Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Teachable Moment:: How to Deal with Disappointment

I have found my newest role in motherhood is teaching Bella how to deal with disappointment.

There are going to be times in life when things don't go the way she wants them to.

Disappointment is a natural part of life. Even the Bible refers to it.

Proverbs 13:12

New Living Translation (NLT)
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.

I know that I don't always deal with disappointment appropriately...

And I know that she's watching me.

Yesterday we went to our church's playdate group. It was at a swimming pool...the sun was shining, the water felt great...
this is from our first Connection Church playdate

We played for an hour and a half.

Brennan had eaten all of our snacks and was tired...Breelee was tired...but Bella wasn't ready to go.

We were the first family to leave.

And that was devastating for Bella. Absolutely devastating.

She cried. A real, genuine cry.

I tried to empathize with her...I told her that I understood that she was disappointed. I understood that it was ok to cry.

But her loud ceaseless crying in the car was waking up her baby sister...and to have 2 crying girls in the car would have been too much for me in that moment.

We got home...ate lunch...and she mostly recovered.

Later, she apologized for crying about leaving the pool.

Her tender heart amazes me.

I told her that I appreciated it...I understood she was disappointed...but it was important for her to listen to me when I say it is time to go.

Honestly, I could have given in to her...I could have let her have her way and let her stay...I could have turned the stroller around and said, "Ok, Bella, since you are crying and so thoroughly disappointed, we will stay the extra 5 minutes until everyone else leaves."

But that wouldn't have taught her an accurate way to deal with disappointment. It would have just showed her that if she cries enough...if she shows enough disappointment...if she throws a fit...she can get her way.

But that's not how I want her to grow up. I want her to learn how to move on when it is time to...

I am the one who sets the boundaries...not her...It is my role as her mom.

Today, she has recovered. She's playing. She's learning. She's growing.

She is learning that it is ok to cry...but she's also learning that she cannot get her way all of the time. It is not fun...but she will be a better person because of it.


  1. I totally agree with this. In life we have to learn to move on from disappointments. You are teaching her a great lesson and because of this she will grow to be a loving, tender, yet resilient woman. I am glad to be learning this ahead of time.

    1. thanks Charity!! I appreciate the encouragement! It is hard for me to deal with disappointment...and it is hard to watch my child go through it...but I know it is a lesson that must be learned!!