The good advice your child is receiving may come across as bullying. However, criticism, if it is constructive, can be beneficial. This has been given a lot of attention in various places lately. From organized sports to schools and more, there is low tolerance for bullying, which is deserving. But the question remains: is it always bullying?

If your child comes home from school and is upset, naturally you want to know what is wrong. The child may have been given constructive criticism about their work by a teacher. While the comments may have been negative, they were meant as advice to help your child improve his or her work. They were not talked to in a loud tone and there was no malice. Chances are, the teacher gave the advice in the best interest of your child.

On the other hand, if your child’s teacher screams at him, calls him names or embarrasses him in front of others, this is considered bullying. It should not be happening, nor should it be tolerated. Keep in mind that children often feel that they are being singled out and this makes them uncomfortable. Pay attention to the mood of your child when he comes home. Sometimes, instead of talking to you about a problem, he will keep his feelings bottled up inside.

Although it is often hard to know the difference, make certain you get all the details of exactly what was said and what happened. Then it is up to you to make the judgment. Is it constructive criticism or is it hurtful bullying?