I Like, I Wish, I Wonder
We were in the middle of another argument about the quality of her work when she said, You know you always tell me what you don't like about my work. I want you to do what we do in school. I asked her to explain and this is when she shared I like, I wish, I wonder system that her school uses.
Basically, students are taught to evaluate each other's work starting with the positives. They have to name two things that they like about the project. Then they can offer one critical point using I wish structure. Here is an example from Smarty's teacher on her ukulele performance, I liked the song you selected and how you wrote your own verse for this song. I wish you would start singing in the same key you were playing. If someone wants to suggest an addition to the project, this is where I wonder comes into play. I wonder if you could have your friends sing together chorus lines of your song.
When Smarty mentioned this technique to me, I was both amused and somewhat embarrassed. Amused, because these are typical questions that I use myself at work during Agile software development activity called retrospective. Embarrassed, because it never occurred to me to use the same techniques evaluating my child's work. This technique is actually very powerful as it takes the "sting" out of feedback by first acknowledging something that went well (or at least an intention to do well).
When Does This Feedback Work?
I don't suggest that you use this sort of feedback while asking your child to take out the garbage. It's more suitable to situations that require retrospective. I explained the approach to my husband as well, and I notice significantly less tension and resistance. I admit that it also helps me to reframe my view of my daughter's work by looking for positives first. When I take time to see the positives, the deficiencies look a lot more manageable. On the other hand, she feels that her work is not just held to a standard she cannot ever meet and is more likely to actually act on our I wish feedback.
Do you have any tips on constructive feedback for older kids?
More Parenting Posts?
From my blog:
Follow my Parenting Pinterest board