In middle school, the risks kids must take increase. There are more students trying out for spots on sports teams, performance groups and special activities. So more children get passed up. They don’t “make the cut.”

Kids can’t help but get the message that they’re “not good enough.”

To help your child take disappointments in stride:

  • Talk openly about feelings of loss. Say it’s normal to feel sadness and anger when rejected. Discuss healthy ways of working through these feelings.
  • Put defeat in perspective. It’s not unique to middle school. As long as people desire progress throughout their lives, they open themselves up to rejection.
  • Encourage your child to put her eggs in more than one basket. If her first activity of choice doesn’t work out, her second or third might.
  • Suggest an alternate plan. If your child can’t have one role related to an activity, consider other possibilities. If not a role in the play, for example, perhaps she could help out with set designing.
  • Boost your child’s self-esteem. Praise her strengths. Encourage involvement in other activities she does well.

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