One surprisingly powerful way we can help struggling children feel better is to help them change negative thinking patterns. Some kids get into the habit of turning every small setback into bleak, self-critical thoughts. A bad mark at school becomes “I hate Math.” A poor performance at a swimming competition becomes “I have never been a sports person.” Recognizing these patterns, which therapists call “cognitive distortions,” is a key part of therapy for things like depression, anxiety and emotional volatility.

More from here