In this issue:
When a child or teen comes to you when they are struggling emotionally, they want you to understand their dilemma. They don’t want to be dismissed or told to ‘get over it’. They generally want someone to acknowledge that their concern is real with comments such as:
Validation of a child’s struggles helps them
Validating a child’s struggles helps in a number of ways. It works to:
Build deep connection
Relationships built at the time of vulnerability go deep and are hard to break.
Promote a child’s wellbeing
Validation helps kids feel safe, which is what ‘worry warts’ and anxious kids want. Lack of understanding rather than fear itself often impacts negatively on a child’s happiness.
Overcome disappointment and build resilience
Validation encourages kids to give voice to their concern or disappointment and either takes steps to rectify it or move on.
Develop emotional intelligence
Parental validation models emotional intelligence for children and teens. It requires you to identify the emotions that may be behind their language or behaviour.
Validation requires you to stop, listen and get on the same wavelength as your child.
Four steps to validating your child’s emotions
Follow these steps when your child comes to you with their worries or concerns to make sure they feel understood.
There’s no better feeling for a child or teen who is struggling than knowing someone they value truly understands them.
By Michael Grose.
Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. He’s the author of 12 books for parents including Spoonfed Generation and the best-selling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It. His latest release Anxious Kids, was co-authored with Dr Jodi Richardson
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