The Power of Validation
My friend Linda recently gave me a priceless gift. We were
talking about the breaking up of the RSU. She said, "It must be so
hard to see something you've worked so hard for fall apart." I'd been
hearing a chorus of "Don't worry. Be happy" and "it's all for the
best" with the occassional "What's your problem" thrown in for good
measure. In contrast, Linda was validating the way I felt.
I'm sure you've had similar experiences. The friends who listen
and care, who really "get" you are probably your most treasured. It's
a basic, universal need.
If it is for fully actualized adults it's even more so for kids
who are learning to label and trust their feelings. When they learn
from parents and other adults that their emotions and thoughts are
acceptable they're more likely to grow up to be confident people who
work persistently, are able to resist peer pressure and temptation,
and enjoy a better quality of life.
It sounds basic, right? Not quite. A lot can stand in the
way. Often a parent will want to spare a child sadness and jump right
in with a solution. A parent may feel judgemental if a child sounds
selfish. A lot of us are uncomfortable with anger in us or anyone
else. Of course we can be tired or rushed of having an off day
Karen Hall and Melissa Cook's The Power of Validation is a
really good explanation of the importance of this form of grace in
children's growing up years. Theory is mixed nicely with a lot of
good practical advice. I think this is a good read for parents,
teachers, and others who are important people in children's lives.
On a personal note, a couple of weeks ago I had a wonderful chance to
attend a two day conference at the Bar Harbor Regency. I learned a
lot I can use to be a better board member, spent time with old and new
friends, and dazzled at the banquet wearing a sweet pure silk bright
red evening dress from the 60s, red tights, and heels. It was heavenly.
A great big shout out goes out to my chum Linda, Darcie's very capable
administrative assistant. She can segue between her work and the many
crises of kids, teachers, parents, and others with an ease and grace
that is simply amazing.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod