Building Stronger Relationships with Your Children Using Correction Not Criticism – ETB #165

One of my purposes here with the Equipped To Be Podcast is to help you build stronger relationships with your children as you launch them into adulthood. In this episode, I dive into the differences between correction and criticism. I share biblical insights, the power of your words, steps to using correction, and the potential pitfalls of sarcasm. Getting a handle on these concepts now will strengthen your relationships with your kids and make them more likely to seek out your advice and counsel when they are older.

Building Stronger Relationships with Your Children Using Correction Not Criticism - ETB #165

This episode is sponsored by BJU Press Homeschool. Visit for trusted educational resources from a biblical worldview.

Correction vs. Criticism

To begin this conversation, we need to define these terms. What is the difference between correction and criticism?

Correction flows from a heart that cares about the other person, tends to build up, is biblical, and is motivated by love and compassion. Criticism often comes out of feeling attacked or frustrated, tends to tear down, expresses disapproval, and the words rarely land in a good place.

The Power of Words

Dale Carnegie said that criticizing is easy, but understanding and forgiveness require character and self-control.

Your words have the power to build up or tear down. I regularly say, “Let the words of your mouth land in a tender place of your child’s heart.” Be mindful of your tone, the construct of your sentences, and the child to whom you’re speaking.

Scripture on Correction

Take a look at these verses in the Bible on correction:

  • 2 Timothy 3:16
  • Proverbs 12:1
  • Hebrew 12:11
  • Proverbs 18:21
  • Probers 13:3
  • Psalms 141:3

3 Steps to Using Correction

Here are 3 things to help you check yourself to make sure that you’re approaching your child for correction not criticism:

  • see through your child’s lens
  • take your thoughts captive
  • be quick to apologize

Warnings About Sarcasm

I live with a husband and a son gifted in sarcasm. I cannot complete with their one-liners. But, sarcasm can cause trouble. Keep these things in mind when using sarcasm. Sarcasm…

  • can be misinterpreted
  • can lead to conflict
  • can be passive aggressiveness
  • can lead to cynicism

The Parenting Goal: Stronger Relationships

I encourage you to:

  • lift up not tear down
  • guard your own mouth
  • check your own motive

If you want to keep the heart of your kids and build stronger relationships with them, practice these things. If you do, when they are older and living on their own as adults, they will be more likely to hear what you want to say to them and even seek out your opinions.

References and Links

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Building Stronger Relationships with Your Children Using Correction Not Criticism - ETB #165