With the ongoing pandemic, important events and cherished activities like sports, social gatherings, and clubs, continue to get canceled. Feelings of disappointment are likely to settle in at various levels throughout this year. Here are some helpful strategies that you can utilize to help your kids manage their feelings of disappointment.
1. Listen and Validate: Take time to hear what is disappointing and validate that those feelings are real. This also means avoid judging their reactions and emphasizing your support for them with how they are feeling.
2. Provide Perspective: without giving false reassurances, provide perspectives that are realistic and possible for the near future. For example: A canceled sleepover with a friend could be followed up with a reminder that they are a phone call away and encouraging an alternative way to see them.
3. Seek Solutions: You cannot change the outcome of big events being cancelled, but you can offer up alternatives to those events happening in person. Offer up solutions for virtual gatherings or events, video chats or phone call conversations to occur so that those special events can still be recognized and honored. You can recommend that your child talk with their friends about their disappointment which simultaneously strengthens an existing friend.
4. Give Them a Sense of Control: Ask them how they want to spend their evening or what projects they might like to dig into for their day. Having their buy-in when it comes to daily tasks and schedules can make parents’ lives easier, too.
5. Have Faith in Them: Remind them that they can get through this and reiterate to them that you believe they can persevere through this season of life.