However, when parents criticize, it has the opposite effect;
it actually demotivates and discourages their children.
Criticism actually squashes any feelings children have of trying
something new, and results in them feeling alienated from their
parents. Criticized children end up feeling angry, worthless,
unloved and undeserving, and their self-esteem drops. Around and
around it goes. It's a vicious circle that parents keep alive
with their continual hurtful criticism.
Young children view their parents as all-knowing, and take in
their words as gospel truth. Children don't filter out the good
from the bad but instead, like a hidden tape recorder in their
Bo-computer, store it all. This then becomes the basis for their
sense of self-worth and self-esteem. These words spoken to a
child, form the internal monologue we all have running through
our minds as adults. "If Mom thinks I'm clumsy, dumb, stupid, an
idiot, fat, lazy, etc. then it must be so." Most of all, this is
on an unconscious level, yet that doesn't negate its importance
When a parent says, "You're such a slob." for example, the
child takes this in, internalizes it, and it becomes a part of
who he is. Soon he comes to see himself as a sloppy person and
inevitably becomes more sloppy. There is such a thing as a
self-fulfilling prophecy. Parents need to know that their words
to their children have powerful, deep and long-lasting effects.
They need to stop using hurtful and damaging language with their
And so, What is a parent to do? Many parents ask, "If I don't
point out what he's doing wrong, how can I get him to do
It is vital for parents to be encouraging, appreciating and
supporting of her children instead of critical. She needs to
focus on what is right, as opposed to looking for what is wrong
with her child. She needs to switch her point of view to become
one who builds her child up, rather than tears him down - which
is what criticism does to children. When parents are actively
looking for the good things about their child, they won't be so
quick to find and point out his faults.
Parents need to continually look for the good and see their
children in a good light. If parents can focus on the good, they
will then see behavior improve dramatically. Encouraging and
appreciating our children, as an alternative to criticism, is a
loving a respectful way to parent.