved this analogy! The child’s book allows them to sketch out their own crazy thought monsters. I even sketched my own! Grown-ups have thoughts monsters too! There is a section called ‘Feel Bad Questions’ and ‘Feel Good Questions’ that helped my son and me! Instead of ‘Why am I so fat?’, think, ‘How do I want to feel?’. Or ‘How Can I figure out a solution?’ instead of ‘When will things get better?’. There are awesome charts in the parent book that I plan to laminate and put on the fridge.
So, the big question– Did I see results in my son? Yes! I did. We worked on the book about 3 times a week for about 15 minutes. I could see he wasn’t bored when we worked on it and he absorbed the information. He hasn’t recalled the lessons on his own while he’s having a ‘moment’, but I was able to prompt his feelings, his thought monster, and how we could change the thoughts and feelings he was having into something better.
This program has given me a tangible tool to help my children with their feelings and that is a powerful thing. The only thing I did tweak is that I added a Biblical perspective and found some Bible verses to our lessons so that God was an integral part of this process.
What Taunya had to say: My daughter (age 11) and I both deal with anxiety issues. We also reviewed How to Tame Your Thought Monster. At first glance I was afraid that she would reject the book because it represented change. After the first couple of reading sessions I wondered if it was going to help. She refused to give more than one-syllable answers. I was about to give up. Then I discovered her reading the book on her own. I smiled. She smiled and the floodgates of her soul burst forth!
She quoted “The Self Coaching Model” for me. Then said, “I like that mom.” From that point SHE was the one reminding ME we had another page to read. Another new tool to learn. She was the one sharing her anxieties. Fears. Feelings we could never get her to express. In a mere four days I learned more about the inner workings of her mind than I had in the previous 11 years!
Her favorite tool is the Thought Monster. This simple act of describing her thoughts as a monster was the thing that allowed her to accept what scared her. When she drew her monster and named it, I discovered a truth that I had never considered. For a long time I’ve searched for a way to rid her of her fears. By accepting them, giving them an identity, we have been able to put them in the proper perspective. No longer are they an insurmountable obstacle; they are a visitor in her world. She has the control, they do not.
I am grateful for the opportunity to review this program. It was able to touch my daughter in a way that she can relate. It has given me tools and words to help her when needed. When a situation arises that in the past caused an issue I simply ask a question. Where’s the fact? Is your monster talking or you? Are you experiencing a positive feeling or negative feeling? These tools have made a difference in our life. Thank you!