That's Life: Helping Kids Deal with Disappointment

Helping Your Kid Grow More Tolerant

Maybe your kid takes most setbacks in stride and seems to realize that when disappointment strikes it's not necessarily someone's fault. So if he isn't tall enough to ride the cool-looking roller coaster, he immediately asks to go on a different ride. While experts agree that your little one might have been born with a better ability to function well in the face of adversity, they also say it's likely you've had something to do with it. Give yourself a pat on the back, then help him boost bounce-back skills even more.

  • Empathize with your child's disappointments. For example, if a playdate gets canceled, tell him about how upset you were when a friend canceled on you. He'll see that it's okay to feel bummed about unexpected situations.
  • Create a network of other people in your child's life -- not just you and your spouse -- whom she can turn to in rough times. Studies show that the most resilient kids have a way of drawing in other people to help them.
  • Use your child's mistakes as opportunities to teach a lesson. "Kids this age need help realizing what they did wrong, but you shouldn't be the one pointing out the mistake," says Sam Goldstein, PhD, a child psychologist and coauthor of Raising a Self-Disciplined Child. Instead ask your child prompting questions that will help him figure it out on his own.

Parents Are Talking

Add a Comment