Haters are everywhere. Critics are everywhere.
But haters and critics aren’t the same. Hate is stupid. Yet, critics and criticism have value. They provide the feedback needed to improve your craft, art, and life.
You can be your kid’s first supporter or hater as a dad.
Learning to give direct feedback while encouraging our kids is a skill we need to master as dads.
We want to make sure they know you see their work and effort.
But to truly grow, you must also be able to tell them where they can improve without being jerks.
Years ago, I accidentally slipped and tripped into joining Toastmasters.
The group trains you to write and give speeches. However, there’s a little secret that they hide. What isn’t promoted is a feature devoted to providing feedback (which is just a pleasant way to say criticism).
When giving a speech, the speaker has an “evaluator” assigned to them with basic rules for giving good feedback.
Wait! It gets even better.
The evaluator is also evaluated! They’re given feedback on their feedback. Mind-blowing! The best evaluator of the day receives an award just like the best speaker of the day.
Witnessing this made me realize that giving effective criticism is a skill that can be improved with effort.
However, I rely on their coaches, teachers, and mentors in areas outside my knowledge. I don’t have the credibility to offer my kids feedback without losing my kids’ respect.
Our children need to trust we will always be honest without cutting them to pieces with our words or criticism. Be honest, but don’t be a hater.
They will encounter plenty of those in their lives.