Don’t you just hate it when things don’t go as you planned? A lot of us do, but inevitably our lives, and our teens’ lives, and even our adult children’s lives are going to take a twist once in a while that no one counted on. These unexpected twists can lead to some major disappointment.
How do you react to and handle disappointment? How are you teaching your teens to react to situations that don’t always go their way? I’ll give you a hint. However you react is most likely how you are teaching them to do it.
Disappointment comes wrapped in all sorts of packages. From not making it onto a team after trying out, to not getting that good grade you expected on a test. Or in our family’s case recently, having your wedding venue snatched out from under you. Ouch! That one hurt!
At first, the natural, knee-jerk reaction for everyone, i.e. the bride, the groom, and associated family members, was anger, frustration, righteous indignation, and yes, disappointment.
But then we started to think more carefully about the whole thing.
After the initial shock wore off, I decided I needed to take my own advice that I frequently give on this blog, and look at things from a positive perspective instead of a negative one. In doing that, my mind began to think on a whole new track.
Instead of being angry, worried, and bitter, we all began to say, “Maybe this is for the best.”
I can’t tell you how freeing that mindset was.
Immediately, our energy was focused on solving our problem rather than trying to lash out and take revenge on the people who made the error. All of that would have been just wasted effort, and it would have gotten us nowhere closer to our end goal, which was having a nice, beautiful wedding.
When we spoke with each other about it, we used encouraging words, and we recited passages from the Bible that helped us to understand that God was mightily in charge of this whole thing, and He would guide us through everything we needed to do.
1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 says, “Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
That’s all circumstances, not just the good ones.
Also, Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.
So how can we get upset when something like this happens? He tells us clearly that He is in charge, and that we are to trust Him and give thanks for what happens.
What if the disappointment seems too difficult to overcome?
There are times when things happen that we just can’t seem to deal with in a positive way. But we are still bound to try. We still have to teach our children how to successfully deal with the disappointments that are going to come their way. It’s just a matter of time.
Teaching them to have positive attitudes about life in general is one of the best ways you can equip them to deal with life’s ups and downs. They will actually be happier people if they are moving on with their lives instead of stewing and being miserable about what might have been.
There are a ton of books written on the subject of how powerful positive thinking is. There is an audio on YouTube of Earl Nightingale talking about life’s strangest secret. (Spoiler alert) That secret is that we become what we think about.
So if we think bad, negative thoughts, then we become unhappy, negative people. But if we think good, positive thoughts, then we will be happier, more successful people.
This principle certainly applies to dealing with the things that disappointment us.
In the end, I was gratified to hear my son and his fiancé adopt the mindset of viewing this whole unfortunate event as a bump in the road, a bug on the windshield, if you will. We have changed our plans drastically, and are planning a beautiful wedding here now. Everything is falling into place in an amazing way. It’s really not surprising if we take God seriously for what He said.
Have you had to deal with disappointment with your teens, adult children, or anyone else in your family? If so, I would love to know how you overcame it, or if you are still overcoming it. Scroll down and leave a comment in the section below. As always,