How To Criticize Your Children

Concerned citizens gather on the dock as survivors arrives in Pangai on Tonga's Lifuka Island, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009, after a ferry carrying 117 passengers and crew sank around midnight Wednesday, northeast of the Tongan capital, Nuku'alofa. The number of people missing and feared dead after the Princess Ashika sank in Tonga rose Friday to more than 60 and could jump further, police said, as the prime minister called tragedy a "major disaster" for his tiny country. (AP Photo/Sustainable Coastlines, Emily Penn) ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY **
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Parents often hesitate to criticize their kids because it feels so negative to do it. But Susan Ungaro, editor-in-chief of Family Circle magazine, says we need to change our view of criticism. She will drop by The Early Show Monday to explain why, and give parents tips for criticizing in a loving manner.

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.