Helping children change their thinking can help change their feelings and behaviors. Even very young children can understand this concept when taught through a language they understand best, play!
Here is one of my favorite ways to teach the skill through play.
1) Create a remote control with the child out of paper. Make sure there is a button that says “true and helpful thought scanner” and one that says “change thought” or something along those lines. 🙂
3) have the child, or another puppet, teach the puppet to identify the unhelpful thought and change it using the remote control.
4) push the scanner button (making a fun pretend scanning noise then beeping loudly is a fun way to show the thought was “scanned” and found to be untrue or unhelpful).
5) push the change thought button and have the child erase the original thought from the dry erase board. Have the child determine a replacement thought that is true and helpful and write it in the thought bubble.
6) continue to act out the situation with the puppets and show how the thought changing changed the feeling and behavior!
I have also have made mini remote controls and laminated them for children to keep in their pockets to remind them of the skill. I have some kiddos who have had them for months and still use their remotes at school and home!