Today was a good day. A special event went well. We had no mishaps, accidents, late arrivals, or grumpy children to dim the shine of our bright morning. Don’t you just love those days? Then, there are times when plans fall apart and we’re left picking up the pieces. Our new objective is comforting our children’s disappointed hopes.
Sad, frustrated, little faces are anxiously watching. What now? We had a plan. It somehow fell through, and here we are. I feel for them. Under my adult face, I feel like a deflated balloon myself. But this isn’t about me. I bow my head, ask for wisdom, and know I need to…
Be Understanding – This isn’t necessarily someone’s fault. Emergencies happen; life is often out of our control. Yet, disappoint still hurts. I do not want to dismiss my children’s feelings with a wave of my hand and a passive, “It’s life. Move on.” My children need to know I understand. I’ve been there. Probably be there again someday. This is an opportunity to connect with my child and I don’t want to pass this by.
Offer Comfort – Hugs, back rubs, hand-holding. Each of our children receive comfort by different means. Times of disappointment call for comfort. Now is the time to dole it out.
Present Redirection – The quickest way to put disappointment behind us, is to move forward. Let’s not dwell on the problem any longer than needed. What can we do instead? If we planned a venue, perhaps this is something we can do on our own. If an activity, maybe we can alter it to meet our family’s needs or exchange it for another. Let’s put our thinking caps on and do this thing!
As a side note: While it might be tempting to redirect our day by, say, doing school… I would be foolish to follow this course of action. If they were disappointed by missing out on an event, I can pretty much ensure tears if I substitute with book work. Just sayin’.
In truth, everyday is a good day. If only we have eyes to see it. May the Lord give us gentle hearts towards our children’s disappointed hopes and wisdom to redirect their eyes upon Him.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.”
~ II Corinthians 1:3-5
Your Turn!: How are you inspired to comfort your children in times of disappointment?