Disappointment is Good?


Ideas for this month’s paragraph are from a great article written by Jim Taylor, Ph.D. He goes into detail about the value of guiding your child through disappointment, rather than saving them from it.

Parental attitudes toward disappointment, or the perception that we’ve experienced a loss due to outcomes not measuring up to our expectations, shape how your child will handle these outcomes in the near future and into adulthood.

Childhood disappointment is actually a practice lap on the course to adulthood,” writes author, Allison Armstrong, “If you run interference whenever disappointment threatens, you’re setting kids up to run a marathon without ever letting them train for it.”

Parents can:

  • Allow your children to feel disappointment about the setback
  • Avoid putting a “spin” on the situation to make your children feel better
  • Offer a healthy perspective on disappointment
  • Support your children, but don’t give them a consolation prize
  • Help your children find ways to surmount the causes of their disappointment
  • Tell your children that they will survive these disappointments and will achieve their goals if they keep trying hard
  • Finally, make sure they know you lovethem regardless of their successes or failures.

Jim Taylor, Ph.D., teaches at the University of San Francisco. His specialty is the psychology of business, sport, and parenting.