Conduct

6 harmful thoughts that cause emotional problems for children


Surely you have ever heard the following phrases 'everything always goes wrong', 'and if in the end I fall' or 'he must be sad because I'm sad'. Well, these thoughts refer to what in emotional intelligence we call cognitive distortions. We talk about some harmful thoughts that can even end causing emotional problems in children. Hence, parents must learn to identify some of the most frequent to work with the little ones in the house.

It is frequent that, both children and adults, sometimes we have wrong and imprecise beliefs or habits of thought that distort our reality. These are the cognitive distortions.

These thoughts, totally subjective, can lead to negative consequences such as emotional disturbances, conflicts in relationships with others, or a simplistic and negative view of life. It is important to realize this and help our sons and daughters to realize it too. And it is that analyzing our reality in the most complete way possible helps to better understand what is happening and thus avoid possible negative consequences that may derive from these events.

In order for these aspects to be better understood, I have made a list of six of the most frequent cognitive distortions in boys and girls:

1. Guilt
It occurs when a child thinks they are responsible for the suffering of others, or, on the contrary, for their own suffering. You feel guilty about many negative things that happen to others.

2. Filtering or selective abstraction
In this case, we refer to those situations in which children only highlight the negative side, unable to highlight the positive of the circumstances that surround them. For example, when on a fantastic and fun birthday afternoon with friends, our son says 'what a party roll, I didn't like the cake'. Here the child only takes into account the negative details while ignoring all the positive aspects of the situation.

The result is that these negative thoughts exclude everything else. By taking negative thoughts out of context, they become bigger and more tremendous, as a consequence subjects can be more irritable and exaggerate things that are unimportant. This is one of the most common in childhood.

3. Global labels
It occurs when a boy or girl, for example, sees in another that he has made a good move in soccer and classifies him as a fantastic player and even a wonderful person, even if he has witnessed some inappropriate behavior. In this case, it is shown that the child is unable to see beyond that good move. This is very common when another child is admired.

4 The fallacy of divine reward
This occurs when the child behaves correctly because he or she expects to get a reward and not because he or she thinks he should. He sacrifices himself and strives for the prize he will receive.

If you stop to think, surely you realize that this also happens to us adults. We wait for our reward, our reward, and we change our behavior to get it. And it is that you have to do things the way you have to do them.

5. Catastrophic vision
'And if in the end it turns out badly ...', is to think that if something bad is going to happen, it will surely happen. They are the thoughts that respond to the expression 'what if ...'. This distortion can cause inaction on the part of the person thinking that something bad could happen to him. Behind we can find insecurity in the boy or girl.

6. The fallacy of justice
It occurs when the boy or girl thinks that he acts according to justice or as requested by the teacher, but the rest do not. These children tend to suffer a lot as they feel that the rest goes against what they think should be done.

The fact of presenting cognitive distortions from time to time it is relatively common. The problem arises when all actions are governed by them, giving rise to difficulties in social skills, thinking, self-esteem ...

Both at home and at school it is convenient work with students from an early age the functioning of thought so that you understand that many of the things that your thinking shows you to be 'true' really are not.

There are image games, such as the popular illustration created by the English cartoonist WE Hill, in which we can see either a young woman or an older woman, depending on how you look at it, that can help us to work with children on flexibility of thought and empathy, among other aspects. I encourage you to dig into it, it is a lot of fun.

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