Help Your Child Learn From Disappointment
You can’t spare your child from disappointments at school or in life. Nor should you want to. Learning to handle setbacks—such as rejection by a friend, losing an election, not being chosen for a team and others—helps kids cope later in life.
Your response to your child's disappointments will greatly influence how well your child learns to cope. To help your student learn to tolerate disappointment (and even grow from it):
- Notice when your child does things well and offer praise. Feeling capable helps your child think, "I can do things if I try."
- Help your child anticipate that things might not work out as hoped or planned. Demonstrate how to explore options by playing "What if?" games.
- Don't assume you know how your child feels—ask. Your child's emotions might be quite different from those you would feel in the same situation.
- Take your child's feelings seriously. Listen closely and avoid telling your child not to feel that way.
- Ask questions about what happened to help your child explore, understand and learn from the experience.
- Don't try to fix everything for your child. Don't blame the teacher or another child, or automatically pull your child out of an activity.
- Say that you are proud of your child for trying.
- Share your own disappointments and how you overcame them.
Brought to you by:
West Point Consolidated School District
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