Being a parent, you all must have surely felt the feeling of frustration at times when your child just doesn’t listen to you or do as you instruct. Regardless of what you say, he/she just does not complete the homework neatly or leaves the shoes right in the middle of the living room. Being driven to the brink by the actions of the kids is something that all parents can relate to for sure. However, the crucial thing here is to know how to respond in those moments of frustration because being overly critical at all times can do more harm than good to your children.
Research from Binghamton University in New York suggests that the fault-finding attitude of parents can cause serious damage to the emotional health and wellbeing of children. It begins with failing to recognize emotional responses through facial expressions and runs much deeper into becoming an issue that is just difficult to look away from. We, at Lotus Valley International School, ranked among the Top 10 Schools in Noida, believe that the problem lies in the fact that most parents believe that criticism is good for kids, and by doing so they are just trying to set high standards for their children. The fact of the matter is that constant nitpicking at their slightest of flaws eventually ends up damaging their emotional health in more ways than one.
Negative Impact of the Fault-Finding Attitude of Parents
- Low Self-Esteem and Damaged Confidence
You wouldn’t want your children to grow up wondering what is wrong with them and why they cannot seem to do anything that makes you happy. The faults that you pick in them in a bid to smoothen their edges can turn out to be something that they start believing so strongly about themselves that they will never be able to grow out of it.
- Feelings of Constant Anxiety and Depression
Parents with a fault-finding attitude end up creating depressed or anxious grownups. It is the appreciation and praises from the parents that a child seeks first, and, when they are unable to get that regardless of how hard they try, it just ends up making them depressed and disheartened.
- Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
According to many studies, children who are constantly criticized by the parents tend to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms. It can be in the form of obsession with their physical appearance or stress eating disorders. For children, these are just ways to calm their minds and soothe their anxious nerves. The road to recovery from the health problems that develop from such emotional responses is never ending and difficult.
- Doubting Every Step They Take Along the Way
The constant fault-finding at every move that the child makes eventually results in making a massive hit at their confidence level. The voice of criticism of the parents ends up being the inner voice of the child that would then hinder every step that he/she takes. For instance, a child who grows up hearing that he is sloppy in everything that he does may end up believing it and giving up on even trying to rectify his flaws.
Resort to Constructive Criticism: Taking the Focus from Perfection to Improvement
We, at Lotus Valley International School, understand that hurting the delicate and developing minds of our young ones is easier than it seems, and, constant fault-finding is just one of the many ways of doing that. Thus, we would advise you that criticism, if there has to be any, should be constructive and positive. The aim should be to always seek improvement but never strive for perfection. The need is to understand that it does the child no good in saying that ‘you have such messy handwriting and you will never do well in your exams.’ Try and change it to something like ‘your handwriting isn’t tidy enough. If you try to practice your handwriting at least once every day, you would certainly do great.’ We are positive that this kind of approach can help to give a sense of direction to the young buds enabling them to bloom into confident leaders and frontrunners of tomorrow.