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When Someone Criticizes Your Child's Behavior

Your Kids Behavior

Parents Want To Think The Best Of Our Kids

We parents are quite a protective lot.  We want to think the best of our kids as much as possible, we don’t want to believe they are going astray, and we worry about random hazards befalling them at all hours of the day.  But what happens when someone gives you real criticism about your child’s behavior, something that surprises or disappoints you?  Do you stay protective, get defensive, assume the worst?  How do you balance your protective nature and a problem that may really need to be addressed?

Giving And Receiving Feedback About Your Kids Can Be Challenging

Let’s imagine a scenario to get your mind turning. Imagine your sibling has kids about the age of your kids.  You enjoy getting together with your sibling, but their kids usually ignore and disclude your kids when you are at their house.  They are also say and do little inconsiderate things to your kids throughout your visit.  You don’t expect the cousins will necessarily become best friends with each other, but you you’d like them to get along.  How do you handle this?  What if you are the sibling with the kids who ignore and disclude?  How would you receive feedback about them from your sibling?

This is where it can get dicey!  Kids behavior can stem from their own personalities and also from the influence of their home environment. If you are the one concerned about your kids being not included, take a moment and think about a few things.

Possible Reasons Behind The Problem

Are the cousins simply not very familiar with each other?  Do your kids (one or all) have certain quirks or social difficulties that make them difficult to get along with?  What do you know about your sibling to give you a clue about how they are raising their kids?  Can you predict how your sibling might receive negative feedback about their kids’ behavior?

Your decision will be affected by these and other factors.  If you get along well with your sibling, most anything you say will probably worked out agreeably.  If one or both of you tend to turn a blind eye to your own childrens’ problems, you may have more difficulty resolving this.  In many cases, this isn’t just a problem between the kids.  It’s a situation that involves the adults, both as (possibly) part of the problem and the ones who can make things improve.

What do you think?

Have you had sticky problems like this, either as the one giving or receiving such feedback?  How have you worked out difficulties like this?

Creative Commons License photo credit: What Silence

When Someone Criticizes Your Child's Behavior

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2010). When Someone Criticizes Your Child's Behavior. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2020, from


Last updated: 22 Jul 2010
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