How do I Teach Students to Respond to Criticism?

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Responding to hurtful comments with a 'thank you' can benefit students.It is important that we teach our students to appreciate what people say to us, if they want them to be friends. Even if what they say is nasty, angry, hurtful or hateful, we can teach students to be grateful and consider how they can learn from it.

Approaching their comments as feedback can be helpful if used to grow or change something. The students need to understand that they can respond to criticism, negative comments or insults in anger or figure out how it could help them.

For example, if someone calls a student an idiot, they can choose to consider that the person is trying to help them think smarter. If someone calls them a fatso, they can consider that the person just wants them to get in shape and be healthier or consider a diet.

Being grateful for everything others have to say, does not mean that they have to believe what they are told or do what they ask – only be grateful for it. For example, if someone tells them to go jump off a bridge, they can just thank them for caring enough to help them improve their behavior.

Learn More… Take this course: Bullying: The Golden Rule Solution

Discuss Here: How can you encourage students to respond to criticism positively?

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One Response to “How do I Teach Students to Respond to Criticism?”
  1. Barbara Lobdell says:

    If the above comments to respond to mean remarks were meant to be said with a sense of humor, they may be appropriate. Teaching a child to deflect anger and malice with a sense of humor is often very valuable but to teach them to just appreciate a rude or malicious remark is not going to work. The above comments hurled at a child were not in any way meant to help or direct them. Children can be very mean to each other and it wounds. However, teaching a child to throw back a funny or silly remark back at the other person is a good way to diffuse the situation and put the spotlight back on the one who has been rude. Then they have to figure out how to handle it.
    Valid criticism can be evaluated in the way it is handled above, but ‘idiot’, ‘fatso’, and ‘jump off a bridge’ are not criticism but rather insults. Insults can be responded to with humor and criticism can be learned to be greeted with appreciation knowing it can help us get better at something.You need to teach them the difference between the two.

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