Being disappointed in your child

As I have written about many times previously, disappointment is a result of unmet expectations, realistic or unrealistic.

Parent’s that are disappointed had envisioned their children to be or act in certain ways. A parent may have expected the child to share the same interest in sports, cars, fashion or perhaps have a certain intelligence, health, belief, temperament or sexuality.

The struggle of disappointment is real and often evokes feelings of shame and guilt.

But it is never ok to tell your child you are disappointed in them.

My tips are always the same as for being disappointed in the child’s gender.

  1. No person is perfect. When we allow the ideals of perfectionism to taint our parenting, it allows room for a spiral of negativity, such as comparisons and guilt. It is not fair to compare an individual with another individual. They are not the same! If this path is taken it can emotionally drain us and impact all family members’ health and happiness by applying unfair pressures that nobody can live up to. Instead, we should assess our expectations, and let those go if they no longer align with the person our children are becoming. Our children are talented, with choices, and decisions, likes, fears and worries and we should allow ourselves to become more open and accepting of their personalities in order to learn and change our own perspectives.
  2. Even in the most challenging conversations, like your child pushing boundaries or not cooperating with a request, they have a viewpoint. Respect that. Their view could be driven from a place of emotion that they are struggling to regulate or understand, or it could be stemming from another source or perspective you had not yet considered. Remain open in conversations, listen to them, and connect from a place of compassion. If we as parents take control of our emotional regulation, it teaches our children to be open-minded, calm, and present making us both more wholesome people in the process.
  3. I mentioned connection, and it is so important. Connecting with our children is imperative to establishing a healthy, cooperative relationship. Connecting with your child can quell any negative feelings of expectation or disappointment when you bask in the person that you have created! The principles of respectful parenting encourage us to let go of standards and expectations, and instead accept and honor our children the way they are. When loving them unconditionally indifferent to their wants, needs, fears, desires, and talents, we can create an authentic and loving relationship where both of you feel loved and valued.
  4. Be mindful and self-aware enough to go inside yourself. Think about what is challenging or triggering you. Assess these emotions, and allow yourself to acknowledge them with no prejudice or judgement. Then, react differently. Through our children, we receive the gifts of authenticity, self-awareness, and self-expression and we can better ourselves as parents and people by respecting and understanding our children enough to be encouraged to learn from them and their perspectives.

Letting go of expectation is the most harmonious way to reconcile your family and bring happiness back to the family unit. For a 30 day plan of how to do this, download my free, how to be a happy Mom eBook.