I recall when my daughter was 6, her classmate invited some of her friends for her party but didn’t invite my daughter. My daughter cried, tried to suck up to her, and even pleaded for a slot. The girl said “no”.
My dear daughter couldn’t understand why she was not invited. We all know no one likes being rejected. It is uncomfortable, painful, and can leave lasting emotional scars. Rejection is hard enough to deal with as an adult, talk more of children.
You see, in life we all face rejection at one point or the other and it is very important we teach our children how to handle rejection. So here’s how I handled this particular case:
- Listen without judging: I listened and showed empathy as she expressed how bad she felt. I told her I totally understood how painful it can be when you find out you aren’t somebody’s first choice.
- Your child must know their self-worth: I helped her to accept who she is. I told her she is special and has special qualities that make her unique. I made her understand that she cannot change herself for anyone.
- Not everyone will accept you and that’s okay: I spoke to her about needs. Everyone has needs and you cannot meet everyone’s need. I made her understand that in life, our choices are largely determined by our needs.
- Show Empathy: Things are not always they way they seem. If you look from another perspective, there may be a good reason why you didn’t get what you wanted. I told her not be vengeful because of rejection. She should show empathy and accept the fact that she is special no matter what.
- Rejection is not her fault: “Rejection” from someone says NOTHING about her as a person. The individual who rejects is responsible for the “rejecting” behavior, not our child.
Above all, as a parent, you need to fill your child’s life tank. Children should be taught to be grateful and cherish those who value them. And yes, show empathy to those who do not. When children accept themselves and others for who they are, dealing with rejection becomes a completely effortless task.