Learning from Disappointments
If you have been a parent for just a few years, you will recognize the look of disappointment on your child’s face. Disappointment is part of childhood. Disappointment is hard for children. It’s usually hard for adults too, I hate disappointment. The agony of disappointment during our school years seems so much greater than other times in life.
Experiences like not making the team, getting picked last for kickball during PE, losing the championship game when your team was undefeated all season, or your sister not wearing matchy clothes with you to school (yes, that really happened yesterday and there were many tears), all cause disappointments.
Children will be disappointed. It’s part of growing up. Even though disappointment is a hard part of growing up, it’s also a healthy part of growing up. Disappointments help our children see they are not the only one, they are not always the best, they are not privileged and most important disappointments help develop our coping abilities.
3 Steps to Help Your Child Overcome the Agony of Disappointment
Help your child recognize we all experience disappointments
Disappointments for young children, tweens and teens are very difficult. Even the disappointments that seem minor to grown-ups. Our children don’t have the many years of life experience that we have. All disappointments (great and small) are more challenging for them.
As parents, we usually have an example or similar experience from our own lives we can share that will help our child understand they are not alone in their experience of disappointment. Share these experiences, and help your child realize we all have disappointments.
Show your child disappointment does not last forever
When your child’s team is defeated in the championship game, you and your child will feel disappointed. Assure your child that while disappointment feels bad for a time, things will change and they will have new opportunities. Show them that current disappointment and sadness does not mean they will have permanent disappointments and sadness.
Focus on your child’s talents
If your child is a gifted musician, then help your child improve their music skills. If your child excels as an athlete, let your child maximize their sport skills. If your child has strong academic skills encourage them in the academic areas to enhance those skills.
All children have special talents and skills. When your child focuses on their unique talents, they will be more likely to achieve their goals and succeed.
How do you help your child overcome disappointments?