How to help your child face rejection

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One of the modern problems about children as well as parenting is the ‘inability to face rejection’. Children feel dejected if they are not chosen for a play or they do not get a lead role or are unable to get the coveted position for team sports. One must remember that an opportunity that is missed is always a platform for something new and big in life. It is so important to tell the children that they did their best and they have worked really hard. A parent’s anguish on the child not able to perform agitates the child mentally. This makes the child over perform the things that they are already good at. They keep repeating the same medals and awards and parents also stop praising them as they are sure that the child will beget the award. This is the delicate stage where trauma sets in for the child and parent. Kids feel they are not appreciated and parents feel that the child is performing monotonously in one area.

What is the remedy? Firstly, it is important to have realistic goals for your child. Each child has a different set of talent. So let them just be. If academics are not their cup of tea, let them stay exemplary in art, performance or also theatre. Slowly, they will muster their confidence. A parent must always encourage the child to explore. Most kids at every age imitate their parents i.e. their role models. Parents can also set an example from moving out of their comfort zone and exploring something new. When the child sees the parent trying, failing and staying there to perform, they too will emulate. Thus the special parenting mantra here is to ALLOW them to FAIL.

Acceptance is a very big word for all of us at any age. This relates to accepting our talents, skills, shortcomings and also success and failure. After all, a full life is all about a good mix of various things that make us successful and sometimes not so successful. Fear of performance is the biggest problem children face and they begin to avoid a particular sport, regime or even an outing. Thus ‘withdrawal from feats’ is the most unnoticed symptom of low self-esteem in children. Though parents innocently label them as ‘lazy, not motivated or a loner’, the truth is that they cannot handle the pressure and are not able to perform due to fear of failure.

Zoha’s parents Atiya and Ismail Rawat say, ” We have always encouraged our daughter Zoha to explore her interest , be it singing ,dancing ,drawing etc..and every time she participates for any competition she knows that it’s important she enjoy and have fun,Winning or coming first is secondary. We always tell her that it’s pointless to come first if you didn’t enjoy doing it. Every time  she participates for any competition she gets treat of her choice irrespective of the result .We want her to grow up knowing that life is not about just  winning but celebrating,experiencing,exploring and making memories. I believe that a scoop of ice cream always makes a child happy than any medals or certificates will.”

TALK, TALK and just TALK to your child. Let them know that failure means there is another big chance to improve. Build a bond so strong with your child,  that they become a confident personality amidst the challenges in life and also proactive individuals in a community. If you are looking for a counselling psychologist near you do write to

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