Tame Your Thought Monster Review

Some children seem to have a hard time dealing with fear, worry, or anxiety. It’s hard as a parent to know how to help our children when they’re in that situation. Tame Your Thought Monster was created to do just that–help children learn to “tame” those fears, worries, and anxieties. We are pleased to be able to give away a copy of this program, so be sure to read the reviews below and enter for a chance to win this yourself!

How To Tame Your Thought Monster Pinnable

NOTE: This review was done by both Liz and Taunya. The first part of this review was done by Liz. The second part below was done by Taunya. Be sure to read the whole review to get both perspectives.

What Liz had to say:  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Now that I have children, that saying rings true on a daily basis for me. My children have inherited so many of my nuances it baffles me. However, one of the things I’m sad to see is my son inheriting my own anxiety, worry, and fear. Despite my best efforts, as a homeschooling family we are together all day every day meaning that no matter how hard I try to model perfect behavior, it’s impossible. I’ve actually even visited with a therapist and pastors in order to help my son overcome some of his fears and thoughts. I do feel like we were doing all we could and that we were making some progress. However, I still felt like I was addressing the issue as if my son were an adult. He is far from it. His fears need a child-like approach. I couldn’t think of a way to solve the problem.

I was given the opportunity to review KidThink’s How to Tame Your Thought Monster with Hip Homeschool Moms a few weeks ago. I was skeptical. I really thought my son would have to out grow his fears or that the workbooks might be too advanced for him (he’s 7). When I received Katie McClain’s books in the mail, I was immediately impressed. They were well written and brightly, professionally illustrated. My sons appreciated the visual aspect and were anxious to get started that day! The first level of How to Tame Your Thought Monster is ideal for K-3rd graders. My son is in 1st/2nd grade. Gotta love homeschooling! The set of books came with a parent manual and a student workbook. The author lays everything out step by step, word by word, for parents so that it’s impossible to ‘mess it up’. I appreciated this. When dealing with emotions, the last thing the Queen of Word Vomit (Me!) is to stress my child out while working on his stress! The books are separated into 5 sections, called ‘Models’:

  • Circumstances
  • Thoughts
  • Feelings
  • Actions
  • Results

You work through each section at your own pace. There’s no rushing it. You can work on the lessons for 5 minutes or 30. In the car or at home. It’s very conversational and the time spent with your child is really precious, or at least I found it to be awesome. Within each ‘Model’ are tools, exercises, and tips for success. Again, an awesome guide that give you the confidence to work with your child.



thought monster 1

So what about the ‘monster’? How on earth could that help a young child feel more secure? I was kinda skeptical at first. Why would we want to think of our feelings as horrible monsters? “This couldn’t possibly work!” However, I was wrong. The author describes our thoughts as monsters. We don’t want to get rid of them completely. They are there for a reason. However, we can ‘tame’ them. My son loved this analogy! The child’s book allows them to sketch out their own crazy thought monsters. I even sketched my own!  Grown-ups have thoughts monsters too! There is a section called ‘Feel Bad Questions’ and ‘Feel Good Questions’ that helped my son and me! Instead of ‘Why am I so fat?’, think, ‘How do I want to feel?’. Or ‘How Can I figure out a solution?’ instead of ‘When will things get better?’. There are awesome charts in the parent book that I plan to laminate and put on the fridge.

thought monster

So, the big question– Did I see results in my son? Yes! I did. We worked on the book about 3 times a week for about 15 minutes. I could see he wasn’t bored when we worked on it and he absorbed the information. He hasn’t recalled the lessons on his own while he’s having a ‘moment’, but I was able to prompt his feelings, his thought monster, and how we could change the thoughts and feelings he was having into something better.

This program has given me a tangible tool to help my children with their feelings and that is a powerful thing. The only thing I did tweak is that I added a Biblical perspective and found some Bible verses to our lessons so that God was an integral part of this process.

What Taunya had to say:  My daughter (age 11) and I both deal with anxiety issues. We also reviewed How to Tame Your Thought Monster. At first glance I was afraid that she would reject the book because it represented change. After the first couple of reading sessions I wondered if it was going to help. She refused to give more than one-syllable answers. I was about to give up. Then I discovered her reading the book on her own. I smiled. She smiled and the floodgates of her soul burst forth!

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She quoted “The Self Coaching Model” for me. Then said, “I like that mom.” From that point SHE was the one reminding ME we had another page to read. Another new tool to learn. She was the one sharing her anxieties. Fears. Feelings we could never get her to express. In a mere four days I learned more about the inner workings of her mind than I had in the previous 11 years!

Her favorite tool is the Thought Monster. This simple act of describing her thoughts as a monster was the thing that allowed her to accept what scared her. When she drew her monster and named it, I discovered a truth that I had never considered. For a long time I’ve searched for a way to rid her of her fears. By accepting them, giving them an identity, we have been able to put them in the proper perspective. No longer are they an insurmountable obstacle; they are a visitor in her world. She has the control, they do not.

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I am grateful for the opportunity to review this program. It was able to touch my daughter in a way that she can relate. It has given me tools and words to help her when needed. When a situation arises that in the past caused an issue I simply ask a question. Where’s the fact? Is your monster talking or you? Are you experiencing a positive feeling or negative feeling? These tools have made a difference in our life. Thank you!

Buy It!

You can purchase a copy of How to Tame Your Thought Monsterfor $19.95 and How to Tame Your Thought Monster for $8.95 on Katie McClain‘s website or on Amazon.


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  1. I homeschool 2 of my 3 children. My daughter gets stressed out over History lessons and writing papers. I think this would help her understand why she’s feeling stressed, what the stressers are, and how to overcome them.

  2. My son attended public school and as the years passed I saw his anxiety grow. Of course at the time I didn’t realize it was school. He is now homeschooled but the anxiety is still there as well as low self esteem. It breaks my heart for him, this is something we haven’t even became close to conquering despite our efforts. Would love to try this.

  3. my son gets really frustrated when he doesn’t “get” a new concept immediately. this would be great for him.

  4. I’ve seen a variety of stresses within adults and kids. If this can be a tool to reduce and resolve some of the sources, it could have a lasting impact and enable positive habits before a surge of new challenges.surface.

    1. Luci- This is so well said. I wrote these books for pre-teens to help them learn tools that would help them before they reach the extra angst-y teen years! Thank you for your comment. Katie

  5. this is why I love HHM…..I am not the only one going through trials and feel at a loss. My children aren’t the only ones who struggle with self doubt and incrimination Thanks for the tools to come through it all stronger.

  6. My children are recovering from multiple traumas. This sounds like it would encourage them to reach for the truth in life. That’s what frees us from the anxieties.

  7. Thanks for the honest reviews. I really appreciate that!
    I am entering to win for my child who really struggles with anxiety every day.
    Thanks for the opportunity!

  8. My (almost 5 yo) son would really appreciate this. He has a fear of monsters, even though we always make light of the situation. He struggles with anxiety that I think he inherited some behaviors through my own doing…. 🙁 I would really appreciate winning this!

  9. So glad I read these reviews, think this is exactly what my 6 year old needs. He does not handle making mistakes well, whether it be in doing school work, or general behavior. If he makes a mistake, or something he shouldn’t have and has to be corrected he goes into meltdown mode. He fears disappointing others, more specifically authority figures.

  10. Sounds like something we could use for my 3rd grader. Been working on solutions like this. He is afraid to answer anything for fear it is wrong.

  11. I deal with anxiety issues and I can see that on my bad days, my kids reflect me. 🙁 I would love to work through this book with them, adding the biblical perspective which is invaluable to me.

  12. My son gets easily overwhelmed in new and social situations. His fear and lack of confidence has surprised me, and I would love to try something new. (We did try a beginning acting class, but it didn’t help as much as I had hoped.)

  13. my daughter and i need this, she is struggling with her emotions and constant burst of fear and anger. i need to resolve this quickly so she doesn’t grow up with this issue

  14. I would love to win this raffle. My daughter is currently in therapy and I would be so grateful for her to have the tools to be able to talk to me so I can help and understand her fears more clearly!

  15. I am grateful to see information like this out for children. I know I would have benefited from a book like this, and I know both my boys will. Anxiety is a nasty beast we all fight with and through, thank you for putting it in terms our kids can grasp.

  16. My daughter gets stressed when she can’t figure out something and has to work at it harder than normal. I think that this would help her!

  17. My daughter gets very frustrated when she gets something wrong, even if she is just learing it. This would be great!

  18. My daughter has a very hard time with her feelings. She went through trauma as an infant and separation from her bio family and a foster family before she came to us. She really struggles with her thoughts, especially. I love this resource, thank you for sharing it!

  19. I almost clicked off after reading the first review. I thought this was geared for children too young. Then my eyes caught “11 year old” on the next review and I was in tears my the end. I sure do hope this can help my 11 year old daughter overcome some of her anxiety and be able to express herself.

  20. Daughter, 9′ began panicking in k. At school, up at night, uncontrollable anxiety…like me…but she started earlier. We pray, talk, breathe, regroup…she copes. Would love this book to do with her.

  21. Weather and getting things right when I’m checking her work are two things I’m struggling with with my oldest daughter (almost 8). Would love to give this a try to see if it would help her handle the anxiety, especially as we are heading into the winter season and we will have to do lots of driving in the winter weather.

  22. My son is very anxious, just as I was a as a child. It would be great to have some tools to help him through his anxieties and fears!

  23. Many things worry my oldest daughter, especially sickness and thinking something bad is going to happen. I feel like I pass this on to her.

  24. We are pulling our son out of Kindergarten after Thanksgiving. It has just been too stressful and not at all what we expected so we are starting with homeschooling and hopefully can shake off the anxiety soon and be back to having fun while learning. This would be a great resource for us!

  25. My girls get stressed out when I plan too much or push too hard…I have learned the hard way to give them space!

  26. Hello friends! I have a special 50% discount going right now on the Tame Your Thought Monster books reviewed in this post. You can purchase both books for $20, this includes shipping to the U.S. only. Email me if you’d like to purchase the books and send outside the U.S. [email protected] The link if you’re interested: http://bit.ly/1h0eUhp. Expires 12/31/13 Happy Holidays and all the best to you and your kids!

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