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The first years of life are the most important in human development. Education and the type of relationship that is established between the child and the adults in their environment will be of utmost importance so that the child knows how to integrate the necessary experiences to adapt to the environment that surrounds them.
To do this, the way in which adults communicate with children will be essential. The way in which they relate to each other will have a strong impact on the image that the little ones form of themselves and their self-esteem, but it will also have a lot of relevance in the way they face life. For example, how does criticism affect you? Given the reaction you have children's brains when they are constantly criticized, they can be dangerous.
Most parents do everything in their power to make their children happy in their childhood. Thus, and with their best intentions, they make mistakes without meaning to. An example of this is some parents' use of constant criticism regarding certain behaviors of children.
Criticisms that are too frequent influence children's emotional state, but they also have the power to affect their brain function.
Children tend to avoid situations that make them feel uncomfortable or anxious. Being constantly subjected to criticism, avoid paying attention. That is, a protection mechanism is set in motion whereby if a situation arises that cannot be avoided, your brain 'disconnects'.
Because children are still very young, their brains do not yet have the ability to make the necessary connections to process emotional information appropriately. Therefore, it is dangerous for criticism to be constant in childhood, since it can disable the child in emotional processing, which is key to social relationships.
It should be noted that there are two types of criticism: constructive and destructive. They are easy to use and are used consistently. The continued use of destructive criticism makes parents in 'toxic', since they end up causing emotional damage such as:
- Low self-esteem
Criticizing constantly does not help, quite the opposite. It only makes the child feel sad, angry and insecure. They are youngsters who will have problems relating to others in both adolescence and adulthood.
If the child grows up listening to criticism towards him and others, he learns that others do everything wrong and cannot be trusted. For him, everything that comes from 'outside' is negative. He becomes ill-thought, authoritarian, unfair, maniacal, etc.
- Anxiety and fear
Growing up with low self-esteem generates, in turn, anxiety and fear that can be reflected in sleep problems, in relationships with peers, or in poor school performance.
If before we talked about destructive criticism, which generates emotional discomfort in the child. Now we mention the constructive criticisms that are those that will allow the child to advance in their development.
For this type of criticism to really help the child, they must:
1. Be focused on providing solutions
If the criticism remains in emphasizing the mistake that the child has made, it is useless. It is necessary to go further and propose to the little one the choice between various solutions.
2. Do not label
Criticism, therefore, must be focused on their behavior and not on the child himself. Put aside phrases such as: 'you're lazy', 'you're a mess', etc.
3. Being 'one of lime and another of sand'
You should not focus everything on the negatives, you should also reinforce the positives that the child does.
4. Do not hypothesize
When criticism is used, one is usually angry, this rarely makes one wonder about what happened or try to see the other point of view. Criticism is blind and is usually based on conjecture.
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