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“Lemons to lemonade” introduces patients to the concept of reframing negative thoughts, a fundamental technique from cognitive behavioral therapy. In this activity, patients identify negative thoughts as “lemons,” which are defined as any challenging or unpleasant situations or thoughts. Patients apply the CBT model to personal examples to illustrate the impact these thoughts have on emotions and behavior.  Lemons to lemonade is then introduced as “finding a glimmer of positivity in difficult, negative, and/or   challenging situation.” When teaching lemons to lemonade, we make actual lemonade with the children to make the group more experiential and fun.

Practice at Home:

  • Challenge your child to find the Glimmer of Positivity in a mundane daily task or activity such as homework, chores or a long car ride. Discuss how using Lemons to Lemonade or L2L helps pull them through a challenging moment.
  • Create a L2L card to keep in the car to pull out and use a reminder before school each day.
  • Model L2L by saying out loud in a tricky situation, “This is a difficult moment and the glimmer is ___________.” Or have your child help you find a glimmer in your own trick situation (i.e. traffic, forgot your phone at work, etc).