When I worked as program manager at a children’s home, I became familiar with a therapeutic tool called “sunshine and clouds.” During each visit with the therapist, the child would be asked to tell about his sunshine and his cloud for the day/week. The sunshines were the good things. . . the things that made him happy or made him smile or feel good inside. The clouds were the not-so-good things. . . the things that made him sad or scared or angry or something else along those lines.
I have found it a very useful tool in my professional practice — even with adults. I have also found it helpful with my own children. In fact, each night “sunshine and clouds” has become a standard part of our bedtime routine. It’s amazing how much insight this simple tool can provide into a child’s day. If you’re a parent, I hope you’ll take the time to ask about your child’s day — and, more importantly, to listen intently to his response.
You know, all of us have sunshines and clouds each day. Good things happen; bad things happen. It helps to be able to acknowledge those things and attach feelings to them.
Today I wish for you a lot of sunshine — and the ability to cope well with any clouds that come your way.
(Photo © 2007 Roy Tennant)