This weekend, a friend and her two boys came to stay overnight with me. We had this great evening of fireworks, until one of the boys spotted a terrified dog running away with it’s owner nowhere in sight. For some kids, this would be a five minute worry, but for sensitive kiddos, this is an emergency. This would be the type of stuff that kept me up at night when I was small.
Their mom carefully and sweetly calmed them down and offered possible outcomes for the dog, “If he goes to the pound, that will be good because they can read his microchip and get him back to his owner.”
They came up with many worst case scenarios and feared for the fate of the runaway. So I chimed in with my Aunty two cents and added, “You have great minds coming up with all these possible scenarios for the pup. So can you come up with a few positive ones?”
They thought for a while and then said the dog might just run home, or someone might be able to post a picture of the dog online and get it back to it’s owner. It was a choose-your-own-adventure and soon we were feeling better. Later in the visit, Jill and I were visiting and she used my own brain game on me: can you think of better possible outcomes for that scenario you’re worried about? It really helps.
Sure enough, the dog found it’s way home. Jill found the whole thread online somewhere and messaged it to me. Most of the things we worry about, never really happen anyway.