Living Loving Learning

Dealing with Disappointment

In Parenting on Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Recently I attended a talent show audition where about 35 youth were performing their various skills in hopes of winning one of the 5 top places.  Only 5 people or groups would be chosen to go on to the next level.   All these kids poured their hearts into what they were doing and many were disappointed when they weren’t selected as one of the top 5. 


It got me to thinking.  I wondered how their parents helped them walk through the disappointment.  In fact, I actually did overhear one parent telling her child, “It was rigged.”  It made me wonder if that response would affect the way this child handled disappointments later in life.


So?  How do you help your children overcome disappointments? What would your words have been if your child had not been one of the top 5 in the talent show?

 How do you deal with disappointments in your own life?





  1. When Noah is disappointed, I empathize with him first. I let him know I am sorry that he is hurting. I tell him that I know how it hurts because I’ve been disappointed.

    Then, it opens the door for more discussion about how to let that disappointment be a teacher to us and not something that makes us feel bad about ourselves. He seems to listen.

    Disappointment still hurts him, but at least I’m there to walk him through it.

  2. Like Cindy said, we try to empathize as much as possible. We also talk about “giving it our best” and knowing that if we do that, then that’s all we could have done. Sounds cliche but it’s true. We also point out how talented they are (and how much we love them:)

  3. Ditto Cindy and Christi – but then I would have told my child how enormously proud I was that they tried! That being in front of people is scary and that many people dont even try and how proud I was of their effort!

  4. I agree with those other gals — a ton. I was always so fearful of being disappointed that I avoided too many things when I was young. I never downlplay their disappointment by dismissing it or trying to make excuses but I also don’t let them waller in their sadness for too long.

  5. I tell them it was rigged.

    Oh, ok, I do the same stuff as Cindy, Christy, Jennifer and Kim. And then I secretly cry. Nothing breaks my heart like seeing my kids get theirs broken.

  6. OK, see now I am disappointed. Earlier I typed out a long reply and it didn’t post. 😦

    What we are learning in our family is that people don’t always do what they promise or what we expect them to do. People will disappoint us. God always does what He says He will do. He doesn’t do what we expect though and that is one place we have to keep ourselves in check.

    I’ve taught the kids they can control their actions and reactions. They can’t control other people. We still can have disappointment and be sad, because it hurts to do our best and then not be recognized. So we are learning to live for God’s approval and not other people.

    Its one I am still working on. So I have to take my own advice. I would have told my kids how proud of them I am and I would let them be sad, but no pity parties. Which I need to learn too. 🙂

  7. what they said.

    I go to God. I’m getting a lot better at it thanks to Him!

  8. My kids are still pretty young, so we haven’t dealt with major disappointments yet. Unless you count getting beat in Uno a disappointment. I’m just that good at it 🙂 In the small things, we console them and tell them how awesome they are. I’m sure that will translate to the big things. But, I can imagine how those bigger disappointments will break a mom’s heart for her child.

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