This is something that I have recently since becoming a mother have tried to really remember. Before kids I felt like I let disappointment really affect me but then I realized that after becoming a mother I didn’t really have the time to feel as disappointed. That is when I figured out that disappointment will only sting for as long as we give it the power to.
If we choose to only focus on the things that are not happening than we are taking away from all the good things by allowing ourselves to dwell on our disappointments. It is interesting to me that when you really break down disappointments that you see that all of our disappointments come from when things don’t meet our expectations.
So what if we changed our expectations just into possibilities. Not something that is set in stone. A possibility. Happy if it happens but not crushed it doesn’t, because we’re not expecting it.
When I thought about it this way it is really crazy how you really break down how many expectations that we really set. For ourselves, for others, for our futures…everything. I think this would be beneficial in our relationships with others because we often set unrealistic expectations for people that they aren’t even aware of which is just setting ourselves up for disappointment.
God is good and like the saying goes, His plan for us is far better than our expectations. So there is no use dwelling in our disappointments. Although that is harder done than said because it is in our human nature to feel disappointment. That is why it is important to commit that energy to God first and leave ourselves open to the plan he has for us so we do not leave room for disappointment.
Instead were leaving room for something better, something different. I wanted to discuss this because I want us to remember how hard disappointment can be for us as adults, because it is even harder on kids.
Children and toddlers haven’t even learned or have the capacity to fill themselves up with God to leave no room for disappointment or to even focus on the positive. That is a skill that is learned and even hard for adults to implement. Children only have the capacity to feel that disappointment to the fullest at that time. Even when it is something that seems so silly to us we have to remember that their world is so small right now, so it is huge to them.
Their world revolves around you and their family. We can’t diminish their feelings or compare their disappointments to ours. It is theirs and is just as important as ours.
We need to acknowledge them and help them navigate through those emotions. This is new and is always going to be hard. They will grow and their disappointments will only grow with them. It is our job to show them how to identify it, talk about it and navigate it. We can offer them support, options to move forward, distractions or to just be there while they feel it. We need to respect their worlds and feelings.
How we react to their disappointments and to our own will model the behavior you want them to build to be able to navigate disappointments on their own as they grow.
Disappointment never gets easier it just changes form and we learn how to lean into God for support. Once it was your mother telling you no lollipop and then it is someone telling you didn’t get your “dream” job. Both are disappointing just to different people at different points in life.
I hope this helps you reflect on how you face disappointments in your life and your expectations for people/things in your life. While your reflecting on your own, I also hope it changes your perspective on how you react to your child’s disappointment from here on out.