How to Spark It

Wed, 25 Aug, 2021

How to Give Your Children Effective Feedback

How to Give Your Children Effective Feedback


Learning how to give feedback helps you feel more secure in your environment and more adaptable to change. It helps us know how to overcome setbacks and gives us confidence. However, being at any end of the feedback cycle can be tricky. Poorly delivered feedback can do more harm than good. Similarly, well-delivered feedback can do wonders.

Communication and receiving feedback are essential skills that children should be taught from an early age. Children who know the value of good feedback from parents and teachers learn better and develop a growth mindset than those who only seek praise.

What is Feedback, and What are Some of the Indicators of Effective Feedback for Kids?

Feedback is information given to a person about their product or performance as a basis for improvement. When providing feedback to your children, the intention should be to use the feedback cycle to create a growth mindset. The goal is to provide practical and relevant ideas that aid development.

“Make feedback normal. Not a performance review.”-Ed Batista

Meaningful feedback plays an essential role in a child personality development. It helps your child know if they are on the right track, gives them a chance to analyse their performance their way, and learn from mistakes.

Why is Feedback Important for Kids?

Giving your children a guiding hand in their learning years is the best a parent can do. Feedback is an essential part of this guidance. Here’s why feedback matters to kids   

  • Constructive feedback improves confidence and removes self-doubt.        
  • Gives them a chance to reflect on their work.        
  • Motivates and offers direction for future improvement.        
  • Feedback may give inspiration, hope, and new ideas.   

Situations That Warrant Feedback

Now we reach the question of when to give feedback? What is the right time to offer advice?

The answer is simpler than you think. Feedback should be given whenever you find some room for improvement in any of your child’s endeavours. Here are some examples    

  1. After a sporting event/athletic competition/game        
  2. After a performance (dance/debate/theatre)        
  3. To discuss a disagreement/altercation/fight        
  4. To give your thoughts on a sales pitch or business idea        
  5. When reviewing a school project or assignment        
  6. If you observe that their words or actions impacted you or someone else   

Find out how Planet Spark helps develop a growth mindset for kids.

Check out these helpful tips for delivering effective feedback, so your child can grow and persevere    

  • Prepare and Pause Before You Give Feedback - Your feedback should be productive and not an opinion or compliant. Think about your goal with the feedback and choose your words wisely. Make it easy to understand for a child and make sure it doesn’t hurt their feelings. Do not give feedback unless it is vital.        
  • Support Growth Mindset by Focusing on the Process - “In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.”- Carol Dweck. A growth mindset helps children focus on the positive aspect of the feedback process – that is, a chance to grow. They keep an open mind, make wise choices, and are not adversely affected by criticism. Focusing on the process will help your children celebrate their mistakes and take feedback as learning.        
  • Focus on the “How” - Cultivate a sense of trust with the child before you decide to offer feedback. When giving feedback, balance the positive and negative. Positive feedback should be given at every opportunity, and constructive feedback should only be shared privately.        
  • Make Sure Your Feedback Is Specific - There is nothing more frustrating than generic or vague feedback that a child cannot use. Take note of what your child has done well, where they have faltered, or simply something they have changed in their performance. Mention these points specifically in your feedback and give information that your child can reflect on.        
  • Ask for Permission and Give Control - Feeling controlled is a key cause of resistance to feedback. The solution is to give your child control over the feedback they want to receive. Make a habit of asking if they would like to receive feedback before offering it. Also, tweak your feedback process to resemble a problem-solving approach.    
  • Praise effort, not the ability - If you want your children to develop resilience and determination to overcome obstacles, praise the efforts they make and not their natural ability. Praising their efforts rewards hard-working behaviour and reinforces their belief in working hard to get what they want.        
  • Keep Your Emotions Out of the Frame - As parents, it is natural to feel disappointed when children don’t achieve the expected results. It is also natural to feel elated when they do well. But remember to keep these emotions out of the frame when giving feedback. Avoid threats, tears and keep your words neutral.

The art of giving and receiving constructive/positive feedback is a valuable skill for children. It broadens perspective and helps them keep an open mind. Feedback helps children grow into adults who can communicate well and are respected for their ability to learn.