A father listens to his daughter. The power of validation is a great tool to use when comforting your kids.

As parents, we have an incredible influence on our children’s emotional well-being. One of the most impactful ways we can support our children is by tapping into the power of validation.

What is Validation?

Validation is a form of emotional support that lets your child know their feelings are heard, understood, and accepted. Validating your child doesn’t require agreeing with your child on everything or condoning inappropriate behavior. Instead, it means acknowledging your children’s emotions as authentic.

Why Validation Is So Powerful

Strengthening Emotional Bonds: When you validate your child’s emotions, you strengthen your connection by creating a sense of trust. When your child trusts you, they will feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings more freely.

Boosting Self-Esteem: By validating your child’s emotions, you send a powerful message that their feelings are worthy of consideration. This lifts their self-esteem and helps them develop a positive self-image.

Developing Emotional Intelligence: Children who experience validation are better at recognizing and understanding their emotions. This emotional intelligence helps them navigate challenging situations and build healthier relationships.

What Makes Validation Challenging?

If you are not used to validating your child’s feelings, it can be challenging! As adults, it may be difficult to fully grasp the intensity and complexity of our children’s emotions, especially if they are different from our own experiences.

Sometimes we struggle to understand why apparently minor issues provoke such strong emotions in our kids.

Everyones Feelings Run At Different Temperatures

It’s easier to validate our children’s feelings when we recognize we all have different tolerances under varying situations. This means what you find upsetting can differ from what bothers your child. Both responses are normal and should be accepted.

Remember that as the adult you have more experience

While it may be tempting at times to say that our children are overreacting sometimes, it’s important to remember that as adults our experiences over time have prepared us to manage many of our big feelings. When children encounter new or scary situations they lack the perspective that we have developed over time.

How Can We Tap Into The Power of Validation?

The great thing about validation is its a skill we can learn and get better at with practice. By making a concentrated effort on validating our children it will become something that we naturally do.

Tips For How To Validate Our Children’s Feelings

Practice Active Listening: When your child expresses their feelings, give them your full attention. Maintain eye contact, nod, and use verbal cues like “I see,” “I understand,” or “Tell me more.” This demonstrates that you are actively engaged and interested in what they have to say.

Reflect Their Emotions: Repeat back what your child is saying to show that you understand how they feel. For example, if they say, “I’m upset because my friend ignored me,” respond with, “It sounds like you’re feeling hurt and ignored.”

Avoid Minimizing or Dismissing: Resist the urge to downplay your child’s emotions or tell them not to feel a certain way. Phrases like “It’s not a big deal” or “You’ll get over it” can invalidate their feelings.

Normalize Emotions: Let your child know that it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions. Encourage them to talk about their emotions openly.

Be Patient and Calm: When our children express intense emotions, it’s crucial to remain patient and calm. Avoid reacting with anger or frustration, as this might discourage them from opening up in the future.

Model Emotional Validation: Children learn through observation. Show them how to validate emotions by expressing your own feelings and emotions openly and positively.

A father and son talk. Validation is a powerful communication tool to help our children feel heard.

Validating Phrases

Here are a few phrases to keep in the back of your mind when you are trying to validate your child’s feelings. These can be a great go to when you are not sure what to say.

  1. “I can see that you’re feeling frustrated right now, and that’s okay.”
  2. “It’s alright to feel mad. Everyone feels that way sometimes.”
  3. “I understand that this situation is making you feel nervous.”
  4. “I’m here for you. Let’s talk about what’s bothering you.”
  5. “You have every right to feel angry in this situation.”
  6. “It’s normal to feel scared when it’s dark.”
  7. “Your feelings are important, and I want to hear what you have to say.”
  8. “I’m listening, and I won’t judge you for feeling this way.”
  9. “It’s okay to cry/feel angry/feel sad. Emotions are a natural part of being human.”
  10. “You’re not alone in feeling this way. We all have tough moments.”

Final Thoughts

Validation is a powerful tool that can transform your relationship with your child and positively impact their emotional growth. By actively listening, empathizing, and respecting their emotions, you create a safe and supportive environment for them to flourish.

Remember that validation doesn’t mean giving in to every demand or behavior; instead, it lays the foundation for effective communication, emotional intelligence, and resilience in your child’s life. Embrace the power of validation, and watch your relationship thrive!

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