5 Things to Say When Your Child Doesn’t Make the Cut

if your child doesn't make the cut

5 Things to Say When Your Child Doesn’t Make the Cut

if your child doesn't make the cut

Since many of your kids are in the thick of this, we need to have a good conversation about it sooner rather than later.

I’m talking about one of the most stressful aspects of going back to or starting high school.

So let’s all say it out loud once and for all — #TRYOUTS.

Your sons and daughters are trying out for sports teams and feel like the world might end if they don’t make the team.

In fact, in their worlds making or not making a team is a major part of their adolescent lives.

Consider an incoming freshman boy who has been playing soccer since he was 5 years old.

Now here he is going through four days of being evaluated to maintain that part of his life and identity.

And, he’s being evaluated publicly in front of new coaches and peers.

He may or may not make the team.

His responses can range from happiness to sheer humiliation.

I know this.

These boys are sitting in my office practically crying about tryouts.

Now consider a sophomore teen girl who may have been playing soccer for most of her life.

She was on the freshman team last year.

This year she desperately wants to make the varsity team and be a star like many of her peers.

She is at high risk to experience a major letdown if she makes the junior varsity team and her good friends all make the varsity team.

Tryouts are no small thing in the lives of teens.

And precisely because of that they are no small thing in the lives of parents.

So, let’s say your kid makes the desired team.

Then the mood around the house is celebratory and upbeat and you can exhale.

But what if your kid does not make the team?

Should you join your kids in a collective sense of outrage and immediately call the coaches to complain about the injustice of this decision or should you berate your child for their poor performance during tryouts?

Well, hold on please.

Before you react please consider my suggestions.

Your job is to make your teen feel whole again, not to further intensify bad feelings.

Handling Rejection

If your teen doesn’t make the team consider:

1. Suggesting that this is not where things end for them sports-wise.In fact, maybe they are not ready for this level of competition yet and can spend this year working on their skills.

2. Talking to your teen about other opportunities. Perhaps he/she would like to try a new activity?

3. Making sure that you don’t make this about yourself.This is solely about your child. No vicarious living through your child here.

4. Use this as an opportunity for your child to learn how to deal with disappointment.Dealing with disappointment is a major resiliency skill and helps all of us recover from disappointing daily experiences.

5. Encourage your child to “remember who they are.”This is one of my very favorite expressions. Remind them that they are about more than just the sport that they are playing.

I know that this can be a harrowing time of the year.

I wish you all grace and dignity in handling it well for your own well-being and especially for you teens’ sense of self and self-esteem.

More about handling rejection…

[10 Ways Parent Can Help Their Kids Deal With College Rejections]

CONNECT WITH OTHER PARENTS FIGURING OUT HOW TO PAY FOR COLLEGE

JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUPS –

PAYING FOR COLLEGE 101

HOW TO FIND MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS

In this article:

Upcoming Event!

Upcoming Events

Similar Articles for You

Advice From Parents on Applying and Paying for College

Parenting

Advice From Parents on Applying and Paying for College

We asked parents from our Paying for College 101 Facebook community to tell us one thing they’ve learned about the

R2C Community Story: Chasing Merit and Surviving the Road to College

Parenting

R2C Community Story: Chasing Merit and Surviving the Road to College

If you’ve ever wondered about how other families go about chasing merit while navigating the (very long) road to college,

Pay It Forward: Our Road2College Community Members Share What They’ve Learned From Each Other

College Admissions

Pay It Forward: Our Road2College Community Members Share What They’ve Learned From Each Other

The stories shared here were first published in our Paying for College 101 Facebook community. They’ve been edited for clarity

Become a Member

At Road2College you’ll find everything you need to make the admissions and paying for college process less stressful and more transparent.

TOOLS

Explore College Insights™ — your source for finding affordable colleges and merit scholarships.

Coaching

Get coaching on admissions and college financing.

Community

Join Road2College where parents and experts work together to inform and inspire college-bound families.