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By: Tammy Sassoon, M.s.ed

Being emotionally healthy does NOT mean that you don't have any negative thoughts.

Let's be real. When our children have used up every brain cell we have, and are still asking for things an hour past bedtime, many negative and unhelpful thoughts enter our minds!

Such as…

"Why does she think she is allowed to do this?"

"Maybe I am not cut out to be a mother."

"She will never learn to be satisfied with what she has."

(If you are like me, the list can be very long.)

The truth is that everyone on the planet has negative thoughts. (Some more than others, depending on how you experienced your childhood, and what you believe about life today.)

What makes some people emotional superstars is their ability to RECOGNIZEthat they are having these
unhelpful thoughts!

Negative Thoughts

Thoughts can only harm us if we assign importance to them. Once I learned that my thoughts are not me, and that they come and go all day long, I stopped fearing them. So even if I experience very intense emotions, I find myself with a "quiet low" feeling, as opposed to an intense fear around
these emotions.

This awareness allows people to function with an amazing clarity of mind that leads to profound transformations in people's emotional well-being.

Let me share an example with you.

Last week, a mom called me up, desperate for some toilet training advice. She realized that she was making some serious mistakes in the method she was using. Her son was a very strong-minded little guy, and the mom was really frustrated with the whole dismal situation.

He resisted all her efforts, and she asked me how she can turn the situation around so her son can start to have some success using the bathroom. (By the way, I love when mothers ask, "how" instead of "why" because that's how they move towards solutions.)

I told her that she would have to do two things:

1     Stop engaging in all of her unhelpful thoughts. When we engage with these unhelpful thoughts, the kids feel the vibes of worry, or insecurity, and then they shut down.

2     The second thing she would need to do is to set the "RESET" button on this whole negative experience she was having with her son. (It's never too late!) We discussed that she would go back to her son and use the following script:

"Oooo. Mommy made a mistake. I didn't realize that only YOU are inside your head! Only YOU know when you need to use the bathroom."

Then, this really amazing mother saw really amazing results with her child. She relaxed as she became aware that it was only her thoughts that were bringing her down. He stopped crying about the whole issue, and had no problem going on his own.

What happened??

Once she let him know that she would be starting to interact with him in new ways, that she was handing the control over to him, he actually didn't mind cooperating. (Anyway, you can't ever force a child to train before they are ready, so we might as well let them enjoy that control that is rightfully theirs.)

In life, every moment is a fresh new opportunity, and no matter how much negative thinking we’ve had, or how many mistakes we've made, we are only one thought away from clear, fresh, peaceful thinking.