How do you feel about disappointment? Disappointment can cause a lot of hurt and put strain on your relationships. Especially from the perspective of a parent, it is inevitable at some point your kids will let you down. Whether it’s a failing grade, an irresponsible decision or any number of things. How do you respond to disappointment?
Last year a U.K. man wrote a scathing letter to his three adult children, calling them underachieving disappointments who had failed both at life and in their marriages. The letter went viral overseas and in the States and caused quite the controversy. There is also a viral YouTube video of one father shooting his daughter’s laptop because of a disrespectful Facebook status she posted.
If one of these parents were your father, would you see the love in a public act that may humilitate you? Do you think these types of displays are effective to change a child’s actions? If they are, what do you think it does to the relationship between those parents and their children?
I’ve seen a lot of tough situations with parents and kids. Situations like an adult child calling, terrified of their spouse and telling you terrible things about them. As a parent, you want their safety and happiness. So when they come back and say, “Well, you never supported my relationship with so-and-so” it leaves you up the creek! Of course you’re frustrated and upset.
But truth is, you and I live in a world that has made it so easy to publicly degrade people. You can say whatever harmful, mean, vile or blunt thing you want and then hide behind the fact you were just “getting out your frustrations.” I can tell you right now… that is not a healthy boundary. In fact, it is blowing the gates off any and all boundaries!
And the worst part is, it doesn’t fix ANYTHING. Those types of words, that type of frustration-relief is not going to solve a problem. It will make it worse.
I want to tell you something real quick. Because you have to understand your actions are never the fault of another person. You don’t control other people (no matter how hard you try), but you have full control over yourself and your responses. And your response is in no way the fault of anyone else. Your only responsibility is YOUR response, YOUR actions.
You have to have a strategy to cope when disappointment hits. You need a better way to handle your stress, how you express yourself and your responses. Here are a few things to keep in mind that serve as a better response-strategy when hurt happens:
- Ask what your endgame is. If your endgame is to have a great relationship, verbally degrading them is never going to help you reach your endgame. It will only hurt it.
- The two biggest things you may need to ask yourself before you do anything is: A. Is this going to fix a problem? and B. Is this crossing a boundary?
- If you decide to confront or express yourself to the other person, start with encouragement. Tell them what you like about them. It sets a tone of encouragement instead of criticism.
- Tell them what is bothering you. And ask what you can do to help make the situation better.
- End with encouragement.
Healthy relationships have healthy boundaries, respected by all parties involved. If you want to avoid hurt and frustration, you might need to find where the source of those injuries lies!
I hope this message encouraged you as a parent and helped you set up a strategy for dealing with tough relationship issues. Trust me, I know they didn’t teach these kinds of skill sets in school. Let me know your thoughts below in the comments and be sure to Like and Share today’s message with your friends and family. These skills are truly important!
Let’s start the week out right this afternoon at 12 pm ET/11 am CT on The Dani Johnson Show. You can find the show throughout the day on either your TV or radio and please remember you can always stream today’s show right on our website.
In great faith,
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