As parents, it is your obligation to educate your child and correct them when they make mistakes. However, giving out criticisms is not as simple as it sounds especially when it comes to young children. No matter how you put it, constructive criticism is still criticism.

Children are very sensitive. Whatever you say greatly affects the way they view themselves. Instances may occur where you have unintentionally hurt their feelings while trying to discipline them. Sometimes, what we think as constructive criticism may turn out to be not as “constructive” to them. Things like these will have an impact on your child’s emotional well-being as they grow up and may also compromise your relationship with them.

In order to reinforce discipline in your child without compromising your relationship with them, here are some suggestions you can use to give out effective constructive criticisms:

  • Identify the cause of the problem

The first step of every solution is always going back to the root of the problem. Before criticizing your child, first, find out the reason behind their action. Always go to the main root of the problem – they may be imitating what they see their friends have been doing in school or it might just be a cry for attention as they feel neglected.

In identifying the cause of the problem, you are then able to make a better and more well-informed decision based on the facts that you have found out.


  • Do not yell, scold or call them names

Sometimes when you are exhausted after a long and tiring day at work, you cannot help but be annoyed at every small thing that is going wrong. As such, when your child makes a mistake, it is easy to lose your temper on them. However, scolding them only makes the situation worse. No matter how wound up you are, you must control your anger and do not let your temper cloud your judgement. Always remember that you are dealing with a child, not an adult. Children have feelings too and no one, especially children, likes hearing criticism in a hostile manner.


  • Do not criticize them in public

Never criticize your children in front of other people. Doing this may cause a negative impact on their psychological well-being. Try to reprimand them in private but always make an effort to praise them in public.


  • Find the right time to talk to them

There are instances that you do not need to react right away. Sometimes, it might be better to delay the criticism. You might say hurtful words that you do not mean in a moment of anger and no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to take back words that have already been said. Always adopt a calm and rational disposition when talking to your child about the mistake they have made. In this way, you will also be calmer and be able to deliver a better message to your child and the chances of your child hearing this message increases.


  • Sandwich method


This method is the most common strategy in giving out criticisms.  As the method suggests, you sandwich the negative criticism with compliments.  For instance, if your child failed an exam, you can try to talk to him first by praising him for the effort he has placed into the exam. Then, you raise the issue to them but be sure to constantly assure them that no matter the outcome, you are still rooting for them and you still love them. End off by encouraging them to do better next time. In this manner, the child will be set at ease with the knowledge that his/her parents understand their situation and thus, they will be able to take the criticism in a constructive manner.


sandwich method

  • Make them realize the consequences of their mistake

It is also important to let your child know why you are criticizing them. Make sure they understand that what distresses you is their behaviour and not themselves.


  • Do not focus on the mistake, focus on the lesson learned from it and apply it into the future

One of the common mistakes that parents make when giving out criticisms to their children is that they focus too much on the damage rather than the solution. Remember that you are giving criticisms because you want them to learn, not blame them. You are only making them feel bad about themselves by dwelling on the mistakes and not moving forward.


  • Allow them to correct themselves

After the criticism, allow your child time and space to improve themselves. The ultimate goal of constructive criticism is to prompt your children to realize their mistakes and to make the appropriate corrections. In this way, the child will learn to take responsibilities of their own actions in the future.


Giving criticisms is a sensitive issue and it is not easy to do especially to your child. However, it also plays an important role in reinforcing discipline in them. What is important is that you make them understand the purpose and the reason behind your criticism.



Kabir, S. (2018, December 14). How To Give Constructive Criticism To Educate Your Kids. Retrieved from

Anthony, K. (2018). How to Give Constructive Criticism to Your Child. Retrieved from