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Positive Parenting

Protecting Children from Negative Experiences

By April 26, 2013 June 3rd, 2013 No Comments

Protecting Children squareOne of the major mistakes parents have been making for at least the last thirty years (and perhaps the past fifty) is protecting their children from negative experiences, such as disappointment. As a result we have had at least two generations of adults who are not well equipped to handle negative emotions.

Here are my suggestions for how to handle your children’s negative experiences.

1. Acknowledge and empathize with the child’s feelings of disappointment:

  • “I see that you are really disappointed because…..”
  • “I can understand why you are disappointed.”
  • “It hurts/feels bad/makes you miserable, etc.”

2. Normalize feelings of disappointment:

  • “Feeling disappointment is normal.”
  • “Feeling disappointment is a natural part of life.”
  • “It’s okay to feel disappointment.”
  • “It’s okay to feel bad.”
  • “I have felt disappointment lots of times.” (Perhaps give one, brief, resent example)

3. Explore why they are disappointed and what to do with their disappointment:

  • Often it is related to unmet expectations in others or self.
  • Journal about your feelings.
  • Talk to a friend.
  • Pray about it.
  • Learn from it.
  • Go play – ride a bike, throw a ball, run.
  • Draw/color/create a collage of your feelings or what happened.

 

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