Unless you know how to learn from them and let them go
Disappointments stink! Unfortunately they are a part of life that no one can avoid so learning how to handle disappointments is an important skill for your kids to develop.
Sometimes when children (and even grownups) fail at something, they label themselves a “failure”. Labels can have a devastating impact on both their self-esteem and their self-confidence.
To keep this from happening, teach your children this 3 step process to develop a mindset for handling disappointment:
First teach your kids how to separate the disappointment from “who they are” by choosing how they talk about the disappointment. Let me explain what I mean by that. When your children face a disappointment, the disappointment is just an event. The event becomes an extension of who they are when they use terms such as “I failed” or “I’m a failure”. These words create the label that we just talked about. Instead, teach kids to talk about the event as something separate from who they are. For example, if your daughter failed a math test, instead of saying, “I failed”, she can say something like, “I received an F on the math test.” Do you hear how the first statement is a label while the second statement describes an event?
Second, turn the disappointment into an opportunity to learn. Assess the situation and figure out what went wrong. If your daughter failed a test was it because she didn’t understand the material? Did she study the wrong thing? If your son didn’t make the baseball team was it because he didn’t hit well? Was his fielding off that day? Understanding what went wrong will enable your kids to learn from the disappointment and develop a plan to do better next time.
Third, encourage your kids to “let it go”. Hanging onto the disappointment only creates negative energy and keeps kids stuck in the past. Encourage them to honor the experience for what they’ve learned and focus on what they want to create in their future.
Remember that we all face disappointments – they’re a part of life. The good news is that we get to choose how we think about those disappointments so they have a positive impact on our lives.
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Adventure well my friend!
Copyright (C) 2012 Renaye Thornborrow. All Rights Reserved.