Criticize not :: Day 14 [31 days to being a better mama]

13.  Do not criticize your child today.

Honestly, this is a difficult day for me.  With children my age {and lets be real, I'm really just talking about J#3 here}, there seems to be a fine line between discipline and criticism.  Or maybe there isn't.  

Honestly {again...trust me, I'm an honest person ;-)}, I am not sure what is the difference between them.  

So, of course, I went to the world wide intermaweb to see what I could find... and I found a gem, I think.  A few of the key points from "Guidelines for Correcting or Disciplining Children" by Angela Oswalt, MSW include: 

  • "...a correction is a behavioral correction."  vs.  "a criticism is an attack on a child's being; on their worthiness."
  • "It's useful for parents to point out that a particular action or a particular choice children have made have is bad, dangerous or harmful.  However, parents who inadvertently suggest to children that they are bad, dangerous or harmful may end up harming their children."   

“A torn jacket is soon mended; 
but hard words bruise the heart of a child.” 
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The main thing here is that if we are criticizing, and essentially attacking the child as a person, that is something they can't change, so they will feel bad.  While, correcting their behavior isn't damaging {and is essentially a good thing, because it
needs to happen} because their behavior is something they can change. 

She went on to say that it is not a smart idea to compare our children. It doesn't matter who we are comparing them to, we just shouldn't do it.  If we do, it risks making them feel inferior, much like criticizing can.  

Hmph.  I think I have this figured out.  I'd like to think that I am pretty good about not criticizing, but now I know what to pay attention to. And I know...there isn't really a fine line. Discipline and Criticism?  Totally different.  

Hopefully this was helpful to you to.  

If you get a chance to check out the webpage I found, let me know...what struck you from her article? 

If you are just joining me, please be sure to check out my 31 days to being a better mama page for previous posts.

1 comment:

Sunshine Blossoms said...

Very good advice. I'm going to really be watching myself to make sure I don't do either of these things. I had never thought a whole lot about comparison because I know I'm guilty of saying things like "Look at so & so over there playing nicely and sharing". Definitely learning a lot with these tips!

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