Sadness and Disappointment

Yesterday was “Students as Teachers Day.” My eight-year-old won the raffle and got to be Mrs. P for half the day. Well, she had high expectations, and sadly, those expectations were not met. She came home from school and buried her head in my lap. She didn’t get to actually “teach” anything. She just walked around and monitored the kids. When she told the kids to stay in line, they got mad at her, and she had to each lunch by herself (without Mrs. P) because her lunch was at a different time than the kindergartners. She was very, very sad.

PROBLEM: My eight-year-old was feeling sad over unmet expectations.

I talked with her about it, letting her talk about all the details of how it went, of all her disappointments. And then I asked her the question, “Sweetheart, what do you need to let go of?” She responded immediately. I think she knew the question was coming. “More time with Mrs. P.”

This little girl is my relationships girl. She lives off of one-on-one relationships with people. And often, with adults too. I think she felt a special bond with Mrs. P last year in first grade (she now teaches K), and was hoping to feel that same way while she was the teacher in the classroom.

“Are you ready to let go of that?” I asked her. “Not the relationship. Just the wanting of more time? It’s okay if you’re not. Sometimes we need a little time before we can let go.”

She shook her head. “I want to hold on a little longer.”

“Okay,” I said. “When you feel ready, just pack it up and put it in a balloon and send it to Jesus.”

“Okay,” she said.

SOLUTION: Help her recognize what she needed to let go of and teach her how.

I wanted to revisit with her about it last night as I tucked her in, but hubby put her to bed, so I didn’t. But this morning, I checked in with her. “How do you feel about yesterday?”

“I feel better about it now,” she said.

I could tell she did, in fact, feel much better.

Sometimes, just talking about letting go of what we need to let go of can help us feel better. Other times, we have to visualize it, and even sometimes, we have to consciously let it go. What has worked for you?

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