Parenting Connection: Ways to Help Children Cope with Disappointment

Parenting Connection

It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Ways to help children cope with disappointment.

Right now our kids are extremely busy with school, and most are also involved with other things like organized sports, hobbies, and events. If you’re lucky, they’re also passionate about it all, but when a bad test score, a lost game, or a canceled play date happens, disappointment will set-in. Child experts say, how we as parents react and handle this set-back will go a long way to nurturing healthy emotional development, adding that when kids learn how to handle disappointing situations, they build resilience and strong coping skills.

Kendra Moyses, a child development expert with Michigan State University says, when young kids discover these qualities, it empowers them to process negative emotions, solve problems independently, and recover from a setback much quicker.

“We want kids to be able to feel the feelings, we call them visiting feelings, so we want them to visit with them for a minute. Not sit there and dwell, but acknowledge them, process them, and move on so that they know how to handle all of life’s little obstacles that get thrown at them.”

Here’s what you can do when your child experiences disappointment:

*First up — empathize. Your kids are seeking this from you, so give it to them. It may take place after a short tantrum or cry, but providing this connection will help kids recover from adversity.
*Manage child expectations. Using the word might will help when it comes to things like upcoming trips or activities.
*Work on delayed gratification. For example, make sure your kids understand nobody can just pick up a guitar and start playing it perfectly.
*Teach self-calming skills, like counting to ten, listening to music, or going outside to play.

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