Children get angry at criticism. They take it as a parsonal attack. Children must be treated with respect and they should be taught to accept the criticism with a positive frame of mind. Critism can be constructive if the message is conveyed in a right way.
Children don't take easily to criticism. Very often they turn defensive, angry and start sulking. This in turn angers you further, causing you to yell at them and insist that they "better learn to accept criticism, or else. "
Here are five points you should keep in mind when criticizing your child, so it leads to constructive and not destructive criticism.
If your child has behaved in an irresponsible manner, for example, if he has not passed on an urgent message to you, don't get started about how he has to start learning how to be responsible. Save the lecture. This time, just sit him down and tell him that because he didn't pass on the message, no one reached the airport on time to pick up grandma, and she had to come home all alone in a taxi, pay a lot of money and pick up all her bags herself. Poor grandma! First, concentrate on the particular situation at hand. Don't launch into an immediate personality attack.
Come Up With a Solution
But instead of coming up with a solution yourself, let it come from your child. Now that your child knows what he did was wrong, ask him to come up with a solution so this doesn't happen again. In the example given above, the solution is simple. A nice message board with a bright felt pen attached should do the trick. Let the suggestion come from him. Ask your child if he will forget to write messages down once you've given him such a nice board. Better still, take him with you and let him choose a board himself. This will make him feel more involved.
When criticizing, sit down and have a heart to heart with your child. This will take some time, so choose a time which is suitable. Don't interrupt him when he's watching his favourite television show. Speak to him when he's free and in a reasonably cheery mood.
Make sure your child understands what you are trying to tell him. Ask him to repeat what you just said, and ask him if he agrees with you. Take his opinion every step of the way. Let it be an open discussion that you are having with your child. Make sure your child is not taking it as a personal attack. Sentences like 'You always mess up! When will you learn!' should be avoided at all costs.
Draw The Attention to Yourself
Instead of saying, 'Why didn't you call and say you would be late,' try saying, 'I was worried because I didn't know where you were, and if you were alright.' Remember, when you are criticizing your child, and if you want him to learn from a certain experience, it is imperative you talk WITH him, and not TO him.