5 ways to help your children deal with disappointment
Disappointment is part of life. Your children are going to face disappointment throughout their life time no matter how old they are.
These disappointments can range from minor letdowns such as not getting invited to a classmate’s birthday party, to major life events which may include not being accepted to their first choice university.
Although it is painful to watch your children suffer when things don’t go their way, you have to know that sometimes, disappointments can actually be good for children.
This is because it can be a learning time for them as you teach them how to bounce back after being disappointed so that they can cope better when future letdowns occur.
If your children can learn the tools to get over a disappointing situation, they will be able to rely on them throughout their lifetime and not let things bother them so much.
Even though dealing with disappointment is not easy, here are some tips for helping your children handle disappointments:
Empathize with your children
When your children are hurting from a disappointment, begin by acknowledging their perception of what happened. Doing this will open the lines of communication and show your children that you have been in a similar situation.
This will make tthem know that they are not alone or overreacting. It is okay at this time to share with your child times that you have been disappointed and reveal how you learned from the experience.
When you disappoint your child by not reacting well to their disappointment, you can do better by showing them how much you care about what happens to them and helping them through it.
Be a good role model
As much as you would like to do everything in your power to make your children happy as often as you can, it’s just not possible. However, you have the important role of helping them choose to be happy.
As a parent, it is imperative to model appropriate behaviour for your children especially when things don’t go your way teaches your children the skills to handle disappointments. It’s important to step back and let them deal with disappointments their own way. This is how to help your teenager deal with disappointment.
Teach self-calming skills
Learning how to process uncomfortable emotions plays an integral role in coping with disappointment. When parents model and teach self-calming skills, kids learn that they can get through hard things.
Children react to disappointments differently and have different methods that work to calm them down. You can help them use art such as coloring, drawing and painting to work through their feelings. These activities can help them relax. They can listen to soft music, read their favourite comic book, go outside to play with other children or play with their favourite toys.
It takes time to develop the skills to cope with disappointment. Be patient when your children have big reactions to seemingly small sitautions. Sometimes, venting the right way help children work through their emotions so that they can think more rationally about the disappointing event and what they can do to recover from it.
Teach them how to get ready for next time
Once you help your child through one disappointment, make sure you use the experience to seek for viable ways to fix the next one.
It is a good idea to talk to your children about what they can do next. Talk about how they handled their last disappointment and remind them how good it felt when they bounced back from past disappointments.
By arming your children with the experience of success and determination, you are providing them with life skills they need to fall back on when disappointment strikes in any stage of their lives.
Encourage them to do things they are good at
Helping your child deal with failure well is one of the responsibilities of parents. Most children feel like they are not as good as their peers.
Your son may not be good in football and your daughter may not be good at writing and debating but that doesn’t mean they are not good at other things such as sports and music.
Failure can be a blessing in disguise and help motivate children to practice harder, study longer, or attempt a different approach to something they have been struggling with.
It is important to help your children find something they can be good at that matches their interests and skills. Success is not only about winning but about finding your own path. Let them know this.