How to Face a Rejection: What Can You Do?

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The end of school is a complex moment in which to take stock of the previous school year

Although children and parents are usually prepared on the results of the report cards, it is not always easy to accept the decisions made by the class council, especially if they are negative. In fact, students and families are usually aware of school progress, but finding a failure in black and white is always an experience that triggers strong and conflicting feelings. And this applies to both children and their parents. It is not easy, in fact, to understand how to deal with a rejection.

Even if the signs were all there, facing a rejection is never easy. However, prepared one may be, children and parents can experience this moment in a very complex way, with a high burden of suffering. In addition to the child's pain, in fact, there are the experiences of failure and frustration of the parents, which risk, thus, to struggle to maintain a balanced and constructive attitude.


Sometimes, faced with a failure, children and young people seem to remain impassive. It doesn't seem to concern them, they shrug their shoulders and, perhaps, say that they don't care a lot. But is it really always like this? Do those sentences really reflect what the boy feels?

It is important not to stop at the first impression. Every boy experiences the rejection in a personal way, but, surely, such an important event cannot fail to trigger emotions. They can be the most disparate. There are children who get angry with the school and the teachers, because they feel they have not been understood. Others, on the other hand, are angry with themselves for not being able to try hard enough or not realizing what was going on. Teens can feel inadequate and experience a strong sense of frustration and failure. They can feel sad and down in the dumps. And this even if, apparently, they do not show it.

Other times, children can feel fear. Fear of the judgment of mom and dad, brothers and sisters. They may feel uncomfortable with peers or with a group of friends. Children may fear the judgment of others towards them. "How will they view me now?" "What will they think of me?" these are just some of the questions children can ask themselves. The fear of the new year can also be present in children. A new class, new classmates and new teachers are a new world to which we will have to enter. Entering a new context, in a class that has already started, can be frightening. At times, the fear of being overturned can also emerge ("What if I have to fail again?") And, this, generate anxiety and strong anguish, at times even paralyzing.


Also in this case the reactions of mom and dad can be the most disparate. Sometimes, mom and dad have the same view of the situation, while other times the two views offset each other or can be completely opposite. For parents too, feelings can be different. Sometimes, frustration, sadness, a sense of failure and helplessness can be the prevailing emotions. At other times, parents try to trivialize, or find an external device to blame. At other times, however, the anger directed towards the child prevails. This often results in “exemplary” punishments and punishments. Especially when boys and children seem to not care, parental distress seems to increase exponentially.



Understanding how to best face a rejection is not easy. It is important to maintain an empathic and welcoming attitude towards your child, even when it seems that the boy does not care much. In reality, often, as mentioned above, suffering from great pain and a deep sense of failure is hidden behind a behavior of sufficiency. It is therefore important to avoid discharging anger towards the child. The criticisms, in fact, must be made towards his behavior, not his person.

Moreover, even if it is often not manifested directly, children suffer greatly from the disappointment that a rejection can arouse in parents. For this reason, it is important to show displeasure and emotional closeness to the boy, but, at the same time, avoid expressing feelings of disappointment. This, of course, does not mean that there must not be a reflection on what happened, but the attention to the emotional part cannot be neglected.


One often wonders if some kind of punishment in the face of failure can be useful. Even if rewards tend to work better in the case of correct behavior, the important thing is that any consequences you decide to impose must be maintained. It is good to prefer short and specific measures, so that mom and dad can easily apply them. If, on the other hand, the punishment is given on the wave of emotion, there is a risk of not completing it and, consequently, it loses its value.

Phrases such as "Now you will not go out all summer" or "From today no phone" are quite common, but, in addition to being unrealistic, they cannot motivate you to study. This does not mean that you cannot decide to take measures, but you need to think carefully about the objective you want to set. In fact, it is important not to confuse punishment with planning a study project. These are two distinct floors. It is necessary to distinguish the two levels well, also to avoid that the study acquires an even more aversive connotation for the child.


Especially in recent years, we have seen the tendency to accuse the school of being responsible for failing their children. While this may be true in some situations, it is important to reason with your child about their responsibilities. In fact, over- protecting children and young people can be very dangerous. Children must learn to experience small and large frustrations in order to handle this difficult feeling to deal with. If you do not experience these, in fact, the risk is that when you inevitably find yourself facing complex situations alone, you will not be able to face them adequately.


Finally, after the first moment, it is important to understand how to face a rejection also from a practical point of view. It is essential to reflect on what to do next. Change school or continue in the same institution? Obviously, there is no prepackaged answer. Usually it is preferable not to make decisions in the heat, but it is advisable to let the disappointment settle and reflect together on what to do. It is only by evaluating the pros and cons of each choice together, it is possible to make a careful and informed decision.

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