In The Awfulizer: Learning to Overcome the Shame Game, author Kristin Maher gives shame a name and face, showing just how real and big it can be for children; how it keeps them feeling isolated and alone, and makes them question their self-worth.
“I feel like there’s a monster in my head. And all he does is say awful things to me. He tells me all the things I am doing wrong and how I am wrong, and it makes me sad and scared.”
Shame is a powerful emotion for children, and when they get sucked into the Shame Game and start believing lies about themselves—that they don’t just MAKE mistakes, but they ARE a mistake—their world can become a dark place.
James’ life changes the day he meets The Awfulizer, a strange monster with a giant nose and breath that smells like pickles. The Awfulizer follows James everywhere he goes and reminds him of all the things he has done wrong.
When James finally tells his parents all about The Awfulizer, they help him understand that talking about his feelings gives him a super power. It turns him into The Awesomizer! And James realizes that even though The Awfulizer might be big and persistent, up against the Awesomizer, he will always lose.