We think we’re giving good feedback and direction. But often what teens hear is criticism.
Teens are more likely to listen—and not feel put down or put upon—if we use these tips for turning criticism into positive feedback:
Comment only on those changes in your teen’s behavior or performance that will bring a measurable difference in results that both you and your teen can see. Ignore little things.
Suggest specific actions your teen can do or stop doing to improve her work or behavior.
Correct work or behavior, not your teen. You want your child to feel it’s his actions that are defective—not he himself.
Comment when necessary. Keeping quiet about needed improvements only prolongs and sometimes magnifies a problem.
Provide your teen a chance to give her views without interruption. This is a good way to see if she understands your comments.
End on a positive note. Remind your teen that you are giving the feedback to help him make the improvements you know he is capable of making.
Comment on both good and bad performance. Always follow negative feedback with positive encouragement. And remember that teens who are always good or do good work also need recognition.
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