Parents are loath to say anything to their kids that's not positive. Parents want to encourage kids, want them to feel good about themselves, want them to know they are loved and supported.
But the truth is, from age 8 and older, children are like walking lie detectors. They know when Mom and Dad aren't being sincere. So when you're not honest, you don't build a child's self-confidence; you actually undermine it.
Being honest shows kids that you are tuning in to them, that you are paying attention to everything they do. As a matter of fact, the absence of criticism sends a bad signal because kids expect you to be helping them improve.
Of course, parents should not constantly rebuke their children. Moderation is key.
To learn Ungaro's keys to effective criticism, tune into The Early Show Monday.