Dealing With Disappointment

Sep 13, 2020

Sometimes opportunities present themselves and we just need to seize them.  So parents and teachers, let me remind you – experience is the best teacher.  Accordingly, now is a good time for our children to both learn and practice a critical life skill: accepting disappointment. 

Of course, how our kids deal with the frustration of being disappointed will be determined mainly by how the adults around them do so.  The good news is that with all the crazy events of 2020, we are getting continual opportunities to be positive examples.  However, the opposite is true as well.

My wife and I took our first retirement trip this weekend and met some friends in the Galveston, Texas area for a few days at the beach.  The trip was relaxing, but the drive was alarming.  I lost count of the number of near tragic accidents which almost occurred due to drivers tailgating, honking, and zipping through multiple lanes of traffic, cutting off other drivers in the process.  Patience might be a virtue, but it seemed to be one that was in short supply for select individuals on Interstate-10. 

The problem stemmed from how these drivers handled the disappointment of not getting to drive the speed they wanted.  Though I feel certain it was not the first thing on these drivers’ minds, all I could think of was one question:  What might kids be learning by watching how these individuals accept disappointment?

You can’t always get what you want. (Cue music) None of us can. And when that happens, we have the chance to teach our kids healthy lessons about priorities, understanding, tolerance, patience, consideration and emotional stability.  I know these character traits could go a long way in helping us deal with our current challenges, so let’s hope that happens – for all of our sakes.

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