It’s easy to hear criticisms of parenting. We hear them in our everyday lives, literally walking down the street, “Do you think your baby is hungry? Is that why she’s crying?” We hear them on the television when reporters highlight the most recent “shocking” story of a parent letting their kid walk to the park or bus stop alone. We can even hear them from our friends who unintentionally (or even intentionally) judge us for allowing our kids to watch too much TV or have a smartphone.
In truth, we can learn from criticism. Certainly, the teacher that humiliates his or her students will eventually get through to them. But, you catch more flies with honey and the lesson through patience and kindness is stronger and more meaningful. I like to try to keep a positive outlook and focus on what we can do and not what we’re doing wrong. Is that always easy? Certainly not. When life gets busy or overly stressful, it is hard to focus on positive action, and this is why reflective practice is so important.
Reflective practice is all about learning from our mistakes and our successes, so inherently it is self-criticism of both the good and the bad. And, it’s constructive criticism with a focus on how to learn from the mistakes and make better choices moving forward. It’s not about rehashing the past and punishing or shaming yourself.
You can read more in my post on Positive Parenting on the the Women’s Forum featuring some specific strategies.