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.

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.