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How do you help your kid deal with rejection?

typiCAmomtypiCAmom Registered User Posts: 425 Member
edited December 3 in Parents Forum
Any tips from parents whose kids were rejected from their dream school/job/summer program? What did you do to make them feel better? D brushed it off as if it’s nothing, but I know she is just trying to hide how much she hurts. Thank you all in advance!
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Replies to: How do you help your kid deal with rejection?

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,363 Senior Member
    I am an alumni interview so DD grew up hearing about all the amazing applicants that were rejected every year. We did a lot of prep leading up to rejection season reinforcing that it is never personal, nor a reflection of worth, nor of future potential. My daughter's first disappointment came right before xmas last year. She was more angry than hurt and it helped that friends were experiencing the same thing so she didn't feel alone.

    Try to get your own emotions and check too (I know, easier said than done), but try to focus what is still on the table. Kids will bloom where they are planted!
  • typiCAmomtypiCAmom Registered User Posts: 425 Member
    @momofsenior1, thanks. Unfortunately, she has no close friends that are going through this (she’s a junior and none of her friends applied to competitive summer programs, or at least haven’t shared whether they applied.

    She also has a tendency to hide her pain and pretend that everything is fine, and it may come out only months later (if at all), how much she was actually hurting... :(
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,363 Senior Member
    If she doesn't have a plan B and C for the summer, maybe it would good to start thinking and talking through that. Summer programs can be great but there are so many other ways to have meaningful summer experiences.

    I hate to say it but it's good practice for college admission season.

    Hugs to you both! It sucks seeing your kids hurting but these bumps in the road help them to develop a bit more grit and resiliency.
  • sdl0625sdl0625 Registered User Posts: 548 Member
    For my D when she lost one big opportunity, she was sad and upset initially, but by losing that opportunity, another one opened up for her, that ended up being better. So the message is , you did not get X, but I bet you can find Y which will end up being better than X for you, even if not in the short time, but in the long run.
  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 Registered User Posts: 809 Member
    Failure is a part of life. I have always taught my kids to try something. If you get it, great if not, either reassess or try again. Sports is an excellent way to learn how to lose. So important these days. Also, if these lessons aren't taught at a young age, it becomes really tough to learn the lesson of failure later.
  • chercheurchercheur Registered User Posts: 1,141 Senior Member
    What did you do to make them feel better?

    You really can't make them feel better, but you can be open about it and acknowledge it stings. They need to feel it so they can move past it. It's a powerful thing to know you can pick yourself up and move on after being rejected. It makes you more resilient.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,002 Senior Member
    Well, when there's a chance of rejection, that's when you add in matches and safeties. On CC, we talk all thetime about getting that first rolling admit, knowing you have something else in hand. And not "dreaming." We had the talks with D1 before she applied, not after the disappointing news.

    If this is about sumer programs, same: have a Plan B she can be excited about.

    We teach resilience all along, not just after they stumble.
  • SouthernHopeSouthernHope Registered User Posts: 2,051 Senior Member
    @Riverboat, that's a heartbreaker. :(
  • typiCAmomtypiCAmom Registered User Posts: 425 Member
    Thanks everyone. I too agree it’s a good thing to learn that rejection is a part of life. I think what makes it harder is not knowing why she was rejected. When losing at swimming, she knew that other kids won because they probably practiced more, so it was a bit of a choice/control, i.e., if she really wanted to win, she could have practiced more, made more sacrifices, etc. With this summer program, she has no idea why she wasn’t chosen. Last year when she has applied and was rejected as well, there was some other explanation - her essays were somewhat boring, she had no challenges to write about, etc. I felt she made the best use of her summer even without a summer program, doing a myriad of interesting things, so this year her essays were much better, funny, meaningful, etc. And still it dudn’t make a difference.

    I guess my question could be rephrased - how do you comfort a teenager who doesn’t want to be comforted and pretends things are fine, but I know inside she’s hurting and her self-esteem is plummeting. Even if she is accepted in another competitive summer program, she may still mourn this rejection because she feels it’s a referendum on her... :(
  • suzy100suzy100 Registered User Posts: 5,407 Senior Member
    edited December 3
    As much as we say that all of these rejections, in whatever form, are good for kids and teach resilience, it's still hard to watch them go through it. I think one thing I'd say to them is that they will look back on this years from now and this will just be a blip. In the meantime, though, you can suffer with them but you can't suffer for them. Hugs to all of the disappointed kids, and their parents who have to watch them go through it.
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