You want nothing more than for your child to grow and develop into a successful student and a productive member of society. Sometimes that means providing them with feedback or constructive criticism regarding ways they can improve and become the best version of themself possible. Offering your child helpful feedback or constructive criticism creates a lasting impression that helps build their character and develop a strong work ethic.
To be successful in school and in life, children need to be able to grow from the feedback and criticism they receive from parents, teachers and other role models. However, teaching your child about the importance of constructive criticism including how to offer and how to solicit feedback from others is equally as important.
If you’re a parent asking yourself, “How can I help my child with criticism?” then here are some useful ways to help your child grow from feedback.
What is Constructive Criticism?
Constructive criticism is providing feedback in a manner that acknowledges the positives and the areas where improvement is needed. Constructive criticism doesn’t only focus on the negative or the positive aspects of a certain type of behavior or action. The goal of providing constructive criticism is to offer advice that can be used to achieve better results.
Constructive criticism is a form of positive feedback that can be difficult or challenging to receive if it’s not delivered in a way that’s supportive and caring. If done in an insensitive manner, constructive criticism can have negative impacts on a student’s development. This makes providing constructive feedback to kids especially challenging and vital to areas such as child development.
How to Teach Constructive Feedback to Your Child
Teaching constructive criticism to your child presents a great opportunity for parents and children to grow together. There are benefits to learning to accept constructive criticism and offer it in return for both parents and children. By teaching them to accept constructive feedback, you’ll help them develop the communication, listening and problem-solving skills needed to become a better student and citizen.
If you’re unsure where to start, then there are some simple steps you can take to get started teaching your child about constructive criticism.
Explain it to Them at a Young Age
One of the best ways to teach your child about constructive criticism is to explain it to them at a young age. Think your child might be too young to understand a complex topic such as offering and accepting constructive feedback? Child development researchers found that by teaching complex ideas or theories to young children in a way that provides them with a sound, cohesive explanation such as using a story to illustrate the idea, kids are more likely to understand and comprehend the information than we’d imagine.
The study shows that if you start early explaining constructive feedback to your children while providing logical reasons as to why it is an important aspect of their growth and development, then they are much more likely to understand it when you offer your feedback to them moving forward. Explain the difference between types of feedback such as when it’s directed toward academic achievement or personal improvement. Growing as a person is different from accomplishing your goals in school or in your career, so providing your child with feedback from these different perspectives is crucial to their overall development in several areas.
You can get them started with constructive criticism at a young age by encouraging them to offer their feedback to you as well. Urging them to provide their own feedback regarding mundane, everyday decisions such as dinner or that day’s school lunch is a healthy way to promote constructive feedback as a helpful tool and resource for improvement.
Implement it at Home
Implementing constructive criticism at home is a great way to teach your children about the importance of feedback and get them used to this type of interaction in everyday life. If you’re unsure how to get started offering feedback to your child at home, then consider the feedback sandwich model to help get things moving.
The feedback sandwich is a way for anyone to get started offering constructive feedback by sandwiching one specific criticism between two specific praises. For example, for a research paper, you could highlight your child’s excellent introduction paragraph, followed by a critique about needing to cite more resources. Then, finish the sandwich by complimenting their conclusion paragraph. The feedback sandwich is a positive way to begin implementing constructive criticism in your home with your child.
Give it a Positive Spin
The feedback sandwich is an excellent way to give constructive criticism in a positive manner. It’s this type of positive spin that will help your child embrace and accept the constructive criticism that comes their way. When delivered properly, feedback is an important aspect of your child’s growth, and it fuels their personal accomplishments. The constructive feedback you offer your child helps them understand what is expected of them and the standards you have for their development. This helps them grow personally and steers them toward accomplishments and achievements such as receiving good grades in school.
Even when you have negative feedback for your child, it is possible to deliver it in a positive manner. For example, when offering your child criticism regarding their school work, you can explain the ways improving their grades positively impacts their life and success moving forward. Offer them real-world examples of the ways their success in the classroom impacts their life outside of the classroom.
As a parent, it’s also important to know the types of feedback your child is receiving from the other influences in their life such as teachers and coaches. Unless teachers contact you directly, you’ll need to communicate effectively with your kids to understand the types of feedback they’re receiving at places such as school. Understanding the feedback that your child receives outside of your home is an important step in helping your child grow from constructive criticism.
Provide Examples of People Who Refused to Quit
One of the best ways to teach kids about dealing with constructive criticism is to provide real-world examples of people they look up to or who are successful and the ways they benefited from feedback. There are many examples you can provide your child of famous and successful people who accepted constructive criticism and used it as a way to fuel their success.
For example, if your child is a sports fan, you can tell them about how Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team during his freshman year and the ways he used that as motivation to become the sport’s largest star of his era. Perhaps your child loves movies. If so, you can tell them about the way Jim Carrey was booed off stage during his first-ever live comedy act as a young man and how he used that as motivation to not give up and continue working hard to hone his comedic talents.
Teaching your child to use feedback to their advantage is a great way to help them grow from constructive criticism and develop into a successful, well-rounded individual. Real-life success stories such as the ones above are great ways to remind them of the importance of learning from their past failures in order to achieve future greatness.
Act as a Role Model
One of the most effective ways to teach constructive feedback to your child is acting as a role model for them and demonstrating the positive ways accepting constructive criticism can impact your life. As a parent, your child looks to you for guidance and advice even when you don’t think they’re paying attention. This makes your willingness to listen to feedback and accept criticism a vital component when helping your child grow from feedback or constructive criticism.
The way you respond to criticism teaches your child to react the same way, so maintaining a positive approach and outlook when receiving feedback is teaching your child to do the same. Graciously receiving feedback will demonstrate the way you expect your child to react when they experience the same situation.
Learn More About How CCA Offers Constructive Criticism
Commonwealth Charter Academy is dedicated to providing students and parents with the constructive feedback they need to grow and develop. CCA’s approach to education includes equipping parents with the skills, tools and resources they need to be a successful learning coach. We believe that your child’s educational development requires a team approach between parents and educators, and CCA is dedicated to helping parents become a valuable asset in their child’s learning team.
Ready to learn more about CCAs programs, curriculum and support through constructive criticism? CCA offers a diverse set of tools and resources designed to help parents take an active role in their child’s education. Contact us today to learn more about enrollment opportunities for your child as well as the ways CCA fosters and promotes a healthy learning environment steeped in offering constructive feedback to students.