Friday, June 25, 2010

how can I help kids deal with disappointments?

We all have disappointments in our lives. When things don't go the way they should we may feel a whole spectrum of emotions ranging from furious to sad. While not everything can be fixed or made better, it's comforting to know that someone is there we can talk to. Someone that gives us our full attention and treats any disappointment or let down with the same gravity and care.
Here are a few tips to help you validate children's feelings even before disappointments hit their lives. Open, effective communication helps build strong relationships as well as teaches our kids a positive pattern of thinking about disappointments.

7 Tips to Helping Kids Deal With Disappointments:
Materials Needed: Calender, pen, small bowl or jar, scissors, a quiet place to talk
1. Carve out some designated time each week out of your schedule for uninterrupted discussion. Mark it on your calender.
2. Listening without judgement and being objective is the key to getting the most out of discovering worries or disappointments.
3. Write down the worries as you discuss them. Be sure to clarify and read back the list to the child.
4. Together, categorize the list into two separate columns. Have one read, What I Can Control and What I can't Control. Some things you can't control are people liking you, and things you can control is cleaning a room so you won't be in trouble.
5. Brainstorm together and come up with some solutions to your worries and disappointments. Cut the paper strips and put them in your discussion jar/bowl
6. Mark your calender for a time to talk again (a few days or next week).
7. When you get together again read from the jar. Did anything change? Did it get better or worse? Are you still disappointed or worried?
Remove cross out the problems that are resolved and keep tackling the problems left.

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