The following tips courtesy Dick Berry of Youth Alternatives.
Disappointment is part of life. Kids are sometimes disappointed when life doesn't happen like they thought it would. When this occurs, it is easy for parents to want to protect their child from having to face their disappointment. For example, a mom who was worried about her ex missing their child's birthday, might buy another birthday present and sign the dad's name. But Anthony at some point, the child must deal with his own disappointment. Otherwise it may turn into depression and significantly influence his life. The good news is you can help your child cope successfully, disappointment doesn't have to win.
You can help your child deal with disappointment by asking these questions:
1. What are you disappointed about?
A. Being clear about what he wanted by saying it or labeling it, helps make it more understandable and sometimes more manageable.
B. It is okay to want what he wanted: I wanted Dad to call me.
2. Why is this important to you?
A. It usually means something important to your child.
B. The meaning is often tied in with feeling loved or feeling special or
C. It is better to know what assumptions your child is making. "If I
was smarter (prettier, funnier, etc.), Dad would call me.
3. Can you change this? If not, you have to figure out a way to accept it.
A. Do what he can do:
1. Do what he can do, as this allows him to take back some
of the control over his life. Did he do his best?
2. Ask for what he wants from Dad
3. Find substitutes: go fishing with Grandpa instead
B. Accept what he can't change
1. Need to turn loose of what he will never get, otherwise it
pulls him down
4. Do you want disappointment to win?
A. Help him learn to fight disappointment, not accept it
B. Do what he would normally do if you weren't disappointed.