A few years ago, Jamiel was eager to join the workforce. He was of age, received his work permit, and applied for jobs that were appropriate for his age. He was super excited for an opportunity to work with the kids at the summer camp he’d previously attended. He’d experienced other kids coming back as camp counselors, and he was ready for his shot. Jamiel filled out the application and was called immediately for an interview. I was probably more excited than him. We practiced interviewing at home. He picked out a nice outfit that let them know he was about his business. The interview day came, and he NAILED IT! The interviewer actually called me into the room to tell me how amazing Jamiel was and that he was sure he would get the position. We left feeling excited about Jamiel’s opportunity.
Fast-forward to 3 weeks later. We had not heard from anyone, but they had told us it would be a few weeks because of the number of applications they’d received. That Friday, I told Jamiel he should follow up with them to see where they were hiring. Jamiel called and was informed that although he was a fantastic candidate, they decided to go differently. They told him he should apply for next year and wished him luck. I could tell by the look on his face the news was not in his favor. He, however, thanked them for the opportunity to interview and hung up the phone. Jamiel is my child that keeps his emotions intact, I wished he screamed out, but he’s reserved that way. I knew he was upset but wanted to give him the space to process his emotions.
Later on that evening, he came to me. “Mama, why would he say he was confident I got the job only to tell me they went with someone else? So he lied?” I then had to explain to my son that although you might have looked good to them at the moment, other people interviewed and looked good to them too. He was disappointed. He didn’t have to say it; I could read the expression on his face. I picked his chin up and looked directly into his eyes, “Although you are upset about this one job at this one place that you really wanted to work, there will be more opportunities coming your way!” I reminded him of the words of the interviewer. He spoke about Jamiel’s confidence, communication skills, and enthusiasm about the position. I reminded him that everything he needs to apply for and get a job is within him and that he would be great at whatever he put his mind to.
Have your children experienced disappointment? How did you help them to view their disappointment?
If I am to meet with a disappointment, the sooner I know it, the more life I shall have to wear it off.~ Thomas Jefferson