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DEALING WITH DISAPPOINTMENT
the Revd Alan M. Barker
Suitable for Key Stage 2
To explore our response to disappointment in England’s World Cup performance.
Preparation and resources
- You will need two England/St George’s flags.
Write each of the following in words in a separate quadrant of the first flag: ‘upset’, ‘angry’, ‘useless’, ‘ashamed’.
Write each of the following words in a separate quadrant of the second flag: ‘think’, ‘remember’, ‘change’, ‘support’.
- Refer to the elimination of England from the World Cup. In a 4–1 defeat by Germany the team failed to realize their potential and, it is said, had what could have been a crucial goal disallowed.
- Reflect that both the players and fans were evidently deeply disappointed. How might they feel?
- Sum up the discussion by pointing to the following key words on the four quarters of the England flag, and saying that disappointment can leave us feeling:
UPSET – when we lose something we want very much indeed, we naturally feel unhappy and tearful.
ANGRY – we look for other people to blame or blame ourselves.
USELESS – we may be tempted to give in, thinking that we will never succeed.
ASHAMED – we may worry what other people think of us.
- Invite the children to consider how the team and England supporters might deal with this disappointment. Use a second flag to highlight four more phrases:
THINK – although it is painful, we have to face up to our disappointments and try to learn from them.
REMEMBER – we can find encouragement in remembering our strengths. It’s a mistake to think only of our mistakes when we know that we can do so many things well!
CHANGE – when we have not succeeded, we must establish new aims and goals and may need to try a different approach.
SUPPORT – Teamwork is important. We all need support and understanding (not unfriendly criticism) if we are to deal with disappointment. Will supporters of England continue to encourage their team?
- Conclude that the many different disappointments we experience needn’t destroy us. Learning to deal with disappointment can help us to become stronger people. Invite the children to listen to how St Paul coped with his difficulties and disappointments:
‘We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at time, we are not destroyed . . . For this reason we never become discouraged’ (2 Corinthians 4.8–9, 16).
Time for reflection
when we feel fed up and discouraged,
give us the insights and strength we need
to deal with disappointment.