A few years ago, my son had a baseball coach who’d never learned the art of criticizing kids—it was doubtful he’d ever even worked with kids. So, at times, he would overreact or criticize harshly. In one game, a batter hit a hard grounder to my son and my son bobbled the ball and overthrew first. “Bad baseball!” his coach yelled. “Bad baseball!” You could see my son physically wilt.

Child psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott says, “When a person is drowning, it is not a good time to teach him to swim … or to criticize his performance,” but as parents, we have to help correct our kids’ behavior and actions. So what’s the secret to criticizing kids the right way? Just follow these 5 rules.


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