Disappointments are real. They happen. With four kids, I know first hand that not everyone is going to get what they want. I have had kids make the teams they try so hard to get on. I have had kids not get on the team – and try again and fail.
What do you say when this happens? Do not say:
“It’s ok. You’ll get them next time.” This does not help. This will frustrate your child and you can not determine if they will make it the next time. Right now, it is not ok.
“You tried hard – that’s all you can do.” This is true – but not the time for this. They are not happy. Depending on your child – they either want to talk or they want to hide. Let them do whatever makes them feel the best.
“Well, maybe you could practice more.” They know this. They know inside what they need to do or they think life is not fair. This is not helpful
Be quiet. Offer a hug. Say you are sorry for the situation. Let them be.
After a day of two, if your child is still super sad – ask them to approach the coach or teacher and ask what they can improve if they want to try again. This will give your child some insight and the personal involvement to find out what will need to be done. If that is not an option – as a parent, email the coach and ask the same thing. It will only help. You might not even want to share the answer with your child.
Disappointments are major growth enhancements for your child. One of my child didn’t make a relay her freshman year. She tried harder and harder because she hated the feeling she had from it. My son didn’t make the baseball team two years in a row – and finally realized maybe baseball wasn’t the best sport for him. However, he found another sport and different activities that will work better for him.
Make sure as a parent – you focus on your child and their best interests. Life is about trying and trying again. Remember, failure can be a success if we can learn from it.