Four ways to explain disappointment to children

Children often struggle with big feelings when something happens to them that they don’t want, like or expect. As parents we need to help our children with their disappointment – explaining what it means and how it affects all of us.

1. Acknowledge it – be real, it exists

“Bella. you sound disappointed that your play date was cancelled today.”

2. Help them talk themselves through the strong emotion

“This is disappointing but it will be okay soon.” “Everyone gets disappointed at some stage.”

3. Share your successes and challenges as a family around the meal table

Talk about what was disappointing and how you managed.

4. Teach your children to acknowledge others’ successes

This helps them accommodate their own failure and teaches them to be happy for others and not sad for themselves.


About Author

Hannah Dickson

Hannah was the editor of Parenting magazine and from 2008 until 2015. She's a mother of two primary school-aged children and is passionate about baking, cupcakes and giving children a great start with a warm and creative family life.

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