Young People Learn to Deal With Criticism

— Written By Sarah Kocher and last updated by
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

The Caldwell County Agricultural Fair gives youth an opportunity to showcase their skills through exhibits and learn how to receive and react to feedback.

The carnival rides are leaving town and the smell of fair food lingers, but the work of a youth exhibitor at the Caldwell County Agricultural Fair is not finished yet. Sunday youth receive feedback cards from their fair judges, and they have choices about how to react.

In November 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Our new Constitution is now established, everything seems to promise it will be durable; but, in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes,” according to the National Constitution Center.

At the end of this often-quoted statement, something could be added to Franklin’s list of life’s inevitable features. Besides death and taxes I think feedback is another certainty in life that everyone faces. Youth who encounter it often and learn how to appropriately react will be better off for it.

Usually youth learn their behaviors from observing and mimicking what they see. If intentional conversations about how to take criticism have not taken place and the benefits of feedback have not been explained, the information will likely be seen as negative or offensive.

Youth exhibits at the fair ranged from horticulture to baked goods and photography, and their feedback cards include notes about what was done well with an exhibit and what aspects need improvement. If they do not have a physical feedback card, it is because they received verbal feedback Monday night during conference judging, where a face-to-face conversation took place.

photo exhibits

fair exhibit

faie exhibit

fair exhibits

fair judges Fair exhibit

With both scenarios, the opportunity exists for an intentional conversation about criticism. The 4-H motto says it best: To Make the Best Better.

More than likely, youth will be confronted with failure time and time again in life. If they can form the mindset that sometimes their best is not enough to take first place in a contest or later to land a particular job, they will be more resilient during life’s challenges big and small. They also must know they have the option to improve and to try and be the best the next time around.

How does improvement happen? Applying thoughtful feedback as a guide for learning and improvement is one of the best ways to start this process. By viewing feedback as an opportunity, youth can also critically think and maturely decide what they can and cannot control about a situation and take ownership for what they can improve moving forward.

4-H is a safe space for this learning to take place. There are limited consequences when failure occurs, but there are endless opportunities for achievement and self-betterment.

Congratulations to all the youth exhibitors at this year’s Caldwell County Agricultural Fair.

Caldwell County 4-H is a member agency of United Way, and it enthusiastically supports its partnerships.