Your child, no matter how old, will experience numerous disappointments throughout his or her life. These can range from mild disappointments (not being invited to a classmate's birthday party) to big life tragedies (losing a job) (not being accepted to their top-choice college). These are all part of growing up, and while it's heartbreaking to see our children suffer when things don't go their way, disappointment may really be beneficial to children, especially if you teach them how to bounce back so they can handle better in the future. Below are ways you can help your child handle disappointment
1. Keeping expectations in check
A lot of disappointment stems from the desire for immediate gratification. Instant gratification occurs when we promptly fulfill our children's "I wants" when we persuade them to believe that every time they desire something, we will provide it to them. I'm not saying you should disappoint kids at home, but making every desire attainable allows them to assume there are no disappointments in the world outside.”
2. Empathize with their viewpoint (and don't try to persuade them otherwise).
The requirement of taking a step back is a frustrating but necessary element of parenting. Our duty shifts from one of meeting every physical and emotional need to one of allowing our children to suffer while our instincts protest from the sidelines. Regardless of our feelings, our responsibility as parents is to empathize with them, rather than belittle our children's experiences. Let's be there for them" when they're dealing with disappointment. "It's better to say, 'Look, we all feel this way occasionally,' rather than 'It's all right,' or 'You shouldn't feel that way.' I'll stay with you till you get over this emotion.
3. Turn your dissatisfaction into a source of inspiration.
Whether you react with empathy or frustration in response to your child's disappointment, both scenarios give an opportunity to teach resilience through desirable difficulty, a psychological theory that suggests people learn and retain knowledge when faced with measurable hurdles. A child who regularly works toward a goal, for example, is more likely to remember the value lesson, which, readily changes disappointment into motivation and work ethic.
4. Avoid comparing your child to other players.
Resist the urge to compare your child’s performance to another’s. “This is never a recipe for improved self-esteem or ability.
5. Help them put disappointment into perspective.
Even small disappointments can seem monumental at first. But once they’ve expressed their hurt, frustration, or anger, encourage your children to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Sometimes disappointment can make a child (or adult!) feel like a failure. They may wonder why these things happen to them or they may think they were stupid to get their hopes up in the first place. But none of that is the truth. Don’t allow them (or yourself!) to give in to these negative thoughts. Talk to them about “tricky thoughts. Whenwe’re stressed, frustrated, down, or depressed, our mind can get “tricky” and tell us things that aren’t true, making us feel way worse than we did before. They need to protect themselves from giving into those thoughts. Tell them they’re not alone. Better yet, share a time when things didn’t go your way. Everyone has been disappointed at some time in their life. Instead of getting down on themselves, encourage them to think about what could have been done differently and to learn from the experience.
6. Model good behavior.
If your child gets frustrated at losses easily and has a tough time moving past them, you might need to examine your own behavior. Does your child see you get angry while watching sports on TV, or do you get upset in traffic? Be sure you’re modeling the behavior you want for your child. It will make it easier for them to handle frustrations later in life. It might also be helpful to examine the behavior of your child’s coaches and teammates/friends when they experience loss, as well as the parents of those teammates and friends.
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