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Dealing with child’s disappointment

8 replies

Fearforfriend · 30/09/2022 16:08

Hi all, just hoping for a little advice.

DS 3 has just started pre school nursery & has just completed his first full week. (They staggered entry by age and he’s one of the youngest, turned 3 in May). He’s only done 2 mornings a week at his old nursery previously.

He seems to have settled ok & goes in with no fuss etc. They have no issues with him. The only problem has come today and relates to Dojo awards. They give little prizes weekly to kids that have over a certain number of points. DS didn’t get one and apparently had quite the meltdown. Crying and throwing items.

I know everyone says this but he genuinely hasn’t behaved that way at home. However, he is an only child, has cousins but they are quite a bit older, so probably not encountered this scenario before i.e. others rewarded where he’s not. He’s come home and is still heartbroken and I’m just not quite sure how to help him through while still addressing the behaviour.

Not to make excuses but he does seem really tired. I hate seeing him so sad but I also know building resilience for things like this is important. Any tips?

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Gr33ngr33ngr4ss · 30/09/2022 16:13

Gosh they're quite little for dojo points!

I think I'd wait til the high emotion passes a bit and talk to him. Explain the process. It might just look like everyone got a gift except him. I guess he needs to be prepared that it will happen every week until he leaves primary! and he'll get points for being well behaved I guess.

Can you find out what the points are awarded for on Monday and explain it to him?

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itsgettingweird · 30/09/2022 16:20

A good way is to ask him what he got points for.

What can he do to get more points.

Get him to see the positives in his behaviour and why it was noticed so he doesn't end up thinking there's no point if he doesn't win.

But don't worry too much. It's very developmentally normal. He wants to do well - and that's fab bless him.

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De88 · 30/09/2022 16:21

I'm afraid there's no other way to get through this for him other than getting through it.

You're totally right about children having to build resilience though and coping with disappointment and frustration is a skill for life that is good to start grappling with young! I guess lots of reassurance that he didn't do anything "wrong" and helping him see that lots of other children also did not get a material reward.

I always told mine, and your son probably already knows, that behaving in the right way is something people should generally just do, not because they think they'll be given a treat for it. I also told them that teachers do this for the whole class because there are some vhildren who dont know yet how theyre supposed to behave and it wouldnt be fair to single them out. I think for my kids, it was seeing normal behaviour rewarded with treats that was confusing.

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mikado1 · 30/09/2022 16:22

I'd be pretty annoyed about dojo points, eyeroll from me on those. Talk about killing intrinsic motivation early. So unnecessary and pitting children against each other at 3 years old. Depressing. Why can't they just praise them and guide them and build a relationship which encourages cooperation and kindness etc.? I mean honestly, to me it goes against early years/development best practice etc.

On the other note, your ds will have plenty of disappointment. A good rule is don't resist them and don't try to fix them. 'That is so disappointing. You were hoping you'd get some treats. It's OK to cry. (I won't let you throw etc.) Don't say 'You might get it another day, don't worry you had a lovely time' etc. Let him have his cry and move on. But complain vociferously about the dojos

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TooMuchToDoTooLittleInclination · 30/09/2022 16:25

It's Friday night, he's tired. You cuddle, you empathise, you get him in bed feeling loved.

over the weekend talk to him about how he got the ones he got. How they don't mean anything anyway. Good behaviour is what's expected because he's a good boy & doesn't need rewards for doing the right thing. With a side order of 'teachers' don't see everything all the time.

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Fearforfriend · 30/09/2022 17:06

Thanks all that’s quite reassuring. I have to admit it seems a bit young for dojo points to me as well.

Apparently today has not been a great day as I’ve also found out he pinched someone’s face as they had a toy he wanted. This is odd as he’s usually so shy that he just moves away from other children. So a few things to address.

He’s playing now but shattered so I think I’ll have a chat with him tomorrow.

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Gr33ngr33ngr4ss · 30/09/2022 17:07

One of my DSs feels perceived injustice quite deeply and always struggled with Dojo nonsense right up until the end of primary. He stopped being upset by it but it always rankled that they weren't particularly fair, especially if you were a compliant, attentive child that didn't get noticed either way. Or never got opportunity to earn them. Other DS never cared really. Goes over his head!

They are quite divisive and 3 is very young.

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Harebrain · 30/09/2022 17:43

Say “oh well, maybe next time” in a bright, cheery voice, then change the conversation/distract him and move on. Don’t dwell on it.

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