Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dealing with disappointment

"He could have stayed at the party. I'm sure they wouldn't mind."

Sam was invited to a schoolmate's birthday party on Sunday. At BUGS Gym. And of course Wil was disappointed that he had to stay home and miss the fun.

When we went to pick Sam up, another parent, seeing that Wil was upset, mentioned that other siblings had stayed at the party and Wil probably could have. While I appreciate that the hosts didn't mind siblings coming to the party, that isn't a lesson I want my boys to learn.

When Sam brought the invitation home, addressed to him, he said that someone else in the class had asked if their big brother could come so maybe we could ask if Wil could come to the party too. I explained that it is rude to invite your own guests to someone else's party. And then that was undermined by a well-meaning parent.

We reminded both boys that Wil went to some birthday parties last year while Sam had to stay home. And that they both have different friends and will do things with their friends. They have different interests. They won't always do everything together. And that's okay.

There aren't consolation prizes in life. Learning to deal with disappointment now is important. Now is when they will learn how to handle their emotions. Was Wil disappointed that he didn't get to play at BUGS Gym? Yes. Was he scarred for life by the experience? Nope. He has already moved on.

And next time one of them gets invited to a party and the other doesn't, we'll have this conversation again. Until they don't need the conversation because they know that they each get to do things the other doesn't.

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