Encouraging Good Behavior in Children

Constructive Criticism

Constructive Criticism Builds

Raising a child, regardless of the situation, can be quite challenging, but it is manageable if not easy provided the correct parameters are set in place. Not only that, but they must be enforced so that the child understands the rules and to what extent the rules are. Necessary parameters are without a doubt best installed by evaluating good behavior as a parent and determining how to encourage it. Constructive criticism is one key element in this.

Managing a child is easy because you encourage good behavior. The best way to boil this down is to view it from the point of view of the “carrot-stick” formula, not to be taken literally in either sense. The idea is that good behavior warrants a carrot, and that bad behavior warrants use of a stick. Evidently, neither applies to raising children, particularly from a moral standpoint. That being said, the more appropriate corollaries are encouragement and constructive criticism. Encouragement of good behavior helps develop the child and allows them to know when they are acting appropriately according to societal and familial standards. The inculcation of filial tenets is best gone about by providing the subtle little nuggets on a day to day basis that steer the child in a positive direction.

Little nuggets are things like “great job unloading the dishwasher,” or “fantastic work getting your homework done.” These are small tidbits of encouragement that help a child know when he’s doing something right. You can also say things like “I like how you made your bed today,” or “I’m very impressed with how you handled that situation.” These can be seen as objective observations or inflated observations, but they are observations of how a child acted, and they are rooted in positivity. They allow the child to see what actions he took and how those actions that he did take were correct and positive. In addition, it always helps that children tend to hang on to their parents and like to associate with them. For whatever reason, children are to a certain extent extremely loving of their parents, and it is because of this reason that they will often do what their parents say because they love impressing them. This may change in later years when the adolescent phase commences, but when they are young and are, in essence, children, this does not apply and are well reputed for being loving and following parental guidance.

Constructive criticism can flow easily as parental guidance, for that is precisely what it is. Constructive criticism is far better than the “don’t do that” “or why would you do that” or negative-rooted feedback without a self-evident solution. That is exactly what a child needs. When a problem arises and are criticized for (say) creating the problem, they need to know what the solution is in order for them to safely and happily develop as young children. Constructive criticism is a good way to steer a child in a particular direction when they may have gone off course. It is a soft way, and perhaps the only way, to safely guarantee that they will receive the feedback and apply it directly, or sometimes indirectly, to a solution, and that is where constructive criticism wins its positive rapport amongst mothers.

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