When your child gets disappointing news, you probably sense it immediately, right? (Your parent antennae are always up!) You know when they are sad or annoyed, or if they are discouraged by something. This can happen at dance when your child doesn’t make it onto a team after an audition, isn’t placed in the level they wanted, or is recommended for different classes than they expected. The emotions involved can be huge! We get it; we’ve been there too.
As a parent, your first instinct is probably to protect your child from those feelings. But when it comes to dance, we want to encourage you instead to help your dancer shift their mindset. In these instances, we want them to know the way they feel is valid, and that they can decide to view their disappointing news as a chance to grow and prove themselves. We want them to choose to see that they’ve been “lifted up” into opportunity and leadership, not “left behind” with the door closed.
This mindset shift isn’t easy. But it is freeing! It means our students feel more empowered to take on new challenges, set goals, shake off setbacks, and persevere forward because they no longer feel stuck. Making the shift requires a bit of guidance from you, plus some introspection from them. For example, a good mindset exercise for your child to try is to ask themselves these questions:
The answers they give are the first building blocks of viewing disappointment through the lens of opportunity. Acting on those answers then nudges them into leadership at the studio.By channeling their emotions into positive behaviors (and habits), our students are understanding how to lift themselves up—and influencing their peers in the process.
Resilience is a muscle that can only be developed through these times when our kids are sifting through the emotions of disappointment and discovering the power they have to turn it around. Learning how to bounce back with grace is a skill, and just like in dance, skills require practice over time.
If your child is only ever the recipient of good news and success, they will never have the chance to put the tools of resilience to work. Going through disappointments is tough, but it’s also good practice for anytime life doesn’t go according to plan. By choosing to change their mindset from “left behind” to “lifted up,” your dancer is choosing to open the door to a new perspective—one that can positively affect them in every way!