Constructive Criticism- Seven Things to Remember
As a part of our parenting process it is obligation on our part to offer Constructive Criticism to the ways in which our children behave. We are not doing a favor to them by doing so but it’s our duty to guide and redirect them when they falter. In doing so all care need to be taken to keep healthy parent -child relationship in place.
How to give constructive criticism ?
I would say ‘Feed them a burger’ !!! Yes !! You heard me right. Let me explain- Visualize a burger with a bun base , a spicy patty and topped with another bun half. The process to make a feedback burger would be to start with specific positive trait/ behavior of the child (The bun base); add the actions or behaviors that you are planning to reform or talk around (The spicy patty) and finally, add another positive thing about your child (The top bun half) Voila!! the feedback burger is ready to serve:)
I can bet that this method makes your criticism more effective and well accepted. It ensures a smooth conversation between the two as the defenses are down.
What seven things to remember while you offer guidance as a constructive criticism:-
1. Respect the feeling of your children
Children have a very small treasure box of experiences, Hence each experience matters so much to them and it is really intense .While you correct and guide take complete care of their feelings .whether young or old treat them the way you would like to be treated.Their Feelings are gateway to their self esteem and any belittling feedback can crush their self concept beyond repair.
2.Have a clear message
When you are angry you bust out by spewing venom and words that echo frustration . It may lead to embarrassing episodes and settle a score with the child.Remember the idea is to educate and be a role model for the child .Think through what you wish you change in the behavior of the child and start with cool mind .
The’ feedback -burger’ almost always help educate and never ridicule. Try it and share your experience in comments.
3.Deliver the message right
Once you know that rebuke is a must give start in a positively calmer way and remember
- It is the behavior that needs the rebuke not the child ;
- The child makes the best decision based on his experience ,exposure, perception and mental abilities ;
- Ensure the child is not labelled inappropriately else undoing that label would be another big deal.It often comes with damaging consequences.
4. A private rebuke works
Reprimanding the child in public affects their emotions towards you .Once this delicate chord of emotions gets snapped ‘ Your efforts of course correct may fall on deaf ears .
Talk to your child in clear, cool, calm, and Positive way to help him/her see through your criticism.
5.Dwelling on past backfires
The only valid criticism is for future . The idea behind your rebuke should future pace your children towards new behaviors and actions .Bringing past wrong actions would only complicate the constructive criticism process. It might even block the communication channels between the two of you.
6. Criticism should come out of love
Criticism is a gift of knowledge of values and is vital.It is still taken with a pinch of salt .This happens mainly because the receiver assumes that you do not love him/her.Here it became crucial to let them know that you are talking because you love him and wish the best for him.
Personally, I feel criticism when laced with love is well received.
7.Some times delayed criticism is a good idea
Our’ knee-jerk’ response to our kids action is quite normal .However if we need to give a thought to the best time and best place to give a criticism .
Normally when a child does some thing wrong , he expects a criticism right away.In response his guards / defenses are pretty high and his entire focus is on defending himself rather than listening to you.
Then there are times if you allow things to cool down and then initiate the discussion , the ensuring talks are more rational and solution centric
Finally I wish to point out that while with otherskids we may choose to whether or not to be get involved,We have an obligation to correct their behaviors of our kids and they sure need our guidance.
While we may choose to label ‘lack of direction ‘ as freedom ,believe me these kids will grow up not knowing the right from the wrong .They will end up paying a big price for not having learnt the’ cause and effect ‘ and Effect of their behavior and actions on the results that they are getting.
Parenting is challenging journey but constructive criticism will help you look back with fondness .
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