I discovered this book towards the end of the 2017-18 school year and decided to read it to the whole school this year. It's that good!
In September, I visited every classroom to introduce myself to the students and explain my role as the school counselor. To keep it simple, I told them "I am the teacher for your feelings.” We discussed how/which feelings get “big” and the students told me what they do when they need to calm down (read a book, listen to music, draw/color, go for a walk/run, deep breathing). The students then participated in a very brief guided breathing activity in which they learned how to make sure they’re breathing from their belly (“belly breaths”). They also learned the relationship between breathing and the fear response in the body.
We then read the book Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions: Don’t Let the ANTs Steal Your Happiness by Daniel G. Amen, MD. If you hear your child talking about ANTs in his/her head, this is why! This wonderful book provides a simple introduction to the idea that one’s thoughts greatly influence one’s feelings. It explains how Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) “pop into our brains uninvited, making us feel mad, sad, worried, or upset… And most of the time, they’re not even true!” The book then talks about 5 different Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) and how to get rid of them. They are:
Captain Snout is available on amazon.com, or to hear Dr. Amen read it in its entirety, watch this video.