Helping Children Who Catastrophise
Do you have a child who automatically assumes the worst case scenario in any risky or new situations? If so, then Michael Grose (Australia’s No 1 parenting educator) believes you have a catastrophiser on your hands.Catastrophisers exaggerate their worries and place enormous pressure on themselves. This makes them feel miserable and often stops them from doing something because they expect the worst possible outcome.
According to Michael Grose, we all catastrophise from time to time particularly when we are under stress. However it is important to recognise this and to challenge the unhelpful or extreme thinking when it happens. There are a number of ways to challenge catastrophic thinking:
1. Sometimes it’s useful to introduce a dose of old-fashioned rational thinking e.g. “Yep, you could break your leg if you go skiing. But the odds are that you won’t.”2. Admit that the thoughts could be right, but even if they are right and the worst case scenario does happen, the sun will still come up in the morning.
3. Get some perspective by giving the worry a score out of ten, on how important the issue really is.Want to learn more? Visit www.parentideas.com.au. This website has contributions from many different parenting experts and is full of age-appropriate tips, tricks and strategies to help children manage their emotions and thinking.