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September 11, 2014
The Value of Correction
Correcting children can be exasperating. Part of the problem is that children don’t usually value correction. Instead they become defensive, offer excuses, blame others, or even blame themselves. These manipulative techniques cause children to miss the benefits of correction.
Of course, it’s not just a kid problem. How do you respond when your spouse or co-worker offers some helpful criticism? What about from your children? Are you able to take advice from your child at times?
If you’re going to help children learn to respond well to correction, you must start by giving them a vision for its benefits. Talk to your kids about things you’ve learned when others have corrected you. Invite your children to correct you in a particular area of your life you’re working on. (Of course, they need to learn how to give advice or point out a problem in a gracious way!)
Explain how the poor responses people have deflect the correction and cause a person to not learn and grow. Explore with children the reasons why people don’t like to be corrected. These discussions can open the door for children to rethink their own responses.
Proverbs is full of verses that talk about the value of correction. You might want to do a study of them with your children. One is Proverbs 12:1, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” That sounds like the beginning of a great conversation with your child, doesn’t it?
Heeding correction helps a person become wise. It’s better to avoid a trap through correction than to fall into it and have to learn from experience. In fact, many of the valuable lessons of life are learned through correction in one form or another. Although children may not appreciate it, the correction they receive from you is a gift and your persistence can provide them with the wisdom they need both now and for the future.
For more on how to build a good Correction Routine with your children, read the book Good and Angry, Exchanging Frustration for Character In You and Your Kids by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN. To gain some fun curriculum for kids that teaches the value of correction, consider the Treasure Hunters children’s curriculum for kids ages 3-12.