It’s so important to reflect on our learning experiences, and to teach this to our kids. After all, don’t you think this is what makes us human. When children take on a task and achieve it in whole or part, they learn along the way. Think back about a task or project you completed and what you learnt and what feedback you were given. Children need ways to recognise, capture, and integrate what they have learnt so they can develop more fully and become more effective in the future. 

Being a facilitator with a Diploma in Facilitation, I’m always looking for ways to give feedback to the parents and their kids that I work with – both constructive and when giving an acknowledgement. 

Here’s some tips for giving feedback:

Tip 1: Always ask permission to give your feedback. And remember if you’re sharing what is true for you, remember that it is not the truth. If they aren’t willing to listen to your feedback, then what? As a parent, it can be really frustrating when your child appears not to be listening, or worse yet, seems to outright ignore you. Sometimes giving feedback is all about timing. Right in the middle of a game or during another conversation might not be as effective as a little bit later.  

Tip 2: Be present to your child’s feelings, as sometimes your feedback might be something they don’t want to hear, and will trigger their emotions. Oh, and by the way also give positive feedback not just when it needs to be constructive. 

Tip 3: Always listen and first think about what did your child’s action mean? What I mean by this is, what was the meaning or intent behind their behavior that you are giving them feedback on? They always have a reason and, at times, these reasons need to be heard before giving feedback – E.g. before you redirect them to a quality they could use to replace their anger. 

Tip 4: When giving your Kiddo feedback, don’t tell them what to do. Ask them how they want to be. Here’s an example: “What do we believe in our family about how we treat each other? What would respect sound like (look like, feel like) in this situation?” Here’s my definition, respect is treating everyone with dignity and courtesy through our words and our actions. 

At the end of the day, ​​socially successful teens are aware of how their behaviors are impacting others, and feedback is a great way to help them build this awareness. Egocentrism is developmentally inherent in teens, but understanding the effects they have on those around them helps maintain perspective. It also gives you an opportunity as a parent and their main educator to develop character within them. 

For those parents that would like to join my parenting Facebook group you can go here Parent with Teens, Tween and Anything In between. I would love to hear your comments and please share with others if you have found this post helpful. Together we can create a kinder and more peaceful world.