Stop Catastrophic Thinking
Human beings are built to overreact. As psychologist Martin Seligman (1993, p. 49) assets: "People, by and large, are astonishingly attracted to the catastrophic interpretation of things." As a survival mechanism, it's better to overestimate danger than to underestimate it and find ourselves wiped out of the gene pool. Yet in today's world, where adversity seldom has life and death implications, the tendency towards catastrophic thinking is more of a burden than a boon for survival.
Regardless of what type of adversity you or your child experienced, I'd be willing to bet that your first reaction wasn't to sit down and think about all the wonderful ways this might impact you. No, when something we perceive as negative or unfortunate happens, the first thing our minds do is to play out a script of the worst possible outcomes our creative genius can conjure up. You thought about how you would go on with life, or pondered whether your children would get through it and ever be the same again. You thought about all the goals this event would interrupt.
How to refute catastrophic thoughts
*Sit down as an exercise and try to write down as many possible ways as you can think of that one might benefit from this situation. Use your imagination. Lost a job? So did J.K. Rowling...right before she decided to go back to her passion of writing and became a billionaire through her Harry Potter books. Family suffer a setback? Focus on the ways this could make you and your children stronger. There's a silver lining to every cloud...you just have to look from the right angle.
*Ask yourself: Do I have any definitive, factual proof that my horrible thoughts are destined to come true? Or are my horrible thoughts just one potential outcome among many?