OWL (Offer of Wise-Minded Learning): Validation
Validation is one of the all-time, most important interpersonal skills around. It’s especially important for responding to loved ones who are experiencing negative emotions, because it shows you understand. Practice validating yourself the next time you have a strong negative emotion:
- It’s okay that I feel this way.
- This is a natural human emotion.
- Everyone feels this way sometimes.
- It makes sense that I feel this way.
This week, keep a list of anything your teen says that is appalling, offensive, off-putting, distorted or just “wrong” (from your perspective). Write down your best validations.
Your teen says: “I hate you.”
You say: “I get it. You hate me. It can be so infuriating to deal with rules.”
Your teen says:“I am going to leave home and never come back.”
You say: “I know I’ve made you super mad.”
Your teen says: “I don’t care if I do flunk out.”
You say: “The frustrations you feel right now are indescribable, I know. It makes sense to me that you’d want to give up.”
Learn more validation skills by reading Wise-Minded Parenting: 7 Essentials for Raising Successful Tweens + Teens, in chapter 3: Academic Success.