What’s one of the best ways to give your child important feedback?
Get someone else to do it!! Let’s be honest, sometimes our little angels won’t listen to a word we say no matter how much sense it makes. It’s not the message that’s the issue it’s the messenger!! That’s why I often use my kids as ‘messengers’ to support each other’s learning. Here’s an example…..
Your child has been struggling in a specific area of their sport over the last few weeks but although you’ve tried to talk to them, they’re not open to listening to your feedback. Because this is a learning opportunity you don’t want to miss, you enlist the support of one of your other kids to help you. Take them with you to watch the game/competition and highlight the area you want them to talk about, making sure they ask questions (“ask them how they feel about their positioning in defence”) not express your opinion (“tell them they need to get closer to opponents when they’re defending”).
Your role is to follow up to reinforce the learning – “I know you had a talk with your sister about defending – how did that go?” and look for any improvements in competition you can praise – “that tip your sister gave you really worked well today”. This works particularly well from an older to a younger child but can also be effective the other way, particularly if they play the same sport. I have asked my younger son to ask his big brother – “I want to get better at defending – what are the things you think are most important for me to think about?”. Only child? Cousins and family friends work just as well!
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