Failure Isn’t Defeat: Coping with Disappointment

As much as you want to protect your child from ever being hurt, that isn’t the way life works. Failures, disappointments, and challenges are going to happen. Instead of wrapping them in a bubble, teach them effective ways of coping with setbacks so they become more resilient. Show them that they are able to grow, learn, and become a better version of themselves because of the hardships they have endured.

Let Kids Experience Failure

No one likes getting a bad grade, losing a game, or forgetting their homework, but always jumping in and protecting your child can be doing them a disservice. Don’t argue with the teacher over a grade or rush to drop off your child’s sneakers for gym class. Let them experience natural consequences and learn from their mistakes. Next time maybe they’ll remember to put everything in their bookbag the night before, or to spend a little more time studying for their test instead of playing video games.

Reframe Their Thinking

Help your children to look at disappointments from another perspective. They got a B on their test, so what could they change for next time? Slow down and double check their work? Ask more questions in class? Instead of being overly hard on themselves, work with them to find ways to improve. Turn setbacks into learning opportunities.

Praise Their Efforts — Not Just Achievements

Even if they try their hardest, your child may not always be the “best” or come out on top. Celebrate their efforts, not just their successes. Praise them for working through a difficult problem without giving up. Acknowledge that they tried a different way of doing things, or celebrate that they passed the ball to let a teammate try for the goal even though they missed. It’s not always about winning — sometimes it’s about the journey.

Lead by Example

Pay attention to your own actions and behaviors when things get tough. A client didn’t like your proposal at work, so do you spend your time complaining and talking badly about them, or do you start thinking of new ideas and what you learned? If you make a mistake, don’t put yourself down. Let your children see that no one is perfect, but we learn from disappointments and get back up to try again.

Encourage Them to Try New Things

Your child may not be a math whiz, but maybe they’re an exceptional writer. They may not be the star of the basketball team, but perhaps they’re great at swimming or dance. Remind them that everyone is good at different things. Encourage them to explore new opportunities and see what clicks. And just because they’re not perfect at something doesn’t mean they should give up; keep practicing and getting better.

Set Realistic Expectations

They’re not always going to win. They won’t always be picked first. They might not get that summer job they really wanted. They might not get into their first choice college. But that is life, and they will be okay. If you always correct every wrong, fight every battle for your child, and protect them from ever being hurt, they’ll never learn. Kids are remarkably resilient, so instead of making them believe that everyone is a winner, help them learn to cope with challenges and disappointments as they come. Acknowledge their feelings and show sympathy, but encourage them to get back up and keep pushing forward.

When it comes to schoolwork, they may not excel in every subject, but tutoring is a way to reinforce learning and skills they may struggle with. It’s okay to ask for help! Crafting Scholars works with your child to identify their strengths, areas of need, and learning style, then creates a personalized plan to help them be more successful. You can’t do the work for them, but you can get them the support and assistance they need to be able to do it on their own. Contact Crafting Scholars today to learn more!