As much as I wanted to be 100% hands on with the 2 kids, I have long accepted the fact that working full time would inadvertently mean, I cannot be there for them everyday. However, when my eldest, Cesca, started grade school this year, I made a concious decision to be as involved as I can with her school work.
That means going through her diary at the end of the day making sure that all assignments and projects were answered and done. I also made it a point to ask her how her day at school went.
And so I was thoroughly surprised when she told us one day that she tried out for a dancing contest at school that afternoon! She along with some classmates danced to the Nae Nae song in front of some teachers.
My first reaction was “My kid honestly cannot dance.” As her mom, I know this. I asked her how it went and without batting an eyelash, my 6 year old answered, “It was okay, Mom. It was fun, too bad I wasn’t chosen’.
My heart flipped 180 degrees.
I checked for her reaction and was relieved to see that she seemed unfazed about it. When I tucked her in, I asked her again, “Are you sure you’re okay that you weren’t chosen?” and she said, “Yes, Mom. I’ll join the singing contest tomorrow instead.” I asked her again, “What if you don’t get picked again?“. My darling daughter then replied, medyo annoyed “It’s okay. Mom. At least me and my friends are happy.”
Believe me, I didn’t mean to be such a nag but I guess it’s just mother’s instinct to shelter our kids from any kind of rejection specially at such an early age. When I was younger, I didn’t take rejection well myself so I was amazed at how my daughter dealt with hers.
I know for a fact that this will just be the first of the many disappointments and heartaches (!) that she will experience.
Below are some of the tips I gathered on how we can help our kids deal with rejection:
- Let her express her disappointment and listen but keep your emotion in check. Allowing your kid to voice out her disappointment fosters open communication between the two of you but there is also a fine line between mothering and smothering. Most of the time, jumping in to fix the situation wouldn’t really help. Let your kid process her emotion by herself by taking a back seat and watch her confidence grow.
- Efforts are what’s valuable, not the achievements. Who wouldn’t be proud if your kid came home from school with As and 100s? However stressing the value of these achievements sends the wrong signal to your child making them afraid of failing. Praising their determination and hard work makes it easier for them to bounce back and persevere in case they get a B next time.
- Be a good example. Let your kids know how you personally deal with rejection (hopefully with optimism) and they will likely emulate it themselves.
You see, something like this may seem like it’s not a big deal, but it was for me. The guilt of not being a stay-at-home mom never left me, so on these rare moments when I get to see this side of daughter’s character, I felt somehow relieved na maybe I’m doing something right. 🙂
Do you have any other tips you’d like to share? Feel free to comment below!