Giving Your Child Criticism In a Positive Manner

As parents, we always want the best for our children. Hence, it is important to correct them when they are in the wrong so that they can learn from their mistakes. Timely feedback should be given so that children can blossom into well-adjusted individuals. But how do we do it right without hurting their feelings or shutting them off?

Do note the following pointers when you want to give constructive criticisms to your child.

#1 Have good intentions

Before you give feedback, think about the main message that you want to put across? Without a clear message, your child will only sense your anger and fail to understand that you are actually giving some positive feedback. Hence, it is important to criticise with the objective of teaching your child right from wrong.

#2 Criticise the behaviour, not the child

Without good intentions, you may end up criticising your child instead of his or her negative behaviour. Such criticisms aimed at personal traits or personalities can be really hurtful to child. You will have to make it clear that the criticism is directed at the behaviour and not your child as a person.

#3 Understand from your child’s point of view

As adults, we must remember that our children are little human persons with feelings. Children may react adversely to criticisms because no one feels good when they are criticised. Hence, think from a child’s perspective. Craft your criticism in a way that is easier for them to understand because it is made with their perspective in mind..

#4 Do not label your child

This is so important! Being young and highly susceptible to influence, children get a sense of who they are from what people tell them. Repeated labelling with names such as “stupid, dumb, clumsy, blur” can cause them to believe that they are indeed “stupid, dumb, clumsy, blur”, thus resulting in damaged self-esteems.

#5 Focus on the present and future instead of bringing up the past

Some parents may get too carried away as they reprimand their child, bringing up past mistakes and scolding them even more. What parents should do is to focus on the issue at hand and seek to improve the child’s future behaviour. This would be more effective in correcting your child’s behaviour rather than to harp on the past.

#6 Feedback sandwich method

This can be used to tackle more sensitive issues where your child becomes completely adversed to any criticism. Start by saying something positive, then bring up the criticism, then mention something positive at the end. With the criticism sandwiched between two positive points, it can make it easier for the child to accept the feedback.

#7 Doing it at the correct time and place

There is a time and place for everything. Do not criticise your child in front of others as it can greatly hurt their self-esteem. Also, when your child is aware of how to correct his or her own behaviour, they will not need to be told repeatedly.


Not all criticisms are bad criticisms. Delivered in a positive manner, criticisms are essential for the positive development as they mature to adulthood. We hope these pointers will prove useful for all parents out there!   

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