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You are here : home > Confident Child > Self Esteem in Kids > Constructive Criticism

Constructive Criticism


Criticise the problem or bad habit, and work with your child to help him improve. Don't criticise the child.


All children at times display behaviour that needs to be checked. This is how children learn right from wrong, and figure out how they should and should not act.

However, parents often tend to forget that their children are kids after all, and cannot be expected to be perfect all the time. As a result, whenever their children make mistakes, parents criticize them. "But I have to criticise them, or how will they know they are wrong?" feels Jhanvi, mother of 13 year old Rehan.


There is a huge difference between criticizing a child, and criticizing a mistake.

How often have you called your child careless when he has forgotten something? How often have you called him irresponsible because he hasn't done something? By doling out labels you are hurting your child without solving the issue. When you call him careless, he will believe he is careless indeed. He will feel bad about his mistake, and will blame himself or try and defend himself and refuse to accept fault. Either way, you have dented his self-esteem.


Help him find a solution instead of just apportioning blame.

Rehan is always late to school. Every night Jhanvi struggles to get Rehan to go to bed on time. Rehan would rather watch television, play computer games or talk on the phone than go to bed, with the result that he always wakes up late and is late to school. You're such a stubborn boy, shouts Jhanvi when Rehan refuses to listen.

Has Jhanvi ever sat down and explained to Rehan how he should try and change his pattern for just one week, go to bed early, and see if he can reach school on time? No. The only communication they have had in this regard is through arguments every night, with Jhanvi telling him to go to bed again and again, and calling him stubborn and irresponsible.

Yes, by telling your child to go to bed early you are definitely offering a solution, but shouting it out is perhaps not the best way to go about it. And when you call him stubborn, he will believe that he is stubborn indeed, and will set out to show you exactly how stubborn he can be! Hey, no one said parenting was easy!


Communication and explanation is the best way to go forward.

Sit down with your child and talk to him. Treat him like an adult and make a deal with him. Let him know that he can stay up as later on a Friday and Saturday night, without you saying anything to him, if he goes to bed on time on a weekday. Work with him when coming to a compromise. Both of you can decide on a bedtime together. Make him promise to stick to his word for at least a week. Then, together you can see if it makes a difference to his waking up on time. Tell him that it may be hard, but it is a sacrifice worth making, and that you are there for him to help him get through. But at the same time, he needs to be there for you as well, and together you will lick the problem! Make sure he knows you are on his side, and not against him.

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kranti.4 years ago
Highlight some of the good work the person has done recently, goals that were met or surpassed. Emphasize positive, solid qualities that the person brings to the table. This isn’t about over-inflating egos or setting a person up for a fall; it’s about making sure the person understands they are valued and important, even if the next thing you’ll be doing is pointing out some problems.
 
 
 
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Dhruva.4 years ago
Constructive criticism is important; employees need to understand where they’ve gone wrong, and how they can improve. It’s not about treating people like crap, or being negative…it’s about raising the bar, matching your expectations and helping people improve.
 
 
 
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Soundarya.4 years ago
Constructive criticism is a form of feedback that helps other to change their behavior, for example. The constructive criticism is never intended to hurt someone’s feeling rather is a genuine concern to see the other person to change for better.
 
 
 
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