Young girl crying being comforted by older sister

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, with teachers, or maybe at home. Whatever those experiences may have been, they need to make sure it doesn’t shape their lives. After a bad experience, children need to continue to be as positive as they were before and they must continue to feel confident in themselves. They need to learn how to dust themselves down, not take it personally 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.  It doesn’t feel nice but make them aware that it’s only one person that has been mean. There are lots of other people who do not think that about them so get your child to think about all the wonderful qualities that other people see in them and what an amazing person/friend they are.
  • When they did really bad on a test, point out it was one test. One bad result does not mean they are stupid or not clever.  Look at all the other subjects they are excelling in and their past test results.
  • When they don’t get that part in the school play, remind your child that there will be other opportunities and maybe the teacher was looking for something particular in a child for that role. It may not be anything to do with them and how they auditioned.Having confidence and returning to feeling good about themselves will pull your child through to the other side of the bad experience. Staying in that mindset of ‘woe is me’ and dwelling on a situation will not. We all have bad experiences and surviving them makes us stronger, so help children to have a tough mindset.

    Negative thoughts can lead to negative actions, so it’s important we try to help our children to see those 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.


If your child is really struggling to cope with a bad experience and you need some extra help dealing with it, then learn more about life coaching for children.


Being Me and Loving It

Being Me And Loving It Cover Image - Naomi Richards - The Kids Coach

Does your child need some extra help and advice on:

  • self-esteem,
  • body confidence
  • resilience
  • friendship issues
  • social media understanding
  • peer pressure
  • puberty
  • body image

It’s a collection of 29 relatable stories that all have something to learn from and will help children aged 5-11 years old to navigate life with more confidence.  Read more about Being Me and Loving It