How to help our children defend themselves from judgments and criticisms?
The psychologist and psychotherapist Rosanna Schiralli explains it to us.
We parents must provide our children with a 'safety suitcase'
The first step in helping our children to deal with the judgments and criticisms of others is to give them, from an early age, one 'security suitcase', that is to say an education based on the reflection of their emotions, on sharing, welcoming, but also on respecting the rules. "Only in this way, in the course of growth, the child will acquire a good self-esteem, will learn to create good relationships with others, to give the right value to the experiences, even unpleasant ones, that can happen to him. And above all he will develop the Resilience, that is the ability to react in the most appropriate way to various situations and to withstand the frustrations that will inevitably derive from them ”says the psychologist. "If, on the other hand, we get our children used to feeling like little emperors, they will never learn to manage the slightest conflict and, at the first criticism, they will go into crisis".
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Show understanding for his anger and disappointment
Even though we have tried to vaccinate him over the years, when certain unpleasant episodes occur it is normal for the boy to feel bad and show his anger with us. What is the best approach on our part?
“Always show understanding for his state of mind, telling him we're sorry for what happened to him,” advises the psychologist. “And then point out that these are things that unfortunately can happen and will happen again, between children and adults, at school as in the workplace, in the sports group as in condominiums. It is up to us to give due weight to every criticism, even if disappointment is inevitable. If we have to tell, we can add episodes of our life in which we have found ourselves in similar situations, so as to make it clear that we know perfectly well what he is talking about ".Also read: 20 very serious tips from a child to his parents
Teach him small but effective communication strategies
What behavior should you suggest to the boy to face criticism and negative judgments? It is useless to be offended or angry: we would only play the game of our 'opponent'.
“One of the most effective strategies of the psychology of communication is the so-called paradoxical answer”Says Schiralli:“ to the 'criticone' friend you can try to say phrases like: 'maybe you are right, let me understand better what you mean, how I should act in your opinion'. In this way there is an attitude of asking for help that immediately raises the weapons and lowers the aggressiveness of the interlocutor ".
Move the discussion to a playful level
Another trick that works is to shift the discussion to a playful and playful level. “Coming up with a witty joke, using irony or self-irony help to tone down and create an atmosphere of sympathy”, emphasizes the expert. “Maybe they can be done 'technical tests' at home, simulating situations and trying to work out together how we can react. In this way the child trains himself to use different communication tools or creative strategies, which not only give him greater security but help to play down the problem a little. "
There is criticism and criticism
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Involve the reference figures
It is also important to make the children think about the fact that, when there are many, there are many points of view (tot capita tot sententiae, the Latins said ...) and that sometimes a criticism can also have a constructive purpose, because it can give you the opportunity to reflect on your own behavior, consider the way of thinking of others and push for improvement.
Just as we must help them not to allow themselves to be influenced by a destructive criticism, of those said only to do harm, perhaps dictated by envy or jealousy. “Indeed, in the latter case the best advice you can give to your child is to evaluate from which source a negative judgment comes and give the 'negative' people the weight they deserve. And, if necessary, change your tour, because it's not really worth getting lost in sterile gossip ”concludes the psychologist.
If gossip, 'factions' and exclusions arise within the school or a sports team, the best solution is to involve the relevant adults, i.e. teachers and instructors. "If the teacher is smart, she will be able to speak in the right way to her group about her and put in place inclusive measures that will allow the children to blend together and resolve criticisms and conflicts in the bud" is the comment of the psychologist.
- children education
- 6-14 children years