It is easy to be critical of our kids, especially when we are busy or distracted. Be aware, though, that constant criticism can undermine children’s initiative, self-confidence and sense of purpose, and can encourage them to become defiant or resentful.
- Criticism should be vastly outweighed by praise in communicating with your children (and that is not just vocalised criticism but also non-verbal cues such as folded arms, frowns, or leaving the room) – try a ratio of at least 5 to 1 (praise to criticism).
- Praise all aspects of your children’s lives – e.g. how they behave, how they approach issues and decisions they make
- The praise must be genuine – kids will see through empty comments