We all have bad (unhappy, awkward, sensitive, upsetting) experiences that we never want to revisit. With every bad experience we will learn something about ourselves or something about another person/organisation. We cannot protect ourselves from bad experiences but we can learn from them. They can be a valuable learning experience but we need to help children to see that.
Children may have had lots of bad experiences with their friendships, with their school work/tests, teachers or maybe at home. Whatever those experiences may have been, they need to make sure it doesn’t shape their lives. Children cannot be afraid to to be who they are and they must continue to feel confident in themselves. They need to learn how to dust themselves down and feel ready to face the world once again.
Helping Children to Deal with Bad Experiences
This can be tricky for some children so you may have to help them by talking through the ‘bad’ situation and putting it into context. Help them to look at the situation from another angle. For example;
- that person who was rude to them and called them names. Not everyone thinks that of them so get your child to think about why other people like them and what positive traits they feel about themselves.
- When they did really bad on a test, it does not mean they are stupid. Go through positive steps they can take to help them do better next time.
- When they did not get that part in the school play, remind them that there will be other opportunities. Maybe even better ones!
- Confidence and returning to feeling good about themselves will pull them through. Staying in that mindset of woe is me and dwelling on a situation will not.
Negative thoughts can lead to negative actions, so it’s important we try to help our children to see bad experiences as a learning curve. It may not feel fun at the time but everyone experiences bad things. It’s how we react to them that can make all the difference in how we feel.