What will you do if your child shows you something he or she made that does not meet your expectation? Do you praise him/her then give your criticisms afterwards or do you reject it outright? It sure takes a Phd in psychology to be a parent these days. I need to research what top psychology schools are saying on how we can criticize our children.
An incident on my childhood gave me an idea to post about this. Hubby and I were reminiscing our childhood while doing the laundry last Friday when the said incident flashed back. Everything is still vivid on my mind. My Dad was talking to Lolo Maning, our visitor that day, when I showed him my drawing of tree roses that were colored with red. Lovely…and so I thought. But instead of praises, I heard criticisms from my father, “Roses ba yan? Bakit ang hahaba ng tangkay? May roses bang ganyang kahaba ang tangkay?” (Are those roses? Why are the stems too long? Are there roses with such long stems?) Lolo Maning replied upon hearing Dad’s comment. He then said “Hindi dapat ganyan ang sagot mo. Dapat ang sagot mo, maganda anak, pero mas maganda kung iniklian mo ng konti ang tangkay.” (You should not answer like that. You should have said, “It’s lovely my child but it could have been lovelier if you made the stems shorter”). I always respect my father’s words but that time I know Lolo Maning was right. Thanks to him because from then on Dad gives his criticisms constructively. If not for Lolo Maning maybe I am not as confident as I am today.
Rejection has negative effects on children. It gives them low self esteem and causes them to have maladaptive social behavior sometimes. Yes, rejection maybe is part of life but if you yourself reject your children, how would you teach them to deal with rejections and criticisms from other persons? As parent it is your role to give your children words of encouragement and recognize their accomplishments. By doing so, you will give them a sense of pride that will build their self esteem, good behavior and improve their academic performances. But then too much of everything is bad so don’t over criticize your children as they may get immune with it. The best thing to do is praise your children but still, discuss about their mistakes and weaknesses.
So, how to criticize your child constructively?
1. Criticize the act, not your child. Feel confident that doing so is appropriate to the situation.
2. Remember that you are criticizing to help your child improve so have a clear message that is delivered properly and is constructive for your child
3. Give your child the chance to explain his/her side and listen to his/her point of view.
4. Give your child the chance to correct his/her mistakes.
5. Consider your child’s feelings. If he/she is a little sensitive, then you need a lighter approach.
6. Always criticize with love.