Dealing with disappointment | News, Sports, Jobs
Recently, the child of a friend of mine was upset about the cancellation of an event. My friend told me that she (the parent) was more emotional about the situation than her child. Her child began to focus on the next thing, while the parent lingered on the loss. My friend was concerned that her daughter was not showing the appropriate level of emotion. (Whatever you think of that, you’d be wrong. It wasn’t a local event.) I asked her what was missing and why she didn’t take her child’s reaction enough into account. Is there a correct way to grieve?
I listened to it and heard it. She felt that the disappointment was so common that her child lost faith in everything. It was a basic conversation because my friend needed space to express his frustration. She needed to find the zone to separate her own emotions from those of her child.
I asked her if she ever confronted her child about what was going on or if she was covering it up? I was guilty of explaining to my children how they “must” feel with well-meaning words like “you must be disappointed” Where “I know you have to be” rather than letting them explain themselves.
During our interview, I was reminded that disappointment does not belong exclusively to young people. It concerns us all. How we deal with our grief can help us teach our children to understand their grief. I always struggle with the many ways in which I have no control over situations. Sharing my experiences with my children made them realize that they don’t always have to let go. I didn’t load them with my luggage, but I claimed my feelings. I think it helped them understand that they were not alone.
My girlfriend likened our conversation to an airline oxygen safety exercise. When the oxygen line descends on an overhead line, the instructions are to have the parents put on the equipment first, then help the child.
The reason is obvious. If parents are low on oxygen, they can’t help anyone else. It is the same with emotions. Taking the time to process her feelings gave her a clear mind to focus on her child. We need to give ourselves time to process so that we can help the other people in our life. Sometimes just talking with a friend is not enough. If you or your child is in pain, please contact school guidance counselors or health professionals to make sure you are all safe.