Life is a mixed bag of circumstances. It's hard to watch your child be disappointed and when Kid #3 was four-years old, I was ready to have my heart broken by her disappointment but instead I learned something valuable. When she was four, Kid #3 was “uninvited” to her best friend's birthday party because she had been exposed to the chicken pox. I was mad and upset. "Really!" I fumed to myself. "We don't even know if she has it and why not just expose everyone and get it over with while they are young?"
I told her that she wouldn't be going to the party because she had been in contact with someone who had chicken pox. By some wild stroke of luck that was all I said before I took a pause in my imminent rush to comfort her when I noticed that she wasn't upset. She heard the news, accepted it immediately and asked if she could watch a movie.
"What?" I thought. "Does this mean we teach our kids disappointment, too?" I guess in some circumstances it does. In other circumstances, physical or emotional pain is part of life. Again Kid #3 was lucky because I had learned with Kid #1 and Kid #2 that it is a great disservice to give them anything besides your attention and understanding to help them through unhappy experiences. I use to offer a stuffie or food to comfort them, yet gradually I saw that comfort from anything external was a bad idea in the long run. We all have to learn how to live with feelings, unpleasant as well as pleasant.Last modified on