Dealing with Disappointment

Dealing with disappointment… There are so many areas in life that can leave us feeling disappointed. I wanted to do a blog on this today for any of your teens that exam results are not quite what they expected them to be! I will of course blog in a more general format as to help everyone with supporting and educating your teenagers with learning how to manage disappointment, because lets face it it can most certainly be a tough one!!!

I’m sure at some point in your life you have experienced the many guises of disappointment in items, experiences, friends, family and ourselves.

So how do we best go about helping your teen with these?

Disappointment boils down to having thoughts and expectations that are far greater than what is true to how things really are, even if we think we are right!? It’s the thinking we are right that also leads to even deeper disappointment! Some disappointments are inevitable and some we can help them and ourselves avoid.

So lets look at ways we can educate your teenager with managing disappointment. Before we do, I want to add, if your teenager has found that their grades aren’t what they hoped for and they haven’t made the university or course they wanted, remember all is not lost!! There are so many alternative routes to explore and lives and career paths are one big adventure, lets help them and crack on…

Changing our thoughts

We are all in control of what we think, even those little conversations that play in the background while we over analyse things sometimes! Helping teens to understand this can sometimes be difficult but helping them to realise it all comes down to choice is a powerful thing!

So what if it’s a person that is always leaving them disappointed because they can’t give them what they want? Well it’s about talking to them. Having conversations about how they feel and not dwelling on these disappointments.  It really isn’t healthy and it’s about helping them come to terms with accepting the person for who they are. Actually it is their choice as to whether it is in their best interest to spend time with this person or people. This is also the secret in helping them to find positive and negative relationships, and as much as we try to help by chatting to them, it’s not until they experience things that we can maximise learning. It’s a tough one but these are all very powerful life lessons and skills and are vital to building self-esteem and confidence!

Help them to regain control of their thoughts and plan for their next steps in moving forward. It’s about finding that ‘silver lining’, drawing a line underneath it and taking your best foot forward! I could go on but I’m sure you get what I mean  ;-)

Change expectations

I’m now thinking expectations should be number 1, at the top of the list given it is probably the biggest player in leading to disappointment! This comes down to communication, how we communicate with ourselves and each other.

For example…. If everyone has told you you are in the running for 3 A* grades and you’ve worked extremely hard then you’ll EXPECT the grades, but what if you haven’t identified or acknowledged that you’re not so good in an exam environment. What if others expectations have really left you buckled under pressure and you haven’t been able to COMMUNICATE this. Then it all leads to varying forms of disappointment.

This is why communication is key, it’s being aware of the expectations we communicate for ourselves and others. It’s helping teenagers and ourselves to understand that we are all human and that actually everything and everyone needs to time to change or move on in some cases.  I just want to add… Life can be hugely difficult at times and we can often get things thrown at us all at once! Sometimes the more we force things to change and the more determined we get in doing so, the more we can get disappointed because things are not moving fast enough. It can then become harder to communicate effectively, objectively and healthily. Sometimes the feelings of disappointment are the greatest opportunities to STOP and REFLECT on how you are communicating!

They’re the opportunities to help teenagers look at what they are doing and where they are going, they are times to really stop and listen to how you are feeling and how you are communicating. Help them listen to their own emotions and bodies; are they sad, stressed, do they want to cry or are they anxious? Decisions and communications aren’t best shared when feeling disappointed. Their best decisions are made when they’ve worked them through and in a better frame of mind to make healthier, happier and positive ones and making choices for the better.

So lets finish this blog with positive thoughts. Helping your teen to understand that life can be tough but the best thing about each and everyone of those tough things is that we all have a choice in how we manage our challenges, even the inevitable ones!!!

So how are you going to help understand you better, understand yourself better and help them understand themselves better through listening, feeling and communicating?

Yours truly

Sonia Hurren

Parent & Teenager Coaching Specialist


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