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When Your Child Doesn’t Get the Award, Part 1

When Your Child Doesn’t Get the Award, Part 1

Applause erupted as our daughter stood to receive her third award of the evening. She beamed with excitement while walking onto stage. I listened to the praise of both her teachers and peers and my heart swelled with joy. At the same time, I ached for her brother who received no awards that night. Oh, the depth of conflicting emotions that can simultaneously possess a parent’s heart.

Our son did well in his classes this year. He makes friends easily and is very outgoing. But he won no “student choice awards” that night, nor did he get the highest scores in any of his classes.

On the way home he commented, “I wonder why I didn’t get any awards.” I turned in the front passenger seat and looked at him with compassion and understanding. I’ve experienced these gut-wrenching feelings before, too.

This painful event opened the door to a conversation on responding to rejection. Here are some thoughts on talking with our kids when they don’t get the award:

  • Our children have different talents and gifts

As we sat in the car that night, we reminisced about swim team last summer when our son was the one winning the awards. His sister won some, but he excelled.

God has created each of our kids with unique abilities and individual talents. Faithfulness in using these gifts is more valuable than receiving the applause of others. God sees our hard work, our diligence, and our perseverance – even when others don’t.

  • God gives us value and identity

Our son builds amazing Lego creations. He draws detailed bridges. He memorizes facts and Bible verses easily. But none of these abilities define him. They are not the foundation of his worth, any more than his struggles diminish his worth.

Our kids have intrinsic value simply because God made them in His image. No other creature has been given such a gift. The praise or criticism of people can’t change the reality of who they are. The Creator of the universe deeply loves them, wants them and delights in them. He died to make a way for them to be close to Him.

  • Jesus understands rejection

In becoming human, Jesus showed us the heart of God. He spent His days loving, healing, teaching – pouring Himself out for those He created. In the end, they rejected Him. They falsely accused Him, spit on Him, beat Him, and ultimately crucified Him. He gets rejection.

His heart goes out to our kids when they are cast aside. They can tell Jesus what they feel and He understands. He’s able to heal those wounds and bring beauty out of the pain.

Rejection affects each of us. Our kids will be overlooked, left out or even shunned. When this happens, we have a valuable opportunity of pointing them to Jesus and helping them grow stronger through the pain.

How have you counseled your kids through rejection?

(Tune in tomorrow for part 2.)

By: Meredith Mills currently resides in the South with her family of five, though she calls Northern California home. She is passionate about knowing the real Jesus and finding our identity in Him. She blogs at www.DazzledByTheSon.wordpress.com.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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