Before we start, remember every child is unique and some modifications might need to be made when dealing with children. With that being said, lets discuss today’s topic, correcting kids who do not take constructive criticism very well.

First, where does low confidence and self-esteem stem from? That question is more complicated than you might think. There are many different factors that can affect a child’s confidence. One main culprit is growing up in settings that look down on failure instead of embrace it as part of the learning curve. This could be the setting at home, a sports team or a home setting.

Having children surrounded by instant gratification, not encouraging them to finish what they started and situations where everyone “wins” certainly is not helping.

Kids need to learn the stories behind most successes; which is hard work, endless repetition, making mistakes and a lot of trial and error. But these are not lessons that can be learned overnight, and you might be asking yourself “What can I do now to help?”

One new strategy we adopted at Tiger Rock Martial Arts several years ago, was correcting students without correcting them. We saw the above trend in our students, lacking confidence to be corrected, instead of embracing constructive criticism. So we developed a “Correct Improve” method instead.

We found giving our students a compliment and an opportunity to improve to the next level accomplished our same goal, just in a roundabout way.

For example, it would go something like this: “Hey Jace, that is a great kick! Can I show you how to make it faster and/or more powerful?” Almost 100% of the time, kids would be all in to get some “tips” on how to take their skills to the next level and not even realize we were correcting their technique.

The next time you see your child helping with chores around the house, trying to learn a new hobby or spending time on their schoolwork; this is a great way to introduce this learning technique. We think you will be pleasantly surprised how well it works. Second, it gives the kids a little more control and feel like they are in charge of their path to success!

Look for more great blogs on helping kids deal with failure and how your mistakes make you better.