After our child performs, our first instinct is to congratulate them. We praise them for their efforts and we feel a sense of pride! They did an amazing job. However, our children will not always receive praise for every performance they do. They may get a poor music exam grade back, they may not do as well as they hoped to in an eisteddfod. They may even receive harsh criticism from within if they put high expectations on themselves. For many children, the criticism can outweigh the praise and is something they really struggle to deal with. In today’s blog, we thought it may be helpful to consider how we can help our children deal with criticism they experience in their musical journey.
Provide advice when required
Many children cannot cope with criticism, simply because they are not used to it. With this aid, it is in fact useful to offer constructive criticism to children earlier on, in a positive and encouraging way. Just as a lack of encouragement is unhealthy, too much-unrequited praise is not helpful to children either as they will not come to acknowledge the steps they must take in order to advance their skills. Therefore, it is of great help to children to receive constructive criticism and is ultimately beneficial and necessary in order for students to develop into their best selves.
Think about the steps needed in order to improve on the criticism
After providing constructive criticism try not to overthink it too much. Instead ask your child to consider what steps they must take in order to consider how they can change their mentality and work towards their goals. Similarly, work alongside them to create goals that are achievable and realistic. Try to focus the negative energy into achieving their goals in a realistic way and they will be on the road to bettering themselves in their musical journey.
Dealing with perfectionism
For many children, they simply cannot handle criticism simply because are perfectionists meaning that everything has to be… well… perfect! Which is obviously impossible to start with! Instead help your child to recognise when their perfectionism is getting in the way of accepting criticism and instead help them to recognise that they can use elements of their perfectionism to improve. Sometimes to the best thing a perfectionist can do is not necessarily work incessantly to improve themselves, but simply be told they just need to be kinder to themselves. Ultimately when we are kind to ourselves, we allow ourselves to flourish and this is when we can become the best version of ourselves.
We hope this is most beneficial to you and your child.