Quick Tip

Is it Good for Kids to Deal with Rejection?

As with so many things in parenting, the answer to this question is, “it depends.” For some kids, when everything comes easily to them, a little rejection teaches them persistence, resilience, fortitude. It teaches them to navigate life’s disappointments. It grounds them a bit, connects them to others, and teaches them to learn from their failures. Sometimes, it even helps them come to terms with the reality that life isn’t always fair.

But for kids with complex issues, particularly children who struggle with some of the “basics” in life that other kids seem to learn more readily — too much rejection can be damaging.

Children with ADHD and Learning Disabilities, for example, experience more than their fair share of failures. They tend to make more mistakes than their peers – whether it’s “careless errors” at school or spilling things at the dinner table. They are constantly being re-directed at best, or reprimanded, chastised or punished. They get plenty of opportunity to learn from rejection and mistakes.

So, to be honest, they don’t need to experience “unfair” circumstances in order to learn that life isn’t fair. They get that every day.

Sometimes it may feel like you’re bending over backward so that your complex child doesn’t feel “bad” for not having something go her way. But as parents, when your kids are rejected by their peers, or feeling particularly downcast about what’s happening at school, sometimes you need to step in to level the playing field.

Trust your instincts when you feel compelled to take some action, whether it’s calling another parent or teacher, or taking your daughter for a night out at the movies when she doesn’t get invited to a sleep-over. Frankly, that seems fair to me!


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