Mental Filters: What Lens Does Your Child Have? You? Here's Why You Need to Know! by Cynthia Miller
We all have mental filters. In my family, we figured out that our 9-year-old daughter has a "sad lens." She fights anxiety and we're helping her learn to mentally leave what she's anxious about (like fear of having a nightmare) and move her brain to a happy thought. But we discovered she has a sad filter – and things we assumed would be "happy" instead provoke sadness.
- "Think of your best friend" actually makes her sad, because her "sad lens" sees that she misses her friend.
- "Think of Halo" (a favorite horse) leads to sadness because the "sad filter" sees she's missing Halo.
We learned to encourage her to think of positive sensations – what it feels like ride a horse – instead of thinking of the horse himself. Or what it feels like to be swimming laps, shooting a basketball, riding a bike, by herself. Down the road, this will be part of her learning to identify what's "just her lens" and what is "reality," but right now understanding her lens sure helps us understand her!
There are lots of lenses: failure, fear, condescension ... you name it. Think about the lenses affecting you and everyone in your family. You'll be amazed – it will explain a lot about everyone in the family!