I just did this with my kids yesterday. It is the process of “sandwiching” the meat of constructive criticism between two positive comments.
My live example:
> Compliment (positive) – “You folded your pajamas so beautifully. Fantastic!”
> Coach (criticism) – “Let’s try and see if we can also remember to make the bed next time before you come down for breakfast.”
> Encourage (positive) – “When you make your bed in the morning and come home from school, don’t you feel happy when your room looks neat because your bed has been made?”
I feel this approach makes the constructive criticism a bit softer and kids are more receptive to it.
I think you have to use the method which works best for you and the person receiving the feedback. I really like the “sandwich” approach because I feel it is nice to acknowledge you’re doing something right (folding pajamas), but then letting the child know there is opportunity for improvement (making the bed) and why it is important in a positive way ( made bed = relaxed and happy).
This method works for me. What works for you when you provide feedback to your children?