Have you felt disappointment? You’re an adult, so of course you have. We all have.

And as the parent of a young child, I can only imagine that helping your offspring manage disappointment can be challenging.

Sure, it’s about coping skills and embracing failure, but I think that we as parents have a responsibility to also show our children that in disappointment there can be a teachable moment.

I’m not necessarily talking silver lining here; while I think there can be a benefit to finding the positive to a sucky situation, not everything can be – or should be- sugar-coated. Still, I believe that if you look hard enough, you can take something away from every life experience, even if that lesson is that something isn’t right for you (it’s good to figure these things out, and sometimes you need to be pushed into recognizing it) or that you just didn’t do your best and therefore, frankly, didn’t earn X, Y or Z.

Teaching your kid to be the squeaky wheel to get the grease isn’t always the right approach. I’m all for helping young people feel empowered and confident, but sometimes things just aren’t meant to be, plain and simple. This is where we can show that there can be opportunity in disappointment.

This would take a lot of maturity for an older child or teenager to recognize, but I’d hope that by allowing my daughter to feel disappointment, and giving her space to experience the range of emotion that comes along with it, that I could work with her to help her see what a disappointing moment can teach; what it has to offer.

I hope that, when she's older, this little cutie allows me to help her navigate those tough situations! Photo credit C.Allard

I hope that, when she’s older, this little cutie allows me to help her navigate those tough situations!
Photo credit C.Allard

 

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