Validating Your Child’s Feelings

A mother should validate—rather than deny—a child’s feelings.

Let’s examine a case of shyness.

The child says to the parent that she does not like being a shy person.

The mother says, “There’s nothing wrong with being shy.”

The mother just negated the child’s opinion and feeling about herself. The parent has supplanted the child’s opinion about shyness with the mother’s own opinion. The child now feels guilty about having a different opinion. And yet, the child still feels bad about being shy. 

The child’s responsibility is to work toward removing own her pain.

The parent’s responsibility is to listen, empathetic, and perhaps offer a suggestion—but NOT to negate the child’s feeling.