by Don Grothe
Retired School Counselor
The pain of rejection is very real. We
have all experienced, to some degree and in some situations, this most
unpleasant emotion. How we deal with this is a product of many
Most importantly is
our own self-esteem. If we have a fairly good feeling about ourselves
we can withstand more rejection and criticism than if our self-esteem
is low. Another factor is the source of the rejection. If we are
rejected by someone we really care about it is much more painful than
by a stranger or someone we don’t particularly care for. Another
factor is why we are rejected. All of us have certain areas that are
very sensitive and if the rejecter taps into one of these areas our
reaction is magnified. Sometimes the rejection is more of a joke,
which can still hurt, or maybe it is unintended. In any case, we must
analyze carefully the situation and our honest reactions to it.
How we cope is then
the question. If it is from a person or group of persons we really
don’t care about we can shrug it off fairly easily. An “If they like
me I’d be worried” reaction. If the rejection is from someone that is
important to us we need to confront them and express our concern,
hurt, and anger. This should usually be done after a “cooling off”
period of time so we can react calmly and logically. An approach such
as “I was really hurt by the ‘such and such’ situation that happened
yesterday” is a better approach than an accusatory one of “You really
hurt me” which places the person on the defensive.
If the situation was
not an oversight or unintended and the person actually did intend to
reject you, you then have two options: You may reject the person and
close the book on the relationship or try to rectify the situation by
making amends and changing your behavior. This takes careful analysis
and still may or may not be in your best interest. One of the major
causes of rejection is by people who themselves are insecure, needy
and have low self-esteem. You’re probably not going to be able to
change them with any degree of success because their feelings have
occurred over a long period of time.
Another main reason
for rejection is being different—different religion, race, color,
socio-economic status, physical characteristics, or appearance. As the
saying goes, “You only have one chance to make a first impression,”
but this impression can and does change if you give yourself the
opportunity of getting to know the person. Unfortunately, many people
won’t do this. So what’s the answer? When rejection occurs analyze
it honestly and attempt to determine the reasons, then decide if the
situation can be changed. If it can, is it worth it? Then act
Prayer says it all—give me the courage to change what I can
change, the ability to accept what I can’t change and the wisdom to
know the difference.
Click for Children's
books that have helpful messages, by author, Don Grothe.
In a world where friendships
are relying more and more on cyberspace, take time to make a
friendship work: one-on-one, in person. Engage in activities
where conversations simply happen. Play a board game. Work a
jigsaw puzzle. Make a pizza or cookies from scratch. Build a
fort. Make sand (or mud) castles and roadways. Put together a
scrapbook of good times spent together. Enjoy the wonderful
benefits of good friends.
More Ideas for children's activities in
Kas' book, Mother
by Sally D.
"How clever! I wish I could do things like that." How often we say this! Yet,
we sell ourselves short by not nurturing our own creative instincts while we
appreciate others'. While we might not eventually be able to sculpt great art or
write great epic poetry, there are many ways we can increase our creativity and
thereby enrich our lives.
A Word to Parents:
Parents can begin
to foster family creativity in two simple ways: 1. Recognize it. Look for
creative instincts in family members. 2. Name it. Label people's creative
efforts to acknowledge and emphasize them. Say, "How inventive!" "Wow, great
art!" "What imagination" "You're good at brainstorming." and so on. When our
children were young, ages 5-11, we held weekly "Family Nights." The honor to
choose the evening's activity rotated, and we enjoyed Monopoly nights, poker
nights, some funny home movie nights. We thought we were clever parents. To our
astonishment and great pleasure, however, the children's ideas clearly began to
surpass ours. The kids chose such imaginative activities, our choices seemed
bland. Consider: Animal Noise Night (age 7's): "I put animal names into a hat.
Draw one, and go into the basement and make the animal's noise. The rest of us
will guess." So there's mother, near the furnace, bellowing like a hippopotamus!
Of all the nights, Invention Night (age 10's) was clearly the challenge. You
guessed it! The kids' inventions, to hold up pants, to fasten papers together,
to improve the fork, far outreached ours. This is an easy, free, creative
activity. Try it!
A Word to Teens:
You can warm-up
your creativity just as a athlete warms-up his muscles. These activities include
brainstorming and clustering. (How many uses for a soda can?), cause and effect
chains (stayed up too late...was tired...skipped getting gas...car ran
out...late for school), etc. All open-ended thinking is creative. There is a
choice of methods for many assignments. Make the most of it. Warm-up. Brainstorm
a list of ways to do the work, pick the most creative, and ask the teacher's
permission. You may get points on a project before you even start. Many
selective universities ask optional questions in their applications which
involve creativity. There are intentional hidden challenges. Attempting these
questions is wise. Again, you gain points before you start.
A Word to Middle Schoolers:
There are so many
good ways to be smart. The best scholar is the one who works to be tops in
several ways: Use your intelligence. Start the job, stick to it, and finish it.
And also do the job creatively, using your imagination in all the ways you
can--through ideas, art, interesting words, etc.
A Word to Young
whether or not you are truly great in art or music or story-telling. What is
most important is to make a good effort (Try hard!); and, above all, enjoy the
activity. If you have fun practicing, skills will come later! Isn't it
surprising that having fun can lead to learning. What a fine deal!
interaction with all aspects of their environment. Activities should include
those that stimulate the senses. Water play with cups and buckets (ALL POOL AND
BATH PLAY IS TOTALLY SUPERVISED, OF COURSE) and finger painting. Play in sand or
soil (Toddlers love digging!), silly putty, and play dough satisfy the toddler's
urge to handle interesting materials and experience texture. Sound play is also
important. Provide toys that chime, ring, buzz and simple musical instruments.
Playthings should also promote physical and emotional growth. Physical activity
equipment (such as jungle gyms and swings, etc.) develop muscles and self
confidence. Books, along with puppets (especially hand puppets),
costume/dress-up collections, and simple theaters for role-playing, encourage
language development and imagination. Large boxes make playing store or office
or veterinarian possible.
keep materials simple and activity time short enough to sustain interest.
Youngsters like to and need to paint. Cheap paper is fine, and many youngsters
even like to paint on old newspapers. A large, sturdy easel (two pieces of
plywood, hinged?) is a boon. Sometimes suggest familiar subjects and stories to
draw and paint; other times let children experiment without suggestions. Large
surface areas accommodate a young child's large motor skills. Hold off on the
smaller, quality paper sketch pads until the youngster's fine motor skills and
hand-eye coordination are more developed. The expressive impulse subsides if
constrained too much.
Super Student/Happy Kid
Children are small people who
make parents old and grandparents young.
MORE ARTICLES about Children and Learning
List of on-line articles for parents
CHILDREN'S ACTIVITY BOOKS
The Ultimate Collection of Ideas for
Keeping Kids Busy
Over 5,000 Ideas for Toddlers through Teens
If you use just one idea
per day, this book will carry you through almost 15 years!!
A note about SAFETY
Whenever children are playing, working or doing anything
at all, they need to be supervised. Adjust any activities to the age and
abilities of the child. Pay attention to the materials, tools and
location of the activity. Put thought into safety before the fun begins.
If there's one thing I've learned from years of overseeing children's
activities, it's that there's always something that a child will think
to try that never occurred to me. So the key is to make things as safe
as possible and then watch them the entire time.