Education Matters

Do you tell it like it is? Balancing praise and honesty

Posted by Trinity Grammar School on Jan 30, 2017, 6:00:00 AM

Do you tell it like it is? Balancing praise and honestyDuring the course of a child’s education and personal development, there are opportunities for us as parents and teachers to administer feedback every day. This can quite often be in the form of praise, criticism or indifference. Ultimately, children must learn to respond to feedback, but we have a responsibility to provide feedback that is honest, constructive and assists in learning and development. Balancing praise and honesty is key.

How can parents provide constructive feedback?

  • When praising children, ensure it’s genuine. Offering praise at every opportunity or for menial, everyday tasks reduces the value of actions, and as your child matures, they may begin to tune your opinions out.
  • Honesty is okay. Children must learn to receive negative feedback in order to grow and develop. The key is delivering it in a constructive way that will benefit your child.
  • When offering feedback, start by acknowledging what your child has done correctly in the situation, then explain how their actions can be improved next time with a focus on positive reinforcement. Keep interactions positive and avoid negative comments.
  • Acknowledge that each child has different needs. Some are more sensitive than others so the way feedback is delivered must be tailored to the individual. Learning to receive perceived criticism is an emotional skill that takes time to learn.
  • Find the right balance of using praise and honesty consistently. Constantly criticising a child will have a negative effect on their self-esteem. Be constructive and offer solutions that will result in the situation becoming an effective learning experience. 

How do Trinity teachers balance praise and honesty?

  • Trinity’s teaching staff is committed to providing a nurturing, positive learning environment. As such, our teachers praise the efforts of all students appropriately through verbal and written feedback.
  • Merit awards. Various award systems are implemented for all Year groups and provide the opportunity to award students for their hard work and achievements through public commendations and recognition.
  • Staff members provide feedback in a timely manner. This allows a student to ask questions and learn from their mistakes while the completed work is still fresh in their mind.
  • Catering to the individual needs of each boy. When a student makes an error, our teachers are committed to working with students to point out what they are doing well, and provide constructive feedback about how to correct errors and improve future performance.
  • Offering constructive feedback respectfully. This means avoiding publicly criticising a student’s work or offering negative feedback that serves little purpose.

It’s important to praise children. It’s also important to be honest. As parents and teachers, we want our children to learn to respond to all types of feedback in order to develop emotionally and intellectually, and work towards reaching their goals.

At Trinity Grammar School, every boy is guided to grow in mind, body and spirit and we know what boys need to truly flourish and succeed. For over a century, we inspired boys to realise their potential, passions and purpose in life. To learn more about the Trinity difference, download our Prospectus.

Trinity prospectus download

Topics: Parenting tips, Boys' education, All boys education, Raising boys, Boys learning, Education