Akin to failure is disappointment. Disappointment is a natural part of life that is unavoidable. It seems to be large part of a growing child’s life. As our children grow and mature they begin to develop expectations for what or how they think or feel how life should work, progress, or happen. When those expectations do not happen the child is naturally disappointed.
The issue is: what to do now? Helping our children navigate disappointment can be a very frustrating task (at least it can be for me). Sometimes my natural inclination is the “just get over it” mentality and when that happens it usually doesn’t accomplish what I hoped it would (surprisingly). What’s worse is that my girls don’t learn anything either.
Helping our children deal with disappointment is a great teaching opportunity for us as parents and it is yet another opportunity to be close and bond with our children.
I have found that the best way for me as a parent to help my girls deal with disappointment is to empathize with them. To share in their disappointment and then to help them process through it. To bring into light that disappointment is natural and in life it is inescapable. It is certainly okay to be disappointed when certain events happen or don’t happen. What we can help our children with is how to properly express that disappointment without hurting or punishing others around them.
Remember; act the way you want your children to act.