Parenting 5.0 – how to conduct constructive criticism to educate your children. This, in my personal opinion, is extremely crucial in building and shaping your children’s future. It is important because your criticism and your behaviour will greatly influence the life of your children.
Children hardly forget things, words and people. Often, many children, between the age four to six, tend to be sensitive towards everything happening around them. For example, my son, who is four years old, is quite sensitive. If we scold him, he reacts in a negative manner. We have to be very cautious in dealing with him in order to correct his mistakes, and we correct him through constructive criticism.
What is constructive criticism?
Constructive criticism is criticism without judgement that is expressed in a friendly manner, and is valued to be reasonable, logical and effective. These opinions are based on an individual’s work and have the blending of both positive and negative observations. The main purpose of constructive criticism is to improve the result of the individual’s work. For example, when you cook a meal for the first time, you ask your partner for their opinions. Instead of simply hearing, “This tastes so heavenly”, you would rather prefer constructive criticism like “Just add a little bit of salt and bake it for another 10 minutes, I think it’ll taste better”. As much as this is applicable to you, it is equally important to apply this to educate your children.
How to provide constructive criticism to your children?
When we see our kids doing something wrong or dangerous, we often scold them straight away. But please remember that raising voices, calling them names, or even threatening them are not the ideal ways to bring up your kids. Blaming your children may instantly vent your anger and frustration, but this will hamper your relationship with them in the long-term. For example, if your kids refuse to listen to you and do something opposing, instead of yelling at them and calling them ‘stupid’, you can simply say, “I don’t like what you are doing because it may hurt you. Kindly stop doing it because I love you.”
Does this kind of constructive criticism help? Yes, it does. It highlights what is right and what is wrong in a positive manner, and it should be like the hamburger below formed by compliment and criticism.
Here are 6 ways in which you can educate your kid with constructive criticism:
1. Point out the problem by using descriptive statement instead of language with judgement
As I have previously mentioned, there is no point in scolding your kids for their mistakes. It will only worsen the situation. Using language with judgement, such as ‘how stupid you are’, or ‘you are behaving like a maniac’ won’t help either. The best solution is to recognize your kids’ previous effort and achievement first and then explain to them about their problems in an objective manner. For instance, if you are disappointed with your boy’s test result in Mathematics, instead of scolding him, tell him “I understand you are good at other subjects, but not Maths. Don’t worry, just practice harder. I think you will achieve a better result next time. If you have any problems in your learning, I can talk to your teacher or I’ll help you with it. I hope to see you having some improvement in the next test.”
2. Figure out the root of the problem before criticising
It is important to figure out the root of the problem and it is your duty to do so. It would be easier for you to explain to your child what has gone wrong. Think twice or as many times as you need before you express your dissatisfaction or anger. Your constructive criticism is always more useful than emotional outburst. Let’s continue with your boy’s Maths problem. Maybe he has some problems in the class. Maybe he’s nervous during the test. Just dig deep to find out the root cause and come up with corresponding solutions. Good problem-solving skills are what all parents have to master.
3. Control your anger
Don’t let your anger take the upper hand. You are dealing with a child, not an adult. Remember, children have feelings too. No one likes hearing criticism in an a hostile manner. Next time before you lose your temper, try not to talk to your child. Take time, calm down, even if it takes hours. Only approach your kids when you become even-tempered. You must have a controlled, loving tone when talking to your children.
4. Tell your children about the consequences of their mistakes
Another important point is to only criticise about the wrongdoing, but not your child. When you are delivering your criticism, make sure your kids understand that what distresses you is their behaviour but not themselves. For example, if your children get hooked to television or tablet, tell them that you are worried because watching too much may lead to troubled eyesights. Explain to them that you wouldn’t like them to be wearing glasses. Guide them to get involved in different activities that will keep their mind activated.
5. Be clear about your criticism
Before you start criticizing your beloved small ones, make sure you know what to deliver. If you hesitate, your children may misinterpret the message. Your aim is to educate your child, not to embarrass or punish them. Think before you deliver.
6. Give your children an opportunity to correct themselves
Be it failing in school or misbehaving, the ultimate goal of constructive criticism is to prompt your children to realize their mistakes and make corresponding corrections. In this way, your kids will learn to take responsibilities of their own actions in the future.
Raising kids is not an easy task. Through constructive criticism, you can shape a better and more successful future of your children.