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How do you help your kid deal with rejection?


Replies to: How do you help your kid deal with rejection?

  • typiCAmomtypiCAmom Registered User Posts: 425 Member
    @riverboat, yes, we are in exactly the same shoes. D found out only after school, but I was checking her portal earlier in the day, and when I saw no medical form appear by 2 PST, I knew that’s most likely a rejection. A part of me wishes D was crying her heart out right now, but she went straight to her planned volunteer gig and
    I can just picture her smiling wide and pretending to be fine.

    I tried to de-dream the program weeks before, mentioning how she would most likely travel to that country during study abroad in college, and other study abroad programs like Bronfman may in fact be more interesting and provide unique, better experiences, etc. She said, “mom, let’s not talk about it, ok, you’ll just jinx it”. And when I tried to say something along the same lines now, she just gently brushed it off again, “mom, it’s not a big deal.” But I know it is a huge deal to her, and I just wish she found a way to express her disappointment, or anger, or whatever she might be feeling now.

    Thanks everyone!
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 1,647 Senior Member
    edited December 3
    For my violinist son who's had numerous violin concerto competitions since his first-ever competition at age 10, including auditioned and highly competitive and coveted summer programs, there was one YouTube video that served us well. Even if your kids are not musicians, one can relate to this and learn so much from it. It's about John Nakamatsu, the pianist who eventually won the 1997 Gold Medal Cliburn Competition. Listen to it if you're interested in why I say he won this competition "eventually." It's a lesson that can touch all areas of life that one can relate to. Enjoy "the Loser's Club":

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 72,402 Senior Member
    Our kids each were rejected from one college. Both did the same as your daughter did...they just brushed it off, and moved on.

    We really didn’t say much of anything.

    Both landed at terrific undergrad schools.
  • JBSeattleJBSeattle Registered User Posts: 502 Member
    I like what you wrote @tigerdad
  • SJ2727SJ2727 Registered User Posts: 353 Member
    Yep. D19 has generally sailed pretty easily through life and school and not been rejected for much of consequence (her only real disappointment has been minor rather than major parts in school drama productions), and there will be rejections coming this season, so it is something we will have to navigate. She did come home from school today where they had had an inspiring discussion in one class about college being the beginning, not the end - with many high schoolers seemingly so focused on getting into "the" dream school, that they forget it's only the first step on a long journey. It did seem to give her some perspective - that there are a number of ways to take that first step - not sure if this perspective is of help to others. Other than hugs and hot chocolate and lots of reassurance, perspective is probably the best to offer?
  • AlwaysLearnAlwaysLearn Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    I try to set expectations ahead of time that one school, one summer program, etc. is not the end all and be all. It really isn't. There are so many great summer opportunities and schools. Am trying to discourage the idea of a dream school.

    With that said, yes, sometimes it's very disappointing. I feel for your kids because we've all been there. I remember the sting of not getting into my dream school. When stuff like that happens, I say it's fine and understandable to be sad and disappointed for a day or two. Then, it's important to regroup and move forward. There could be something better out there for them.

    And as I am reading this post am listening to the news talk about President George H.W. Bush:
    -Lost a U.S Senate Race
    -Elected to Congress
    -Tried to run for U.S. Senate again
    -Lost again
    -Named Director of CIA
    -Lost the presidential nomination to Reagan
    -Became U.S. Vice President
    -Tried to run again
    -Elected U.S. President
    -Lost a 2nd term to Clinton

    (I don't know if I got all of those details right, but you get the picture.)

    Then there's Michael Jordan not making the varsity basketball team his sophomore year of HS, and we all know what came of that.

    These are things we can share with our kids to teach that success favors those who don't give up. One rejection or loss doesn't define you. How you deal with it does.
  • Waiting2exhaleWaiting2exhale Registered User Posts: 2,657 Senior Member
    Hugs and healing to your daughter, @typiCAmom. So many kind words and thoughts here.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,041 Senior Member
    Wasn't Dr Suess rejected umpteen times? And JKRowling was.
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff Registered User Posts: 1,545 Senior Member
    We taught are kids how to handle rejection early on. It is definitely harder for some though. Son played sports and chess and as mentioned, you win /lose sometimes in the same day. My daughter was in theater. That is really rough. They actually taught them how to handle rejections and move on.

    But my son applied to a University of Michigan engineering camp like 3 years in a row and got rejected. He went to other camps but guess where he goes to school for engineering? Michigan.... Things always tend to work out in the end.

    Personally.... Ice cream tends to help me in these situations. :D (please no posts about binge eating while upset.. Lol)
  • AlwaysLearnAlwaysLearn Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    Yes @Knowsstuff, and even better when I'm eating it straight out of the carton.
  • CCtoAlaskaCCtoAlaska Registered User Posts: 320 Member
    I always tried to make things about the learning not the accolades and somehow that stuck. Is there another way to accomplish what the NSLI would have provided her? That's what I would be focusing on. If it was about the prestige and not the thing itself, I would point that out (gently).
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff Registered User Posts: 1,545 Senior Member
    @riverboat if this is similar have her check out....

    My daughter did this, this past summer. It is also through the state department. It is very competitive but a great experience. If you have any question let me know or pm me.
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 1,647 Senior Member
    @calmom - "I think its natural for parents to want to protect our kids and keep them happy, but sometimes we need to have faith in their ability to handle things on their own."

    Well said, and I cannot add anything more to this except to re-emphasize that kids are more resilient than we think. Have a faith in them and let them be. Fight off our natural tendency as parents to intervene. As an old saying goes, "don't push the river; it flows by itself." Life has a way of making things right in the end.
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