Disappointment can happen on any day for a variety of reasons. A child might be disappointed about not getting a favorite snack or about missing out on play time with a friend. A child may also feel disappointed at a birthday party or holiday celebration because of unmet expectations.
There is often so much excitement about birthdays and holidays that children come to think of them as the most special days of the year. With a focus on family gatherings, presents, and parties, there's a lot for children to look forward to and to fantasize about, and it's only natural that such heightened anticipation might lead to expectations that can never be met. Unfortunately, when children find that the anticipation is so much greater than the celebration, they can be disappointed, angry, and upset.
In this set of resources, we will focus on how you can help children work on recognizing and naming the feeling of disappointment, expressing that feeling appropriately and finding ways to turn that feeling into something good.
Watch the videos about Disappointment and think about how you could use them as part of the classroom activity or throughout the year as children experience and learn to cope with disappointments.
Episode: Daniel's Birthday
Today is Daniel Tiger's birthday! Daniel is very excited to go to Baker Aker's bakery to help his mom pick out a cake for his party, and so proud that his mom lets him carry the cake himself. But when they arrive back home after a bumpy ride on Trolley, he discovers that his birthday cake is smushed! What a disappointment. His father helps him see that there are good things even in a smushed cake – it's yummy.×
Clip #1: Strategy Song: “When something seems bad, turn it around and find something good.”×
Clip #2: Children in a gym demonstrate the strategy song in action.×
Use these resources to further explore the topic of Disappointment in your classroom.
Share these resources with the families of your students, so they can continue the conversation at home.
Whether the disappointment comes from unmet expectations at a birthday party or from another disappointment such as not getting a favorite snack at the grocery store or missing out on play time with a friend due to illness, it is important that parents and teachers help children learn how to cope with disappointment. By using resources from PBS KIDS and DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, parents and teachers can introduce the topic with friendly and familiar characters and engage children in talking about and identifying the feeling of disappointment.