Live with intent, take time, have patience and gain a new perspective. See how having a relationship with your teen can change both of your lives. Say goodbye to status-quo.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Validation, Validation, Validation

Our kids need it. Us adults need it. It's Psychology 101.

to give official sanction, confirmation, or approval to move forward
authenticate, verify, heard

It's super simple:when our kids share how they FEEL, we listen
and make sure we let them know that we have heard them, and
that their feelings are OK and acceptable no matter what. Their gonna feel
a lot and they need OUR help in navigating through their feelings.

For instance if our kids share something that might offend us or hurt us--meaning
they share their feelings about something involving us-due to something we might have done, we need to accept that too. Even if they are wrong or off base, (we can get to that later), but
FIRST THINGS FIRST, validate how they feel.
They need this from us like we need AIR.

Our kids have to know that what they feel and think is OK and understandable.
This is why I am so passionate about viewing our kids as humans. Not just our children,
but HUMAN children, if that makes any sense, haha. They have feelings and emotions that stem from deeper issues, they make mistakes, they are flawed etc. etc. just like us.

If you ask a child how something makes them feel or what is wrong for example an event where someone teased them, or a teacher that was rude or short with them, OR you as a parent raising your voice or yelling at them during homework or because they didn't do all their chores. WHATEVER the case may be, it's vital, vital that they know it's OK how they feel about it. They may feel angry at you, frustrated by confusion, and sad due to being teased or misunderstood in some way. And it's important for them to share that with us.


-What did I do to make you feel this way?
-I understand how that must make you feel.
-Do you feel this way every time ________?
-I am so sorry that you are feeling this way, it's OK though, I want to make it better.
-That must be scary, I didn't realize I was raising my voice so often, I will work on it.


-Don't be silly!
-That's ridiculous, don't feel that way.
-Oh forget about it, you're fine.
-Get over it.
-But, well, you see, because, etc. etc...

Our kids are most likely not going to come to us, at least in the earlier years, so we have got to make a point to ask them if we sense chaos in our relationship. I mean our kids' brains aren't fully developed until they are 26 years old or something crazy like that--so they can't grasp concepts that we can as adults. We need to remember that.

If we don't remember to use validation--our kids will shut down. I mean think about our marriages. Can you imagine if we didn't validate our spouses feelings? If we just steam rolled(by this I mean ignoring or discounting, debating) right over their feelings without recognizing them, or labeling them as important?
You can disagree with your partner or kid all you want, but you still need to validate how they feel. Because that's just it, it's how THEY feel, not how YOU feel. You'll get your turn.

We will do so much good for our kids if we validate their feelings. They will gain confidence, and have a good self esteem, because they will feel good about being a people in this world by knowing that what they feel is normal, and valid. It might not always be what's REAL, but they will learn that eventually. For now, they just need to know it's OK. They need to know we hear them, and that we want to help offer solutions for what they are feeling.

They will eventually most likely share more of who they are without fear. And they will live what they learn, so they will validate important people in their life. How cool is that?!

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