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MANAGING DISAPPOINTMENT AND SUCCESS

We must teach our children to be resilient. We must teach them their self-worth and their value to themselves and society. Especially when they have experienced a disappointment or loss. Compounding that difficulty is the relative importance of the disappointment or loss to the child in question.

Being sad is a legitimate and important feeling. What one does with the sadness explains more about a person than his or her resilience. People often demonstrate their flexibility, creativity, problem-solving skills, management of emotions, when they are dealing with less than a desired outcome.

Children experience high levels of success in their academic, athletic and artistic endeavors. In addition, they have the normal social-emotional highs and lows that all people experience. Wee must support and teach our children productive ways to deal with real-life situations. We must teach them that all the successes one has are somewhat meaningless if the lessons are not springboards for the next phase in life. There are lessons to learn when we win and when we lose. Hopefully, our children are surrounded by adults and friends who will help them maintain a positive outlook and perspective so they can proceed to the next stage of life as emotionally and physically well-balanced people. It is sad to read about the very talented young people who are so burnt out by the time they reach college that they drop out before the end of the first semester. It is sad to read of talented young professionals who fail early in their careers because of addictions to drugs and alcohol that they have used as props to mask their pain. Being mindful of the social and emotional health of our children is important. Balance, perspective, a future focus, and a healthy interest in other people are important skills and habits of mind we much teach our children. The young people or mature adults who embrace these elements will be able to take care of themselves.

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