Giving Constructive Feedback to Children

Giving Constructive Feedback to Children. Episode #10 - Raising Kids Who Can Cope

Episode #10 in the “Raising Kids Who Can Cope” Series

Click arrow to listen to the 90-second podcast.

We all want to raise kids who are emotionally and socially intelligent and are able to recover from disappointment to grow stronger every day into adulthood

All children have their own personal strengths but too often we overlook them and focus on faults and weaknesses. That is when criticism creeps in. Using criticism as constructive feedback can help a child develop confidence in their abilities and decisions.

Two points to remember when providing feedback are: one, feedback like praise, must be specific. Name the action or behavior. For example, “You left a mess on the counter. Please help out by cleaning it up.”

And two, avoid making personal statements about your child such as “You are so messy or You are clumsy.” Avoid labels and shame that can put a child in the position of having to defend themselves or retreating into anger and resentment.

If a child is stuck on completing a task or correcting a mistake, build on their strengths, point out what they have accomplished in the past and help them identify ways to solve the current problem. Constructive feedback provides guidance, understanding, and opens up opportunities for discussions between parent and child.

Raising Kids Who Can Cope is a 28-part series developed to build skills, knowledge and awareness in adults who play a role in young people’s lives. It is brought to you by Jackson County UW-Extension and Together for Jackson County Kids. Find out more at Raising Kids Who Can Cope.


Ginsburg, K. R. (2011). Building Resiliency in Children and Teens. Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics

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