criticism and emotional intensity

Posted by: Pinecroft

criticism and emotional intensity - 09/30/15 01:05 PM

How do you 'soften the blow' with your emotionally intense child when you're offering a criticism?

A great example: today my daughter asked my son about something he was saying he'd done in art at school. DD: "was it good" DS: 'yeah, it was ok" (or something like that) DD: "Oh, that means it wasn't good"... Ok, she is socially astute enough to know that it wasn't a nice thing to say (its not like he was offering up self criticism, nor was he looking for any feedback...). I called her in to the other room to let her know that what I'd heard didn't sound very nice - and she flipped out. (Note, I wasn't yelling, wasn't speaking harshly, accusing, etc., just letting her know.) This happens pretty much every time she hears something she doesn't like... (I asked DS after how he felt about her comment - he said he didn't care; I said how would you feel if *someone else* had said that, and he said 'oh, pretty terrible')

Any suggestions for ways to share those less-than-complimentary reviews of our kids behavior when they are warranted? Yes, I could overlook some (and do!!), but sometimes a little feedback is needed... I've tried being gentle, assuming she didn't know that her comment might have been taken badly, etc., it almost always yields the same response.

Anyone else have this problem?
Posted by: indigo

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 09/30/15 01:25 PM

A version of the sandwich method can be helpful for giving constructive criticism.
Posted by: Dude

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 09/30/15 01:52 PM

I'm still working this one out myself.

Just last night, when DD10 and I were discussing the many factors that influence how quickly one moves forward in gymnastics, I mentioned coachability, and how one receives and responds to critical feedback. DD's snap response: "I take criticism well, except from my parents."

That has not always been our observation, but there's a ring of truth to it these days.
Posted by: Can2K

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 09/30/15 01:59 PM

I'm not sure this is very helpful, but I think I'd try to ask questions about what _they_ think happened and whether or not it was OK. E.g. I noticed you said X to your brother. How do you think he felt about that? How would you feel in that situation?

I feel like we have the opposite problem at our house - DS7 can't stand people saying anything nice about him/his work. He always contradicts you and says "No it was bad".
Posted by: suevv

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 09/30/15 02:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Dude
DD's snap response: "I take criticism well, except from my parents."

That has not always been our observation, but there's a ring of truth to it these days.


The other day, my DS7 did a small non-optimal thing just as I was picking him up from school. The other (several years older) child snapped a bit, but both were moving on - until DS noticed that I'd seen what happened. He then went into huge histrionics about how it wasn't a big deal and the other kid was ridiculous to even comment about it and on and on. Fortunately, the other kid had pretty much already tuned out on the issue and I was able to get the heck out of Dodge.

Later when DS calmed down and we were able to discuss, he asked with great exasperation, "Don't you realize I'm EMBARRASSED when you see me do something wrong?"

He is a kid who knows he is loved unconditionally. Possibly as a partial result - he's also a very internally motivated kid (which is good, I think). But I came to realize that one huge external driver for him is wanting his dad and me to be proud of him, and think he's doing well.

So there's that going on. Some sort of perfectionism tied up with wanting to make mom and dad happy. Could that be a factor for you?
Posted by: Dude

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 09/30/15 02:36 PM

Originally Posted By: suevv
So there's that going on. Some sort of perfectionism tied up with wanting to make mom and dad happy. Could that be a factor for you?


In our case, absolutely. That's pretty much the entire story, beginning to end.

This is one case in which identifying the nature of the problem does not lead to obvious solutions, because what are we supposed to do, make her like/respect us less?

We try to embody the "failure is always an option" motto, and demonstrate it by emphasizing and laughing at our own. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes she just doesn't want to hear it.
Posted by: suevv

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 09/30/15 02:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Dude

We try to embody the "failure is always an option" motto, and demonstrate it by emphasizing and laughing at our own. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes she just doesn't want to hear it.


Well - I think that's really all you can do, along with the ongoing unconditional love thing. They are very cagey and slow trust/believe, these sensitive, connection-making, future-envisioning kids of ours.
Posted by: Pinecroft

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 09/30/15 02:45 PM

Thanks Dude, glad to know I'm not alone. I'm suffering heavily at the moment!! This kid is one who *reacts* to the hilt. (Meanwhile, I have the intellectual OE going overtime in DS, telling me all about some kind of fruit that doesn't grow in our area... doing extra research as I ask him about hardiness zones, and whether it could grow indoors, etc... Getting it from both the positive - yet exhausting - and negative - and oh man even more exhausting - sides right now! LOL.) She digs into a position, and sticks with it.

Can2K, thanks for the suggestion, I have tried that. She digs in her heels almost immediately, even if she *knows* she was wrong - she doesn't like to admit it, ever. EVER. She has told me she wouldn't care if someone said X to her. She also tends to ask her brother - and too often he couldn't care less what *she* says to him; he's so used to her negativity that it rolls off his back (now, as I mentioned above, if someone else said it, he'd be deeply injured!). He's too literal to understand that I need. him. to. lie. In that one situation only ;-) So that backfires on me ;-)

The sandwich method might work. I have complimented her on many of her gifts that lead to issues in this house (she will be an excellent lawyer someday - can anyone say loophole? persistence?). That said, I haven't consciously tried that with her (I've done it many times in giving bad news to someone in writing though, so familiar with the technique!).

I'm feeling very tired of difficult parenting at the moment.
Posted by: Pinecroft

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 09/30/15 02:51 PM

I was dealing with DD (yes, still) and missed half this thread :-)

I think you hit the nail on the head with the perfectionism. I'm not entirely convinced she wants to make us happy, but she doesn't like to be embarrassed. Unfortunately, she also refuses to do any constructive unpacking of her feelings. So no conversations after where she admits what happened or why something might have happened. I'm SO in for it with the teen years....

But back to perfectionism. DD definitely doesn't like to be wrong. Good insight.

How then, does one handle it when she is? Sigh. She's one tough cookie. And I feel like I am messing up (crumbling that cookie!) at every twist and turn lately. [sorry - insert feeling sorry for oneself emoticon - does that exist??]
Posted by: Ametrine

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 09/30/15 05:48 PM

Just from what you gave as an example of your daughter's response, I have a question. Is she normally blunt? I'm guessing so, because your son didn't seem to take offense to her question.

Perhaps this is her "style" of speaking. It will cause her considerable grief if she doesn't learn to "soften" it up. I know.

Something my mom taught me was to THINK before speaking. I learned to anticipate what my gut-reaction response to a person would produce from them and re-formulate in my mind how I spoke. It took a LONG time to learn. Many times I heard, "Watch your mouth!" from mom.

Placing oneself mentally in the others' position (sort of "out of body") can sometimes help. That is, if the person doing the exercise has empathy. I'm sure your DD does; especially for her brother.

I still slip and find myself saying the most awful blunt things. An example was at a social dinner in which a co-worker brought his new girlfriend (his wife had recently passed). I inquired about her line of work. She said she was "_______." To which I responded, "I don't know anything about that." *cringe* (In my defense, I'm socially awkward...can you tell?)

Bluntness is possibly her thing. If she can tone it down, she'll do much better.
Posted by: Nyaanyaa

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 09/30/15 09:42 PM

I cannot support your criticism. Your daughter meant no harm, and no harm was done. I too would be upset if falsely accused of misbehavior.

In a situation in which you perceive misbehavior, such as this one, I recommend inquiring about her intentions, and discussing how her behavior may be misinterpreted or be hurtful, as well as how such situations can be handled or prevented. It is important here to parent with compassion, not for compliance.

Please be careful not to misunderstand your children's behavior. They likely understand much better what they can say to their sibling or not to not cause grief than you do. smile
Posted by: Platypus101

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/01/15 07:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Pinecroft
How do you 'soften the blow' with your emotionally intense child when you're offering a criticism?


No answers Pinecroft, but I live your question.

DS, Mr. Anxiety, breaks down at the slightest hint of criticism, and will try to cover his ears to avoid hearing things he doesn't want to hear. "Why are you so mean? Why do you say such horrible things to me?"

I've tried a thousand times to explain that sometimes things are really important for him to hear, even if he doesn't enjoy hearing them. That's it's totally OK to make mistakes but we need to learn from them. That we all mess up sometimes, and that's just fine, but we need to take responsibility and try to fix what we can.

No go. Break down, blame others, avoid all responsibility, fall apart.

I have realized that his past teachers at school have avoided criticism, have avoided making him finish work that's giving him problems (he has writing and EF issues), because they can't handle it when his tears start to well up. Result: he's not learned to deal with tough things, and he's learned he can avoid problems, and not have to finish stuff. This is biting us big time in new middle school this year.

When his grandfather died earlier this year, and I tried to commiserate saying "I know this is really hard", his response was "This isn't hard, it's impossible." And he did everything in his power to avoid all discussion, exposure or anything that would remind him of the death, because by pretending it didn't exist he could avoid having to live in that unpalatable reality. Given his druthers, he would never have dealt with the problem. However, four days in his grandmother's house and extensive visitation, funeral, etc activities were unbelievably brutal to get through, but ultimately allowed him enough exposure to come to grip. By the end, he could co-exist with pictures, conversations, and even jokes about what grandad must be saying about us right now, watching the commotion he had caused. It was really, really hard to get there, though.

Long, long way of saying: DS's nature is to do everything possible to avoid confronting difficult feelings and realities. His own failures are high up the list of things "impossible". I don't know how to help him assimilate these realities better. I only know enabling the avoidance carries a huge long-term price. Advice would be deeply welcomed.
Posted by: suevv

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/01/15 09:14 AM

Pinecroft, Platypus and Dude -

Yes - we have the problem, too. Lately it has helped DS7 to hear that it's more than "we have to learn from our mistakes." It's that we MUST make mistakes in order to learn, that it's one of the main jobs that children have. I tell him that if you aren't making mistakes, you're not learning.

So we go through this: "That wasn't just the way you would want it to be. That DOES NOT make me feel angry or badly. You were just doing your learning job. It gives me a place to do my teaching job as your mom. Let's work through this."

At this point I have approximately 3-4 questions/answers I can expect him to work on before I get the exact flopping over, eye-rolling, blame others reaction you guys describe. It's like they have a play book!

But at least I get those few moments. So maybe try the "it's your job to learn by going through these trials and errors, and my job to help you."

FWIW - I also soften him up by pointing out that growing up well is a really, really hard, sometimes un-fun job to do right. I have him notice that lots of people never do the hard work to grow up well, or else they didn't have a parent willing to do their side of the job. Then when they are grown, they aren't happy and don't get to do things they otherwise would.

If I see a grown person behaving badly in public, I'll raise this. E.g., "Wow, look at that man being nasty to the waitress. Maybe when he was little, his parents never helped him learn how to ask for things nicely." Also - unfortunately - we have a family member I can point to who is selfish and mean and just "can't get along with others." So that's a really useful reference point.

P.S. When I say it "that doesn't make me feel angry or badly," I'm probably lying through my teeth. In my head I know it shouldn't make me feel angry or badly, because he just doesn't know how to behave differently yet. So I'm sticking with the lie because, you know, I have to be "perfect" too because the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and all .... And I do apologize if I get visibly angry when I shouldn't.
Posted by: 2GiftedKids

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/01/15 09:24 AM

I definitely use the sandwich to offer criticism. Usually, it ends up with child defensive and voice rising to almost a scream at me and then me telling child, oh no you don't....

Discussing different scenarios of how something could have been handled differently and then asking if maybe, now that you think about it, is there was a better way to deal with the situation other than (insert over the top reaction) that occurred will hopefully pan out for me. It's far better received to turn the tables and make them empathize than to say you were wrong for doing X.
Posted by: Dude

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/01/15 09:42 AM

Yeah, sandwiching is a fail here, too. No matter how many positives you include, she only hears the negative.
Posted by: Nyaanyaa

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/01/15 10:17 AM

Any criticism unless requested will drive the child (or any person) into the negative emotional attractor (NEA; short explanation: the fight-or-flight mode). The reactions you receive (e.g., screaming) are thus expected.

The key here is to coach your child WITH compassion, not FOR compliance. Compassion can only occur in the positive emotional attractor (PEA), so any attempts at inspiring compassion through pushing into the NEA are doomed to failure.

The four things that activate the PEA according to Boyatzis et al. are:
(1) hope/vision,
(2) mindfulness,
(3) playfulness,
(4) compassion.

That is the theory, anyway. According to Boyatzis et al., sustained desired change requires a PEA to NEA ratio of at least 2 to 1.

Source: http://www.case.edu/provost/ideal/doc/Boyatzis_2006_intentional_change.pdf.

PS: The moderation of my posts profoundly cripples my ability to contribute to the forum. I presume it ends once I have reached a certain number of published posts?
Posted by: suevv

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/01/15 11:01 AM

Yep - "sandwich" is such a fail here that DS goes into flopping/eye rolling/melt down mode as soon as hears the positive stuff start. He knows what's coming.
Posted by: indigo

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/02/15 06:16 AM

Originally Posted By: Nyaanyaa
sustained desired change requires a PEA to NEA ratio of at least 2 to 1
Thanks for sharing this summary. Because this theory emphasizes the need for more positives than negatives to be effective, I wonder if this theory led to the development of the sandwich method of giving constructive criticism?

Quote:
The moderation of my posts profoundly cripples my ability to contribute to the forum. I presume it ends once I have reached a certain number of published posts?
Welcome! Yes, the moderation ends after a few initial posts.

Originally Posted By: suevv
flopping/eye rolling/melt down mode as soon as hears the positive stuff start. He knows what's coming
Some may say this kiddo could benefit from hearing compliments which are not bookends for constructive criticism. Just pure compliments. smile

Originally Posted By: Pinecroft
I asked DS after how he felt about her comment - he said he didn't care; I said how would you feel if *someone else* had said that, and he said 'oh, pretty terrible'
Is it possible that there is a bond or closeness between these siblings which allows them to probe more deeply into each other's feelings and statements... meanwhile if others were to say the same or similar things, they would be overstepping personal boundaries?

Regardless the specific example given, if you believe there is a problem with this child accepting constructive criticism, possibly another approach may be helpful for teaching/learning, such as books detailing social skills and perspective taking which point out the foibles of characters on a page rather than pointing out her own personal shortcomings?
Posted by: Quantum2003

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/02/15 10:23 AM

I am actually with your DD on this one. Siblings will be brutally honest and blunt with each other and sometimes that is a very good thing. I have twins and they will say things to each other that they would never to an acquantance or even a friend. I do not interfere because I know they are both okay with it and at times they have benefited partly because they know they can trust each other. You also specified that your DD "is socially astute enough to know that it wasn't a nice thing to say" so there isn't an issue of your DD becoming a social pariah in other settings. That's when I would interfere - if she is socially clueless and apply the same approach to strangers and friends.

As to how to soften the blow in general - I don't partly because my kids are emotionally intense and I don't want them to struggle socially, especially as they grow older. This is a parenting choice but I found early on that trying to soften the blow just didn't help and sometimes made things worse. I go for short and simple and disregard the tears in the moment, but at a later neutral time, I will discuss extreme emotional reactions and what they can expect from others as they grow. I am honest with them and time has verified to them what I have said in the past. There are still occasional tears (hence, emotionally intense) but much much more reasonable to the situations. They still don't like my criticisms but they do consider them and sometimes even conclude that I am correct.
Posted by: Nyaanyaa

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/02/15 10:40 AM

Originally Posted By: indigo
I wonder if this theory led to the development of the sandwich method of giving constructive criticism?


If so, the theory is misapplied. Both positive and negative evaluation—including self-evaluation—activates the NEA.

The driver of intentional change is the ideal self (i.e., vision), so the primary focus should be on that.

A couple more papers by Boyatzis et al. for further information:
PEA–NEA theory
The ideal self as the driver of intentional change

It is important to add that there exists a conflict of interest. Richard Boyatzis is a partner of Hay Group (http://www.haygroup.com/en/), a coaching firm that applies both his work on intentional change theory, and his and Daniel Goleman's work on social-emotional intelligence.

I personally choose to trust in his publications, and his expertise in the email correspondences we have had; I have also participated in an online course on Coursera that he teaches, and which I have found to be effective and practically useful; nonetheless I remain cautious due to this conflict of interest.

Regarding the “sandwich method” (a terrible name), I have personally never seen any mention of it in academic papers, and am suspicious of its validity and reliability. Can anyone provide information on its origin?

Originally Posted By: indigo
Welcome! Yes, the moderation ends after a few initial posts.


Thank you very much, and thank you very much! smile
Posted by: indigo

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/03/15 06:55 AM

Originally Posted By: Nyaanyaa
Both positive and negative evaluation—including self-evaluation—activates the NEA.
I may be missing something... where does the PEA come from? Hope, vision, mindfulness, playfulness, compassion... could not be positive openers for a conversation "sandwich"? During coaching, how is a child imbued with hope, vision, mindfulness, playfulness, compassion, thereby invoking the PEA? From the linked paper (which is focused on management and organizational behavior, not specifically child development) we read: "Examples of how to arouse the PEA include discussing the purpose of the organization, shared dreams or prospection of what one might become in the future, as well as discussing PEA components, like core values. Additionally, at the individual level, gratitude exercises are a powerful and fast way to evoke positive emotion and arouse the PEA" which seems like a way in which to frame things, to maintain context and perspective while working on "the development of alternate future scenarios".

Originally Posted By: Nyaanyaa
Regarding the “sandwich method” (a terrible name), I have personally never seen any mention of it in academic papers, and am suspicious of its validity and reliability. Can anyone provide information on its origin?
I may be wrong, but am under the impression that it developed from a Dale Carnegie idea to start and end with something positive.

It has been my understanding that the sandwich method of presenting constructive criticism came from anecdotes, observation, and lived experience, not from scientific research studies, therefore would not have measures such as "validity" and "reliability" attached to it.

Either way, the sandwich method either helps the OP in coaching her child, or it does not... it is just one of many tools/approaches available.
Posted by: eco21268

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/03/15 07:29 AM

Originally Posted By: Nyaanyaa


If so, the theory is misapplied. Both positive and negative evaluation—including self-evaluation—activates the NEA.

The driver of intentional change is the ideal self (i.e., vision), so the primary focus should be on that.

A couple more papers by Boyatzis et al. for further information:
PEA–NEA theory
The ideal self as the driver of intentional change

At the risk of sounding glib--I'll add that my own children have never seemed especially receptive to any piece of the sandwich. Maybe not true for all kids, but mine would be much more likely to respond to a personal vision of who they want to be.

In the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books I read, growing up, this would be the "I'll do it because I want to, and not because you told me to" chapter.

It's probably more optimal, long-term (internal v. external locus of control), but soooooo vexing at times.

Thanks for links, Nyaanyaa. Looks like interesting information.
Posted by: aeh

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/03/15 08:02 AM

When I sit with adolescents, I generally take the vision approach. "What are your dreams and goals in life?" "What do you need in order to achieve them?" "Is it worth risking your long-term goals in life to take a stand on this relatively trivial issue?" "Would the choices you made/would make in this situation accurately represent the kind of person you truly are/aspire to be?"

We discuss not allowing other people to take the power of choice away from us, which is what we are doing when something relatively tangential to long-term goals becomes an obstacle to achieving those goals by our own reaction to it.

Our own children respond best not to sandwiching (although we always try to maintain a balance of feedback), but to frequent, spontaneous assurances of affection, without strings attached. It's not so much that the constructive criticism is bracketed by praise, but that the context of our relationship is positive and supportive. Obviously, I am not saying that families that have more struggles with receiving criticism are not caring and affectionate; some children do have higher intrinsic security needs, though, which means what would be more than enough reassurance for another child is not quite adequate for them. I see that just among the various children in our family, some of whom take criticism much better than others, and some of whom have much higher needs for unconditional positive regard.

We also model (not really intentionally, just because of how we communicate ourselves) nuanced discussions of strengths, weaknesses, growth areas, adaptive/nonadaptive skills and strategies, etc. in everyday, technical/professional, and relational situations as they arise. (This sounds a bit loftier than it is in practice. One could also say that the SO and I analyze and discuss everything to within an inch of its life.)

And on a totally unrelated note: I love Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle!
Posted by: Nyaanyaa

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/03/15 08:12 AM

Originally Posted By: indigo
I may be missing something... where does the PEA come from? Hope, vision, mindfulness, playfulness, compassion... could not be positive openers for a conversation sandwich?

There's no avoiding the NEA altogether. Self-reflection (as typically triggered by evaluation), critical thinking . . . those things activate the NEA. The important thing is to keep the focus on the PEA, and let hope and vision be the driver of the change process.

If you approach the conversation with a “I want to fix you” mindset, you are already headed towards the NEA. Instead of that, focus on such questions like what are their core values and ideals, who would they want to be 10 years from now if everything was ideal, what would their ideal relationships be like, who are the important people in their life and why do they treasure them . . . Remain playful and let those things drive the conversation. Be ready to answer questions like that yourself.

Once the “coachee” has established a strong vision for themselves that way, you can look at where they stand now in relation to who they want to be (focusing a bit more on the strength), and then discuss a learning agenda—a plan to safely learn how to get from who they are now to who they want to be.

A learning agenda does not only entail change necessarily. Often parts of the vision are things the person is already doing, so then the plan would be “keep doing that thing I am already doing” or “make sure I still have enough time for X” and so on.

The driver of intentional change is indeed vision and hope. So, as a leader, you want to focus on inspiring vision and hope, and then give guidance and support along the way.

Originally Posted By: indigo
It has been my understanding that the sandwich method of presenting constructive criticism came from anecdotes, observation, and lived experience, not from scientific research studies, therefore would not have measures such as "validity" and "reliability" attached to it.

I mean that I am in doubt that it is a valid and/or reliable method for giving effective criticism. It may be no more effective than giving no criticism at all, or worse, or as effective as only giving the negative criticism (in which case that would be more efficient), et cetera. I am against applying practices that have not been properly tested, as there is no telling if they cause more harm than good. I apologize for not being clear.
Posted by: indigo

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/03/15 08:31 AM

Originally Posted By: aeh
... balance of feedback... spontaneous assurances of affection, without strings attached. It's not so much that the constructive criticism is bracketed by praise, but that the context of our relationship is positive and supportive.
Agreed. smile Keeping lines of communication open and generally positive and balanced provides a context in which coaching and constructive criticisms are not necessarily difficult conversations.
Posted by: Nyaanyaa

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/03/15 08:45 AM

Originally Posted By: indigo
From the linked paper (which is focused on management and organizational behavior, not specifically child development) [...]


Leadership—not management. A parent is (hopefully) a leader to their child. Organizations include dyads—relationships between two individuals, such as between a parent and their child. PEA–NEA theory is grounded in research from both neuroscience and psychology.

Here is a paper that goes more into the neuroscience underlying PEA–NEA theory, Boyatzis et al. again: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3941086/.

The paper contains colorfully mapped models of the brain, so it must be true. smile
Posted by: eco21268

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/03/15 08:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Nyaanyaa
The paper contains colorfully mapped models of the brain, so it must be true.

Best evidence ever, love this.
Posted by: indigo

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/03/15 09:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Nyaanyaa
Leadership—not management.
Both are prominently mentioned. Leadership is the 15th word in the paper's title, management is the 9th word in the body of the paper. smile

My point was that the linked theory was not focused on child development. Possibly the thread is beginning to stray from the OP's request on coaching her DD8, when that involves constructive criticism? I'd not want to contribute to hijacking a thread... possibly a new thread could be started for leadership theory?
Posted by: Nyaanyaa

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/03/15 09:19 AM

I stand corrected! smile It has been a while since I have read the article. Boyatzis in his online lectures and in email conversations generally made sure to distinguish between leadership and management. A manager should be a leader, but not always is. Leadership he defines as a relationship. In any relationship there is an opportunity for a leader to emerge. Sometimes—like in a romantic relationship—there can be multiple leaders who lead the organization (e.g., the family) together.

The reason he discusses primarily implications for leadership and organizational behavior in his articles, I presume, is that he is a professor of organizational behavior who teaches leadership.
Posted by: Nyaanyaa

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/03/15 09:35 AM

Originally Posted By: indigo
My point was that the linked theory was not focused on child development. Possibly the thread is beginning to stray from the OP's request on coaching her DD8, when that involves constructive criticism? I'd not want to contribute to hijacking a thread... possibly a new thread could be started for leadership theory?

I apologize. I often consider connections obvious that probably aren't.

The OP's request concerns constructive criticism on behavior with the goal to change the behavior. Intentional change theory concerns sustained desired behavior change in individuals—including children. It offers a theoretical model to discuss achieving the desired goal.

The OP's request concerns parenting. Parenting is leadership.

The OP's request concerns the child's emotional reaction to criticism. PEA–NEA theory concerns the opposing emotional attractors, what activates them, how to activate the PEA rather than the NEA, what implications being in the PEA or NEA has, and offers supplemental information for intentional change theory—which, again, offers a theoretical model to discuss achieving the OP's desired goal.
Posted by: ElizabethN

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/03/15 11:49 AM

What I hear you saying, Nyaanyaa, is that by asking, "how can I get my child to accept my criticism and take it on board?", the OP is already headed away from behavior change and useful communication. You would rather that (s)he instead ask, "how can I help my child develop his/her own internal barometer of how to behave in society, including how to react to criticism (from any source) without melting down?"

Is that right, or have I missed something?

Incidentally, the "sandwich" doesn't work for squat here, either.
Posted by: aeh

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/03/15 01:15 PM

Originally Posted By: eco21268
Originally Posted By: Nyaanyaa
The paper contains colorfully mapped models of the brain, so it must be true.

Best evidence ever, love this.

Can't find the reference off-hand, but I once saw a study that found that neuroscientists found research more convincing when accompanied by color brain imaging than when imaging was black and white.
Posted by: Nyaanyaa

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/03/15 02:01 PM

Elizabeth, correct! . . . unless I am missing something myself now that I am half asleep! (Beautiful name, by the way.)

aeh, exactly!
Posted by: Nyaanyaa

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/04/15 10:55 AM

I just found this HBR article, which recommends using a transparent strategy when giving negative feedback, and points out some more flaws in the sandwich method. I cannot comment on the scientific rigor underlying the article since I have not looked into that.

The author may have some interest in promoting his book through the article; or he may have an interest in promoting truth through his book; or both. Who can tell anyway?

I consider it curious and worth taking a deeper look at, at the very least. I hope this is useful to you, Pinecroft! smile

https://hbr.org/2013/04/the-sandwich-approach-undermin/
Posted by: Tigerle

Re: criticism and emotional intensity - 10/04/15 11:47 AM

I am a bit overwhelmed with the PEA-NEA model, just wanted to chime in tat I've got a kid,too, that appears to have no middle ground between callous obliviousness and self-immolating meltdown in his response to criticism. Of course the latter makes me feel intensely guilty (possibly part of the point?) and I need to always remind myself strongly that it is HE beating up himself, I did not do it...
Some stuff,however, I can't let go. It helps.if I have an idea ready for how to make things right again for whomever he suddenly feels he's wronged so badly, and I better know beforehand that I can count on the person to go along (DS2 will, DD won't, for instance, and grow up family members sometimes need to be coached.
I shall have to think about vision, an playfulness.