Focus on the Glass Half Full
If your child tends to feel defeated by disappointments, help her be more optimistic. Instead of offering glib reassurances to "look on the bright side," encourage her to think about specific ways to improve a situation and bring her closer to her goals, says Karen Reivich, PhD, coauthor of The Optimistic Child. If she's behind her classmates in reading, explain that everyone learns at her own pace, and offer to spend extra time reading with her. If she's crushed because she didn't get the lead in the second-grade play, don't say, "Well, I think you're a star." Instead, say, "I can see how disappointed you are. Let's come up with a plan for how you can increase the chances of getting the part you want next time."