It is easy for parents to pour out their complaints when children do childish things. But criticism attacks children's character without giving them useful information. When children stumble, rather than tell them to be careful or stop being clumsy, we can show compassion for the challenges of growing up. A good response might be, "It's easy to stumble when you're trying to hurry." Compassion is more helpful than criticism.
Next time you are tempted to criticize your child, stop. See what challenge your child may be facing. See the world through your child's eyes. Instead of criticizing the child by saying, "You never pick up your toys!" or "You are so forgetful!" take their point of view and give information as appropriate. Say, "You've been very absorbed with your toys. You haven't picked up your clothes yet. Will you do that now?" or "I see you forgot your lunch again. What can we do to help you remember it in the future?"
Info in this post by Ashley Winberry at firstname.lastname@example.org For an excellent (and free!) program on parenting, see The Parenting Journey at www.arfamilies.org and if your children are younger than six, check out See the World Through My Eyes.