Our Kids: Dealing with Disappointment

The following tips are courtesy Ronn Jeffrey.

No matter how prepared we think we are, none of us are really ready to handle disappointments. And it’s particularly difficult for us to watch our children struggle with disappointments in their lives.

Intellectually we know that failure and disappointment is a part of live and our children need to know how to deal with it. But, in our hearts we would like to protect our kids from ever experiencing the sadness of disappointment.


1. Respect Your Child’s Disappointment

Let your kids know it’s ok to feel disappointment. Sometimes just stating, "I can see that your really feeling bad," lets your child know that you care about them without judging their feelings.

Avoid saying things like, "It’ll be ok or It’s just a game." When were feeling bad we don’t want to hear that. When our kids are upset, they know things will get better...but at that moment they don’t care.

2. Don’t Accept Inappropriate Behavior

Sometimes our kids don’t handle disappointment well. When your kids are acting inappropriately it’s important that you respond to their behavior but be sensitive to when to correct and how to correct

3. Wait for Emotions to Calm

It’s almost impossible to get someone to listen to you when their feeling hurt and disappointed. Wait a little bit, the feelings will change and your child will be much more ready to listen to you.


4. Remind Your Child of Their Strengths

Most of what our kids experience in life they have experienced before, but when things don’t go well they tend to forget. They feel like it’s the first time.

Be optimistic but don’t overdue it. Nobody needs an Eeyore but overzealous enthusiasm isn’t appreciated either when your feeling down.

5. Don’t Over Analyze...Just Feel With Your Kids

My daughter’s had to teach me about this. Every time something went wrong I would try to explain it to my kids. In my desire to educate them about the Why’s and the How’s I forgot to deal with the most important thing .....Their feelings.

Sometimes we want to protect our kids so much from disappointment that we prevent them from learning from it. Stay in the moment with your kids. Feel with them and cry with them, but don’t rob them of their feelings. Remember feelings of disappointment are as real and as important as feelings of happiness.

When our kids are hurting sometimes the best thing we can do is simply hug them and feel with them.

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