Teaching Kids How to Deal with Disappointment
Teaching Kids How to Deal with Disappointment while Homeschooling
There will be days..
Have you ever envisioned something working out a certain way, only to have it not work out the way you expected or hoped? Of course you have, this is the way life works! “Mama said there would be days like this…” no joke, right?
Teaching kids how to deal with disappointment is a major aspect of a good education.
Disappointment can stem from a change of plans, a relationship that ends, a friend who turns out not to be a friend at all, battling depression, financial hardship, betrayal, or a physical injury (to name a few). Coping with these all too real, painful, and frustrating life events can wreak havoc on us and our families.
They are Watching Us
How can we teach our kids to cope with hardships gracefully? This is a critical skill for us to have as parents, especially when we homeschool. Our kids are watching us all the time and they will do what we do. Our youngster’s eyes are watching us as we deal with real life. We don’t get to hold it together long enough to get them out of the door, and then pull ourselves together before we re-engage. They are with us all the time.
Life is Hard!
Teaching kids how to deal with disappointment is helpful today, but more importantly they will be stronger more successful adults if we cope well with disappointment in our lives. Much of the youth in our society are unable effectively deal with hard things that happen in every day life, let alone the crises that inevitably surface. We must model this skill well for our homeschooled kids, so that they are equipped to cope with real life as they grow into adulthood.
This is real education.
Winners and Losers
Dealing with disappointment separates the winners and the losers in the game of life. Winners move on from or fight through disappointment. They rally and make the best of things, and learn applicable lessons from the experience, in contrast losers take everything personally, accept defeat, suffer from low self-confidence, and often have a victim complex. It is imperative that we are teaching kids how to deal with disappointment in our homeschools!
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
So what do we do when bad things happen? How do we deal with ongoing issues in life? How we respond tells our kids what we believe. This is where our theology really is taught. Are we able to take a deep breath and turn to God in the hard moments, or do we freak out? When a problem resurfaces, do let it beat us, or do we stop, pray, and turn to God’s word to lead us?
Who do we turn to first when we are struggling-a friend, facebook, food, or God?
Actions Speak Louder than Words
How we act in the hard moments prove what we believe about God. We can spend hours, months, and years reading our kids Bible stories and helping them memorize verses, but the biggest lessons we teach are in our actions and our responses when it is hard. Being honest by sharing what is going on, and what we are doing in response to it is how they learn to deal with real life.
Ground Yourself in Truth
Things are going to get dicey. When it does, fixating on Biblical truth and how we relate to God grows our faith and centers us on Him. Dealing with disappointments is a way to work out our salvation because it helps us establish who we are, who God is, what we believe, and how we relate to God. “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Phil 2:12
Things Work Together for Good
We know for a fact that as followers of Christ, no matter what happens, He can redeem it. He can bless us and draw us closer to Him through it all. He will give us peace when we invite him into our difficult moments. In a split second we can ask Him to join us in our hardship, and He will be there. This does not diminish the hardship. We don’t have to be paralyzed in fear, moreover we can be courageous in the power of the Holy Spirit. We acknowledge pain and ask him to get us through the next breath, minute, hour, day, week, month, or year. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
He Sees You
God is the same today as He was in the beginning, the same as He will be forevermore. I AM WHO I AM is watching you! He sees you. He goes before you and behind you, just as He did for the Israelites when He guided them out of slavery in Egypt. The very same God who parted The Red Sea to guarantee the Israelites’ freedom and safety is watching you. Remember who He is. Go back to the Old Testament and read about all the amazing things He did. Share these stories with your kids. Remember who I AM is! He is, always has been, and always will be, now and forever more the same, and you can count on Him to be there for you.
Pain is Real
Christ has final victory-over everything. That means that as a Christ follower, you do too. Some pain in life will never go away in this lifetime. Abuse, betrayal, health issues, broken relationships, loss of a loved one, these are all very real, heart-wrenching things that can perpetually haunt you. These experiences often result in daily, devastating, disappointment. This pain can rob you of an abundant life.
Life Can be Abundant
The good news is in the midst of this pain you can live abundantly. Meditate on the victory that is yours in Christ when pain surfaces. Keep a Thankfulness Journal or an Answered Prayer Journal so you can go back and look at the good things in your life. Even though we have pain that is very real every day, we can look forward, knowing that one day, when He calls us home-in His own time, it will not hurt anymore-and that freedom will be forever!
Do What I Do
Talking to our kids about the things that we struggle with, reading our Bibles in front of them, praying with them about hardships, asking for their prayer support, and talking with them about what we are learning from God is how we are teaching kids how to deal with disappointment. They must know that hard things happen in life and have know how to cope.