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How to Help Your Kids Through Disappointment

08/04/2012 11:20 EDT | Updated 10/04/2012 05:12 EDT
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My heart went out to Jordyn Wieber's family when she was cut from the all around women's gymnastics last night. As a parent, it is so difficult to see your child go through disappointment. They get to school and their best friends are in a different section together. They try out for a sports team and they get cut. They study for an exam and receive a mediocre grade. I believe how we help them through their failures often makes a huge difference in how they move forward.

Empathize

If your child is upset, do not belittle what they are going through. Instead, tell them you can understand how difficult this must be for them. Oftentimes, comfort comes in the form of understanding and compassion.

Do Not Rush To Fix It

When a parent tries to fix a grade or get their child on a team they did not make, it is a bad message to the child and it can even backfire. Disappointment is a part of life and you will not always be there to fix things. There is a lesson in the failure. Mom or dad fixing it does not teach kids how to handle failure.

Don't Assume Everyone Is Wrong

Everyone believes their child is the best but we live in a competitive world and they might not be the best. Maybe your child did not study hard enough for that test or train hard enough to make the team. You have to consider that your child was disappointed because they did not do what they needed to attain their goal.

Life Isn't Always Fair

Unfortunately, life will throw you curve balls and that is a life lesson. But, parents can be loving and supportive which will help their child get through it and come out stronger.

Try Harder Next Time

If you always succeed, you never learn what it takes to overcome adversity. Sometimes failing can make you work harder and do better than you ever thought possible.

Give Them Attention

Mom and dad's arms should always be a safe place to go where they can vent and feel comforted when the world lets them down.