Kids handling criticism
Criticism can be useful at times, yet criticism can also be hurtful and destructive. So, before you allow someone's comment to upset you, first weigh up what was said.
Although we can expect criticism from those who don't like us, sometimes even our friends, someone in the family, or teachers will point out something that hurts us or makes us feel awkward. And while there are things we can change and work on, there are things we can’t—for example, what we look like.
Getting a lot of mixed messages can be confusing and discouraging, so how do you know what and who to listen to.
Below are examples of criticism. Decide whose comment is positive (helpful) and whose is negative (harmful).
- The leader of the group shouts, “You’re just too scared to break the rules. You’ve got not guts!”
- A trusted friend whispers, “I don’t think you should wear that to the party on Friday.”
- A boy walking home from school yells at the top of his voice, “Only a nerd would ride a bike like that!”
- Your mom says, “When you do it this way, it works a lot better.”
Judge the criticism before you judge yourself
Weigh up what was said to find out what it is worth. It may be valuable or it may be worthless. If it is valuable, the criticism (advice) is worth gold if you allow it to make you a better person by acting on it. The Bible says: “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise” Proverbs 19:20.
But if the criticism was mean or untrue, throw it out as worthless trash! Don’t hold onto it or use it as ammunition to fight back. God has something much better to give you in it’s place—His blessing: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” 1Peter 3:9.
Here is a guide that will help you sort through the everyday comments and criticism you hear from others.
- First, allow yourself some time to cool off. Breath deeply until you feel calm.
- Click on the sheet below "Evaluating criticism."
- Test the criticism and check the score.
- Read the note that corresponds to the score.
- Finally, if someone hurt you by making a nasty remark, ask God to give you grace to forgive the person. Or if the comment was positive and helpful, ask God to help you make some changes. Also, thank the person who cared enough to say something to help you.
Criticism assessment flowchart with score - for kids.