Providing Feedback During Your Child’s Continuous Learning
In light of the constant changes in the current education landscape, it is essential to recognize the struggle many parents face when assisting with their children’s learning.
Familial support systems at home that otherwise proved secondary for your child’s educational needs now possess greater significance than ever before, putting more pressure on not just the students but also the parents of those students. Hence, it’s important to remember that care and empathy––aspects that ISKL prides itself in promoting and cultivating––hold greater value in tending to your child’s needs.
Here is some advice derived from our Elementary School counselors Chris Wright, Emma Gedge, and Lynn Kogelmann that one can consider when forming the most effective feedback parts - ensuring a productive and fruitful learning journey for your child.
Hit The “Pause” Button
It is essential to take the time and not just ponder what your child is telling you but also reflect upon the input you are about to give. An excellent method to evaluate this feedback is the THINK method, which covers five steps:
“T” – Is it True?
Is the feedback truthful altogether? A euphemism for what you really mean?
“H” – Is it Helpful?
Does the feedback aid or assist them in any way? How much closer to their goal does it get them?
“I” – Is it Inspiring?
Do you think they’ll feel motivated? Strive to accomplish the task at hand? Remember––you are in their corner, and much like a coach would, give them the fighting words they need to hear!
“N” – Is it Necessary?
Do they need to hear what you have to say? Perhaps consider whether your advice is necessary at that point––nobody wants always to hear what they know they should be doing.
“K” – Is it Kind?
Kindness is one of the cornerstones of getting your feedback done right. It’s more important to think about how you go about your piece of feedback rather than put it bluntly. Try your utmost best to convey your message in the most honest, non-belittling way possible.
Positive and constructive feedback is one of the most beneficial ways to give your child the best kind of advice. It is always vital to suggest what your child could work towards or improve upon. Sometimes, this situation may require negative feedback. Circumstances like these may perhaps require alone time with your child to confer with them.
Think of feedback through the Sandwich analogy. There are three pieces to it: the top bread (the compliment), the contents (“coach”), then the bottom bread (the encouragement).
A practical example would be when going over your child’s entire piece of work. First, after going over it, you lead with how much you love the kind of language they’ve used. Then comes the coach, which comprises the core of the feedback, such as what they should be better at or how they can further improve. Lastly is the encouragement aspect, which mainly aids your child’s development. It is here that we utilize what we’ve learned so far to suggest which direction your child could be headed.
It is also essential to be incredibly specific about what you are talking about when giving feedback. Tell your child how much you love the dialogue of their story’s main characters, for example. This will help your child know about the specific skills they have talent in and further utilize them in the future.
Asking Permission and Giving Control
Asking permission from your child to give advice is also imperative––sometimes, they can be a bit apprehensive about handing the reins over to someone else. This is why it’s essential to understand that you are entering their space on their accord, not barging in unwantedly. Remember that patience and understanding are key. An example could be: “I have some ways I can help, would you like to hear that now?”.
Giving them this sense of control can help have a conversation become more positive with your child.
Celebrate Your Mistakes
Although it seems counterintuitive, giving cause for celebrating inevitable mistakes is useful when ensuring growth in your child. As adults, it’s easy to overlook mistakes as blemishes that need to be ironed out when mistakes help us grow, learn, which kids are used to hearing about at school all the time.
Actions, Not Personality
Give your child feedback not on their personality but their actions. Instead of saying the phrase: “you’re so rude,” it is much better to say that what actions or behaviors you feel are not right. So then the phrase would sound more like “what you said sounded rude to me.” While this may seem a small difference at first, this will have a much more significant impact on your child, who may turn towards reexamining their behavior to see what caused your grievances in the first place.
And Lastly. Set an Example for Your Kids
While giving feedback is one thing, try to seek it from your kids––whether it be about things that are happening in your home, their opinion on worldly topics, and more.
It shouldn’t have to be a one-way street; having your children believe that you value their opinions and thoughts on some issues allows them to open up to you in many more ways than one.
The above writing was rewritten from the continuous learning workshop conducted by ES Counselors Chris Wright, Emma Gedge, and Lynn Kogelmann.
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