One of my greatest fears as a parent is watching my child feel the pain and hurt of rejection. It is one thing when we don’t get what we want, but to see our children go through that stings even more. Yet, rejection is an inevitable part of growing-up.
Think back to your own childhood, getting cut from the team, not receiving a part in the school play, the list goes on and on. When children feel rejected or are left out, they don’t feel important or valued, accepted or wanted. They may try to avoid certain situations that could cause them pain, missing out on enriching opportunities that would make them happy and fulfilled
Here are tips for teaching your kid how to deal with rejection:
- Let them face the rejection. Rejection is part of life. Letting your child face rejection is both healthy and realistic. Give them some time to process their feelings. As much as we want to swoop in and save the day, give yourself time before approaching your child about the situation. Sometimes rejection is a battle your kids have to learn to face themselves.
- Listen with empathy. When your child is ready to vent be that shoulder to lean on. We must be careful to avoid transferring our own feelings of insecurity and anger onto our kids. An overblown reaction can make a small problem seem much bigger, thus making our children feel even worse.
- Help them voice how they feel. With younger children, they might lack the vocabulary to express their feelings. Help them voice their feels and why they are feeling that way.
- Encouragement. Encourage your child to think about how normal it is to feel that way given what they are going through. Avoid conversation stoppers such as “Don’t worry about it,” which can make kids feel bad about feeling bad. You an even share a time in your life when you felt rejected and encourage them grow ups go through it too.
- Set the example. Nothing is worse than a parent having a fit when they did not get something they wanted. It is up to us as parents to be the example for our children that we want them to emulate.
- Help them get back on the horse. After all is said and done. Encourage your child that though it feels like the end of the world rejections is just a speed bump on the road to success. Let your child know how proud you are of them and not to let this one situation hold them back.
Though we cannot protect our children from every disappointment and failure we can help learn how to cope with their emotions. What you say and do and how you view things and teach your child to view things will have a big effect on how your child reacts to rejection and disappointment.