February 09, 2023

Dealing with Disappointment

Dealing with Disappointment - Dealing with Disappointment
Dealing with Disappointment

Whether it’s a dropped ice cream cone, missing out on a desired part in a play, or conceding a goal in soccer, life is full of disappointments of varying sizes. As parents, our gut instinct is usually to sweep away that negative feeling of disappointment because it’s hard to see our children upset or down. With a 6- and a 4-year-old in school, this is often my own personal reaction too. This, however, will always be a temporary solution, which is why adults should try and do things to equip children to deal with the natural emotion of disappointment.


As teachers, we hear all the time from our colleagues in tertiary education that those skills of being an adaptable problem-solver who has the coping mechanisms to deal with the feeling of things not always working out is more useful than a student who can ace a test. In our school, we work closely with the children to celebrate mistakes as part of our learning. Seeing mistakes and errors as part of the learning journey and discussing how we can approach the emotions that come with those mistakes, better equips children to deal with the feeling of disappointment.Dealing with Disappointment - Dealing with DisappointmentWhen disappointment does occur, teachers will always start with an empathetic approach, listening first to understand how a child is feeling. We try our best to guide, rather than fix, as this will focus on the learning journey of thinking about what can be done differently next time to achieve a more desirable outcome. What we find at BISC-LP, is that we have very curious and able children who also sometimes need to manage their expectations of what is achievable. We want the goals they set themselves to be high, but we also want them to be attainable. A by-product of this is that it helps children to recognize their own successes, something that is an important life skill.


Our main aim with all of this is to make sure children feel empowered - that they understand that disappointment is a natural emotion, but that our Goal Squad teaches us to be resilient, adaptable learners who can face challenges that we come across every day.

Disappointment will always come our way. This is life. Our challenge with children is to guide them through those disappointing moments and remind them that discouragement is always a choice.



Matt Gregory

Assistant Head, Community & Well-Being

For more parenting tips on how to help your children deal with disappointment: https://childmind.org/article/how-to-help-kids-deal-with-rejection/