Recently, my daughter taught me that disappointing children is necessary sometimes. She’s a high school senior who has played soccer since she was seven years old. This fall was her final season and probably her last chance to play competitive soccer. Unfortunately, a week before her state tournament began, she suffered a concussion after a blow to the head during a drill at practice.Disappointing children is never easy, but sometimes it is necessary.
Throughout the following week, we monitored her recovery progress closely. As game day approached, her symptoms persisted. When it became apparent that she would not be ready to play, we had to break the news to her. Having to sit out may have been one of the most disappointing moments of her young life. She had to stand on the sidelines and watch her final season come to an end when her team went to overtime and was eventually eliminated after a penalty kick shootout. Disappointing children is never easy, but sometimes it is necessary. Here are 5 times to disappoint your kids.
1. When There’s a Health or Safety Issue
The health and wellbeing of our kids must always take priority. There is a line between being overprotective and making a safe decision. Whether by keeping our kids from participating when they have an injury, not allowing them to drive during hazardous weather conditions, or keeping them from wandering into the wrong part of town late at night, it’s important to put safety first.
2. When They Need to Follow Through on Commitments
A few weeks ago, my daughter was invited to a birthday party. All her close friends were planning to attend, but she had a cross-country meet. She asked if she could skip the meet to go to the party. She was disappointed when we told her no, but she understood that keeping her commitment was important.
If your kids are like ours, your calendar is probably filled with events, and your kids are being pulled in various directions. It’s important that we reinforce their need to follow through on commitments.
3. When They Want to Make Poor Financial Decisions
We all want to be able to provide for our kids, and we want to be able to have nice things. But we must also make sure we are setting a good example for them. When they ask us to spend money on them, it’s important that we talk to them about fiscal responsibility and how we can’t always buy what we want. This is often disappointing to them, but if we start these conversations when they are young, we can help them grow into adults who make good financial decisions.
4. When They Want to Give in to Urges
My youngest daughter is diabetic. We have to monitor her blood sugar closely and she needs insulin shots when her sugar is too high. Because of this, we have to be diligent about what she eats and when she eats it. She can’t just have a snack or piece of candy without consideration of her blood sugar level.
Her situation has forced us to be aware of urges to snack, but there are many other temptations that can affect our kids. We need to teach them the self-discipline necessary to resist urges because sometimes, we all have urges to do things that aren’t good for us.
5. When They Want Us to Bail Them Out
Not too long ago, my daughter got home late. She was about ready for bed when she remembered she had a test to take the next morning. She hadn’t prepared and was concerned that she would do poorly. She asked if she could stay home during the first two periods the next morning so she could take the test the following day. She hadn’t studied, and she wanted me to bail her out.
We will all have times when our kids come to us to bail them out. We need to be ready to help them deal appropriately with the situation without giving them an easy out.
Sound off: Are there any other times when disappointing children is necessary?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Can you think of a time when it was good to be disappointed?”