As a parent, it’s always hard to see your children suffer through a major disappointment. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could wave a magic wand so they never have to experience hurt or rejection? On some level, of course, but realistically speaking, this isn’t possible.
Not only that, it’s not even healthy or helpful.
Instead of waving away these disappointments, you should instead help your kids see how they can turn disappointment into success.
Yes, you can actually use disappoint as a way to get what you want.
Disappointments can come in lots of shapes and sizes. Perhaps your son didn’t make the varsity sports team he had his heart set on. Maybe your daughter didn’t get into the college that was her first choice.
Whether it’s a loss in athletics, academics, your budding politician didn’t get elected class president, or your musician didn’t make the band, this is part of life. These losses are felt deeply, so don’t minimize them or try to sweep them under the rug or fix the problems with an ice cream cone. Give your children time to mourn.
How long do you let them mourn? That depends. Try to check in with your Internal Guidance System to see what feels right to you based on the situation. In most cases, you will get a good clue if you keep your heart open and pay attention to your kids. Sometimes it will be literally over in a few minutes. Other hurts might take longer.
Once you feel that your son or daughter is ready to process this disappointment in a different way, you can start to help them tap into his or her own IGS.
Help your children focus on the experiences that they wanted. What does that want feel like? What exactly about it were they imagining? By tapping into their Internal Guidance Systems, they can decide if what they wanted was about having a level of prestige, if it was because their friends are doing whatever this is, or maybe because they just thought someone might like them better.
Once he they know what feels good to them and what they wanted to experience, they can use their IGS to explore other ways they could experience the desired feelings.
If your son wanted the experience of being on a team with his buddies, can he build another type of team? Or can he be a supporting member without actually playing? If it was about his athletic ability, can he redouble his efforts with a goal of making the team next year? Or would he like to shift his focus to a different sport or a team outside of school?
Now, he has shifted his energy away from his disappointment or feeling like a failure. Instead, he is focusing on the positive feeling that he wanted to experience. He’s thinking about ways he can still capture that feeling. By moving his energy from the negative to the positive, he is actually allowing for these experiences to come to him.
In the moment there was hurt, disappointment, or maybe even anger. By tapping into their IGS, your children are able to use that disappointment to help fine tune what they definitely want. Shifting their energy enables them to attract what they want, so your children can learn to turn any disappointment to success!
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