Life is going to be disappointing at times. If you think about your past week, I bet you don’t have to think too hard to recall a disappointing moment. Kids are going to have disappointing times too. You can be there for them to guide them through those times. Disappointment with kids can actually be a good thing. They will get to gain practice at dealing with disappointments in a healthy way, with you as their support system. I’m going to go over some ways that you can help your child when they are disappointed.
Talk About It
It is healthy for kids to express why they are disappointed. If your child is showing signs of anger or sadness when they have been disappointed, sit down with them and talk about it. Ask them why they are frustrated and how that makes them feel. Share times with them that you too have been disappointed. Talk about how you handled it. Be real. If you managed it incorrectly, tell them that. Then talk about constructive ways to deal with disappointments. For example, if they tried out for a team and didn’t make the cut, talk about how they can work harder and try out again next year. However, sometimes kids just need to vent and have an understanding ear to listen to their feelings about disappointments. Talking it out is the key.
Help Them To Move On
Life’s not fair. Plain and simple. After listening to your child’s disappointments, help them to move on. If they were disappointed about something at school, talk about it and then remind them that they are home now. Go outside for a walk or do a craft activity together. Maybe encourage them just to go outside and play. We all need to learn to move on instead of sulking about something.
Discuss What Can and Can’t Be Changed
If your child is upset about something that can’t be changed, then talk about it. If they are disappointed with something that can be changed, talk about what they can do to change it. For example, you can’t change what others think about you. However, you can change your behaviors if you were acting in a wrong way. Also, discuss the past, and how you can’t change the past no matter how hard you wish you could.
Help them to Problem Solve
You won’t do your child any good by fixing everything for them. Instead, encourage them to fix and solve their own problems. You could discuss with them ways that a problem could be solved, but try to encourage them to make that decision on their own.
Teach Your Child Self-Calming Techniques
Your child may need to have some direction on what to do when they get upset over disappointments. Teach them how to calm themselves down. You may want to teach and then remind them to count to 10 slowly instead of reacting when they are disappointed. Deep inhales of breaths can also help a person to calm down. Or maybe teach them to think of happy thoughts when they are disappointed. Talk about ways that they could calm themselves down when they are disappointed.
Model How You Deal With Disappointments
The biggest influence for how your child will deal with disappointments is going to come from watching how you deal with disappointments. If you hit a wall and cuss when you are upset, guess what your child is going to start doing? Yes, they will most likely start hitting and cussing. But if instead you take a deep breath, go for a walk or count to 10 when disappointed, the chances are good that they will do the same things.
Help your child to see the humor in a situation. We all take life too seriously sometimes. Without making total light of a situation, you may want to try to make them see how silly things will look in a year from now. If they are disappointed that they are the shortest kid in the class, take a moment and find the humor in this if it’s true. Share if you were also the shortest kid in your class and now how you are now super cool. After listening to their concerns, without making fun of their feelings, see if you can find the humor in this situation.
No matter how hard you might want to try to shelter your child from life’s disappointments, you won’t be able to. In fact, dealing with disappointments can be a healthy part of life. It’s how kids deal with disappointments that sets the stage up for them as adults who deal with disappointments. So make sure that you are making a good impression and helping through this tough time. Good luck!