Help Your Child Work Through Their Disappointment of NO Sports

By Janis Meredith | Posted 4/29/2020

Could disappointment in children really be healthy for them? As parents, you hate to see the disappointment your children are feeling now not being able to play the game they love. They may be sad or depressed and their pain is hard to watch. Your instinct is to do everything you can to relieve them of the disappointment, but that would be an unfortunate parenting error.

Disappointment never feels good, but it is not an emotion that should be avoided at any cost. It is actually a healthy and positive feeling that can be beneficial for a child’s emotional, intellectual and social development.

Here’s how you can help them work through their disappointment in this season:

Check your own attitude. Your attitude towards your child’s disappointments influences how they will respond to life's problems. If you show disappointment, you put on them the burden of dealing with their own disappointment as well as yours.

Let them express their disappointment. Trying to talk them out of it, minimizing it, or simply ignoring it is not going to help them work through it. No need to sugarcoat things either. It’s okay to admit with them, “this really sucks!”

Gather a village. Your child needs other people in their life besides Mom and Dad that they can turn to in hard times. Studies indicate that the most resilient kids have others to draw on for strength besides parents.

Support them without trying to reward them out of their disappointment. Trying to bribe them out of their sadness with a “consolation” prize is not facing the disappointment, it’s medicating it. It’s much better to acknowledge it with them, let them vent and then talk about their response and options to the situation.

If your child can acquire the tools to get over disappointment, they'll be able to use them throughout childhood and into adulthood. "When children learn at an early age that they have the tools to get over a disappointing situation, they'll be able to rely on that throughout childhood and even as adults," says Robert Brooks, PhD, coauthor of Raising Resilient Children. "If you bend over backwards to shield them from disappointment, you're keeping them from developing some important skills.”

Janis Meredith is a family life coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at


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