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On Second Thought

Explore your thoughts!

  • Android, Website, Windows, iPad, iPhone
  • Paid
  • age 7+
Download for Android Download for iOS

On Second Thought Apps

Android Apps

Smart Notebook Program for Windows

Smart Notebook Program for Mac

About On Second Thought

On second thought app is an easy to use, a child-friendly platform for use with children who may be experiencing Anxiety symptoms, behavioural and emotional difficulties, automatic  negative thoughts, and irrational beliefs.

The application is free from in-app adverts and provides in-app purchases for further content. The application is available on the iOS, Android, Mac, Windows and SMART Technology platforms and suitable for ages primary (7 to 11). The program was written by Dr.Teresa Busto licensed Psychologist in collaboration with Paula Busto, based on the work of Dr.Albert Ellis, Aaron Beck and David Burns. These concepts have been turned into a child-friendly program containing activities and real-life situations.

Teacher Review

Once the user has opened the application they are greeted with a ‘sign in’ screen for a required email address. Once the user has created an account they are shown the home screen displaying engaging graphics. There is a ‘settings’ icon in the top left to find out further information about the applications creators as well as icons to mute the sounds.

The user enters the application vis the ‘Play’ icon in the top right. It is noted that the application plays in landscape mode. It is noted that the user remains signed in over a good length of time even when leaving the application.

Entering the application, the user has the option to unlock a series of in-app purchases that provide a program that teaches the basic pattern of thought. These include:

Volume 1 – Tossing around more than a thought

Volume 2 – Tossing around iffy thoughts

Volume 3 – Tossing around witty thoughts

Volume 4 – Tossing around even more iffy and witty thoughts

Each of these volumes can be scrolled through this delightful platform. For this review, we will look at each volume in turn and focus on some activities within. The user will receive a score at the end of each activity and whether they have passed the activity or not. The content within this application is truly vast! The developers explain that - “The applications program highlights unhelpful and helpful thoughts and offers children the opportunity to recognize the value of replacing an “iffy” (unhelpful) thought with a “witty” (helpful) one”.

Volume 1 - Tossing around more than a thought:

Containing 8 activities this volume explores topics such as ‘Where do feelings come from?’, ‘What is on your mind’, ‘What do you do with your feelings’ and many more. 

Each activity provides an introduction and a range of games that explore the chosen topic. 

“Where do feelings come from’ – Unscramble the letters beneath to form the word that best describes the picture shown, these include, happy, sad, worried, angry, embarrassed, excited, greedy and many more. This activity enables the child to recognise those feelings associated with the suggested words using different scenarios that they come across every day. This seems incredibly useful.

The text is easier to read even on a smaller device and it is good to see there is a ‘Voice Over’ option to support those younger users who may struggle with Literacy, supporting lower ability readers. The developers can be commended for this feature. Some of our users found some of the words and phrases quite challenging, at this point, they opted for the ‘Hint’ button which enabled them to progress further. The developers can be congratulated on the wonderful music and supporting animations that give a fun but reassuring feel to the application. 

Each volume is easy to navigate with ‘home’ and ‘progress’ buttons displayed at the top of the screen. It is noted that this educational tool is not to be construed as providing medical or psychological advice, diagnosis or treatment as explained at the bottom of the screen. There is also some insightful information for parents displayed at the top of the screen ‘Note to parents’ icon.

Volume 2 – Tossing around iffy thoughts - Containing 4 activities this volume explores topics such as ‘Iffy thoughts’, ‘Targeting iffy thoughts', ‘Searching for iffy thoughts’ and many more. 

‘Iffy thoughts’ – A powerful introduction explains the term ‘iffy thoughts’ in a simple way that can be easily understood by all age ranges. Unscramble the letters beneath to form the word that best describes the picture shown as well as matching phrases to the chosen scenarios. Some of our users once again found this quite challenging. Once again the educational value of this content is excellent. This section enables the child to recognise those feelings that are iffy, feelings that may be based on assumptions and are unhelpful. 

Volume 3 – Tossing around witty thoughts - Containing 4 activities and supported by an introduction this volume explores topics such as ‘witty thoughts’, ‘Targeting witty thoughts, ‘Exploring for witty thoughts’ and many more. Once again, the activities include unscrambling letters to explain the picture scenario as well as matching phrases to pictures. This section enables the child to recognise those feelings associated with the suggested words using different scenarios that they come across every day and to focus on positive outcomes and praise.

Volume 4 – Tossing around even more iffy and witty thoughts - Containing 7 activities this volume explores topics such as ‘witty thoughts?’, ‘Iffy thoughts, ‘even 'more iffy and witty thoughts' and many more. These activities are used as a review point having completed the first three volumes.

In a society where anxiety is prevalent and often leads to anger and behavioural difficulties within children, this application provides a wonderful support mechanism for both learning and understanding. The content, activities and presentation are excellent and provide a knowledgeable, child-friendly platform that will truly encourage students to explore and understand the way they are thinking and why. The program has several benefits as described on the developer’s website.

•    Cognitive behavioural principles presented in a way that children can understand

•    Uses idioms to recognize unhelpful thoughts (iffy) and how to replace them with more helpful (witty) ones

•    Explains how our thoughts influence our feelings and behaviours

•    Challenging and engaging activities in each lesson

•    Real-life situations are explored

•    Colourful and whimsical illustrations

•    Fun, creative and interactive

•    Suitable for individuals, groups, families, classrooms, clinics

•    A powerful and flexible program facilitator can adapt to a variety of audiences

The On Second Thought:  From Iffy to Witty Thoughts Program is informed by research with underlying data to support it.  Research has been conducted since 2015 by doctoral students from a university in New York (both in their clinic and schools in New York) which have demonstrated effectiveness in the reduction of both anxiety and anger.  (see www.onsecond-thought.com for specifics).  Findings have also been presented at national conventions (2016, 2019 and 2020).

This application has great educational value and comes highly recommended by The EducationalAppStore.com

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App Details

Teacher Ratings

Devices

Android, Website, Windows, iPad, iPhone

Skills

Critical Thinking
Communication Skills
Life Skills
Emotional Development
Thinking & Reasoning
Self-Direction

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

Teresa Busto

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Screenshots for On Second Thought

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Publisher's Description

What if you saw more smiles and less frowns when you ask your child, "What happened in school today?" Your child spends a lot of time in school, interacting with teachers, friends and classmates and in turn, has many thoughts about the things (situations) that happen in the classroom (e.g. "The teacher didn't call on me so I know she doesn't think I'm smart"), in the lunchroom (e.g. "Susan didn't save me a seat because no one likes me.") and on the playground (e.g. "Brian didn't pick me to be on his team so I know that I must be a horrible baseball player."). Look again at these examples and you will see that each situation is followed by a thought. In these examples, each thought is irrational. On Second Thought: From Iffy to Witty Thoughts (OST) is a program for children ages 8-12 that teaches these widely accepted principles and much more in a kid-friendly way. Using comically illustrated idioms, that are couched in interactive activities and real-life stories, your child becomes aware that his/her first thought might not be the best choice. Discover the apps built to coincide perfectly with the OST program.

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