continuously can have long lasting harmful effects on their development. Read
on to learn more about the ill effects of criticism on the development of kids.
Criticising kids has often been cited by psychiatrists as one of the
most damaging ways of disciplining children. There are long lasting negative
effects of harsh criticism on kids and some of these
effects may last a lifetime. Here are some well documented ill effects of
criticism on children
on Attachment Style
With too frequent and harsh criticism a kid may question the love
that their parents hold for them. Some children grow up to feel unloved and
unappreciated and these force them to look for love from other quarters.
Children who are criticized badly throughout their childhood grow up to be
control freaks, addicts to sex or substance abuse (alcohol, cigarettes, drugs
etc) or narcissists who are obsessed about themselves. The attachment style and
the perspective on relationships changes when one has faced a lack of warmth
and love in childhood.
the Shame Complex
With frequent criticism a child starts feeling deeply ashamed as he
or she gets convinced that there is something wrong in the personality. Such
children grow up with the innate belief that they ought to feel ashamed of
themselves. This constant flow of criticism also encourages children to
withdraw from social situations as there is a deep rooted fear of expressing emotions.
These kids also grow up to very risk averse and are afraid of taking any bold
positive step to enhance their lives. This kind of complex is referred to by
psychiatrists as the sham complex.
A Case of
As psychiatrics say there are two layers of the mind; conscious and unconscious.
Any deeply affecting statement that is made in the early formative years of childhood
(before the age of 6) often sinks into the unconscious mind. Unfortunately in
most cases, criticism is one of the first things to sink into the psyche of the
The child absorbs the negative and self deprecating comments deep into the
psyche and then unconsciously moulds actions to suit those comments. For
example a child who has been told repetitively “you are not good in studies”
becomes lazy and loses interest in studies. The child will withdraw from
fruitful labour as the unconscious mind directs him or her with negative
feelings. Such kids often need counselling in adulthood to help overcome their
Dip in Self
This is easily the simplest and the most identifiable negative
effect of harsh criticism in childhood. The loss of self worth in the early
years of childhood is a huge emotional blow and the child often struggles to
regain confidence back in adulthood.
Criticism saps away the belief and confidence in children and negatively
impacts them in a way that causes them to doubt their identity and capability.
Kids who are criticised too much often shun social interactions; miss out on
making friends and extracurricular activities because they believe that they
are not good enough to make any friends.
of Deep Emotional Wounds
Negative comments, humiliating words and criticism that is directed
to insult are disastrous for
children. These comments create deep emotional wound in the mind of kids and
these wounds usually last for a life time. Any time a word, comment or a
situation in adult life brings a reference or memory to the past then the wound
may suddenly resurface making the disturbed child (who is now an adult) to
react badly. Even if the person does not react references to those wounds bring
a lot of emotional pain that is impossible to be captured in words.
Criticism is one of the most avoidable forms of interaction and these reasons
should have convinced you of the ill effects of criticising your child.
Is It Alright to criticize kids?What are the harmful effects of criticising kids?How to avoid criticising kids?Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team