Creative Child

Why Constructive Criticism May Benefit Children More than Praise

by Deborah Song


2. Constructive criticism can build foundational confidence. A confident child isn’t one who is impervious to criticism, but one who values the benefit of constructive feedback over the sting of criticism. When a child learns to channel the feedback in a healthy and positive way, he will naturally see improvement. This can lead to confidence more foundational than praise because it’s something that can be controlled. Imagine being told that your musical performance was amazing and to keep up the good job, versus being told that in order to improve your musical performance, you need to keep on tempo, something the use of a metronome can assist with. With some practice, your musical tempo becomes more consistent. This improvement will not only help your child play the song better, but he will now associate constructive criticism as pivotal for improvement.

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3. Constructive criticism can buffer against social rejection. If your child grows up in a home where constructive criticism is few and far between, he will have a hard time hearing constructive criticism outside the home, from peers, teachers, coaches, bosses and perhaps even a spouse. Real life won’t shelter your child from criticism so the best place perhaps to learn how to take criticism is in the safety of a child’s home with parents who have his best interest at heart. Learning to accept constructive criticism will make your child more resilient to peer criticisms and even social rejection.

4. Someone who knows how to take criticism is better at providing it. Once an individual understands the value of criticism, he will be better poised to provide it. There seems to be a lack of truth-telling in the world today. Giving someone honest feedback is a lot harder than flattery, after all. Someone who appreciates criticism will also understand the value of providing honest, constructive feedback with empathy.

5. Constructive criticism provides self-awareness. The term self-awareness is a misnomer because there is no way to achieve awareness by yourself. We are too close to ourselves to have the depth perception to see if we are becoming too calloused, too cavalier, too careless. Everyone needs well-intentioned people to tell us the truth. Self-awareness is the first step to setting goals. If you’re self-aware enough to know your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll know which goals you need to set and the strategies that will help you achieve them. Self-awareness is also critical to recognizing the problems that you create for yourself and finding strategies to fix them. And finally, developing a consciousness of your own actions and feelings will help you develop healthier relationships.


Deborah Song is the founder of, a cruelty-free company committed to creating travel accessories that help travelers journey with ease, efficiency and elegance. She loves to travel the globe in pursuit of good food, wider life perspectives and great adventure stories with her kids. Deborah is a Canadian-born, mompreneur and Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master’s in journalism from New York University. You can find her travel stories at

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