Thursday, September 26, 2013

Helping a Child Deal with Disappointment

Disappointment is hard.  It’s hard for me sometimes. It is hard for children.  It is extremely tough for people with neurological difficulties.  No surprise.  It is a social/emotional skill  so it causes a child with these social delays that struggle with disappointment.  

My observation has been that dealing with disappointment is one of the most difficult social skills for these individuals.  Why?  I don’t know.  All I know is what I’ve seen.  

Here are some areas it might be seen.
  • Losing a turn in a board game
  • Being on a losing team while competing in sports and in a classroom setting
  • Not being chosen to answer a question
  • Situation did not turn out as he expected (it does not matter if is out of anyone’s control-he often is not able to be ok with that)
  • Disappointment is often seen as “you lied to me” meaning you did not deliver what you promised

I’m sure as a parent, each of you reading could give lots of examples.  The bottom line is that this is hard.  It requires a lot of preparation for a child to endure well.  When my son was younger, I tried to explain any possible outcome ahead of time.  I certainly could not think of everything but this approach helped him prepare himself for disappointment.