Teaching Children About Their Inner Critic

September 14, 2019

Quote of the Week

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." -- Henry David Thoreau

How To Teach Your Kids About Their Inner Critic

"Have you ever heard your child say something like: “I’m not good at this,” or “I’m so stupid,” or “It’s all my fault,” or even “I shouldn’t have even tried.” Perhaps some kids don’t say these things out loud, but maybe they refrain from doing certain activities or speaking up in school because they’ve already convinced themselves that they’re not good enough. Over time, these behaviors can grow into what we all have come to know as the inner critic.

For kids, however, I like to refer to the inner critic as “The Critical Critter” to take some of the weight off. Exploring self-critical thoughts can often feel like heavy, exhausting work, so using a playful approach can help children bring a certain amount of lightness to balance out the heavy work of noticing unhelpful habits and challenging them or approaching them differently. [...]

So how do you start a conversation with your children about the self-defeating, self-critical thoughts that we all have running on repeat in the back of our minds? Here is how I help children (and parents) to understand the inner critic." [read article]

Reading Corner

Title: Rosie Revere, Engineer
By: Andrea Beaty
Ages: 4-10

Why?  "Rosie Revere dreamed of becoming a great engineer. Where some people see rubbish, Rosie sees inspiration. Alone in her room at night, shy Rosie constructs great inventions from odds and ends. Hot dog dispensers, helium pants, python-repelling cheese hats: Rosie’s gizmos would astound—if she ever let anyone see them. Afraid of failure, she hides them away under her bed. Until a fateful visit from her great-great-aunt Rose (AKA Rosie the Riveter!), who shows her that the first flop isn’t something to fear—it’s something to celebrate. And you can only truly fail, if you quit." -- Publisher

Be the Change

Next time your child's inner critic becomes vocal, remind them to see their challenge or mistake as an opportunity to grow and learn. Explore ways they can shrink the Critical Critter in their minds.