#1 Children’s Book to About Mental Health

Reading with children has been difficult for me. I want to/try to share my favourite books with my daughter. We settle in together for quality family time, and then I realise her eyes glossed over while I was reading the titles. This is not a bad thing, it just means I will have to flex my reading muscles and find something we both like. Through sweat, tears, and sleepy nights(she tried reading to me), I have found a book that connects with us both.

It is a superhero book. My favourite type of book at this point is one that will withstand the test of time. Princesses and Princes are becoming less powerful as we move into the era of Superheroes. Also it couldn’t be too superhero filled, she still likes to be able to connect with the characters. I like to read positive messages about empowering children to speak up and understand themselves. She likes to be heard and see someone else deal with what she has dealt with, relatability.

Everyday I am constantly trying to think of what to say next. What will happen to my kid if I say the wrong thing? Can I take back what I said or will they always see me as the parent that yelled ‘Shut Up’ while trying to get out of the car. How can I make myself more understandable? Does it matter? On and on I go. My day is a mess and I know it is because of my inner critic. And then one day I realised my kid doing the same thing. Overthinking, having negative thoughts, and unable to see past the fake reality she created in her mind. I didn’t realise what I was passing down to her with my negative comments. Now my kid has a mess in her head too. I have the ability to listen or read books on making those thoughts smaller. She does not. Unless it is in a TikTok, but I cannot rely on her finding a good one on her ‘For You’ page. And just as the discussions were getting longer between what was real and what she made real, I found a kids book with pictures to help deal with these automatic negative thoughts(ANTs).

‘Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions: How to Calm Anxiety and Conquer Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs)’. This book has tools I use everyday to help the negative thoughts become what they really are, thoughts. Each section goes over how to deal with certain ANTs. And realistic comments I say to myself everyday: ‘this is all their fault’, ‘I know what they are going to say’, and my over used comment ‘everything I do is wrong’. All these thoughts I have daily are also thoughts my child has of herself. I can talk her off the negative thought when I see her but with school and work, I am not there every second to walk her through the negative thoughts. Tools I use to build up my own daily clarity, are illustrated and broken into a simple question for all who read to understand.

By the time I got to the first solution, I felt like ‘Wow, how simple’, and then there was another page with more relatable conversations. When we were done reading this book(the first time). My daughter and I were quiet. Strangely enough, we were both thinking about our own thoughts throughout the day and how easy of a fix this is on all the negative thoughts. Then the daily conversations began with how we each used the tool in this book to help let go of negative thoughts. Every so often, I cannot hear the reality of a situation and she will ask me the super power question. And every so often we will break out the book and read it again. Sometimes in tears, sometimes in whispers, and sometimes in laughter. This is not a book you read once and then it goes on the shelf. This is a powerful book to read on those hard days. Those ‘school is the worst’ days. Those ‘why can’t I make more money’ days. I cannot say enough good things about ‘Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions: How to Calm Anxiety and Conquer Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs)’.

This is 100% my experience with this book. I look forward to hearing how it affected you.



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