Hey, folks. So today I'm going to go into a little bit more detail on how validation can look in different age ranges.
Because we've been given some feedback from y'all that although the skills that we talk about in DBT make a lot of sense for other adults, that it's a lot more difficult to apply these to children. And so I'm gonna walk you through a few different age ranges today, and give you some ideas about how this might look. So, before we get started with that, I want to sort of redefine validation and give some examples of invalidation. Okay. So validation is all about relaying how a person's thoughts, opinions, feelings, or urges, make sense? How they make sense in this moment, based on just like the facts of a given situation, how they make sense based on a person's history, those types of things. And yeah, although we all love validation as human beings, for some reason, when it comes to our especially our young children, we are rife with invalidation. So, for example, how often have you told your children that what they are feeling wasn't true? Or scolded them for feeling that way? Or for having a specific attitude about something? How often when your kids are feeling strong emotions? Do you go straight to giving them advice? How often might you give them some type of lecture? How often might you have compared their behavior to their brother or their sister or another kid? who behaves better? How often? Have you responded with 10,000? Questions? Right?
These are things that As parents, we all do, sometimes, unfortunately. And I want you to think about what it would feel like to be on the receiving end of this. Okay. So, in this scenario, I'm just gonna drive this point home, let's pretend that I had a super stressful day. And I am just feeling completely overwhelmed. And I have called up my friend for some support.
What if they responded to my statement with Tiffany, you just have to have a better attitude about things, you know, that if you go in there with a smile on your face, and are just optimistic about stuff, that this will totally get better?
There's no need to feel this stressed out about it? Or they were like, Huh, well, if I were in that situation, I would do X, Y, and Z, I would talk to this person, and then I would set a schedule, and I would reach out and set limits around this. Or they were like, wow, this is just the way that things are, you know, we just have to deal with it sometimes.
Or they were like, Well, you know, so and so dealt with all of that. And did X, Y and Z things too. And she is fine.
Or they were like, Well, have you eaten enough? Are you feeling sad? What about Did you get sleep last night? Have you been doing anything to to take care of your stress? I'm going to guess that no matter what.
What was said of any of those options, chances are I am not going to walk away from that conversation feeling great. And chances are I am never ever going to call that person for support again.
Okay. And yet we do all of those things with our kids all the time. So let's talk about how we can flip the script a little bit. And for those of you who really find that you you are lacking some of these skills when it comes to your kids. I strongly recommend where some of this stuff has been adapted from is the book how to talk so kids or little kids will listen and listen.
So kids will talk. Okay. So let's start with how do we validate little humans ranging in age from, like, well into the ones to around age seven.
So the most simple thing is with words, right? So if you see that your kid is getting really really upset, just labeling that emotion for them like you are mad buddy, or like, man, I really hurt your feelings, didn't it? It's pretty Create it important that you actually match your tone to their level of intensity.
Because if a kid is like sobbing and super upset and you respond with, oh, you're kind of mad, Hmm, that's actually going to feel more invalidating than if you had said nothing. Okay? Another way that you can validate is with writing.
A common parenting complaint is kids seeing toys while they're out at the store, or candy, or any other number of things that you don't want to buy for your child, and then getting really upset when the kid getting really upset when they can't have it.
One way of validating their desire to have this item would be to say something along the lines of Oh, wow, you really want this thing. Let's put this let's write this down on your birthday list on your other special occasion or holiday list. And we are going to save it for then or take a picture of this and add it to the list right?
Kids feel heard, they totally see that you see that this thing that's important to them is important to them. And they have hope for the future. You can also validate emotions with art. So kid is in front of you, just like sobbing, you can draw a picture you feel like this and make a little stick figure with tears, right?
Or a kid in front of you is really mad, you take a sheet of paper and you're like you feel like this, and you rip up the sheet of paper in front of them.
You can also validate with fantasy. So, Kip really wants to go to the park starts crying when they find out that, that they can't, right, you can say something along the lines of Oh, man, I sure wish that we could go to the park today, we would swing and we would slide we would have so much fun if we could go and just taking it to the next level.
So they hear from you that you get how much they want this thing and the things that they want.
Probably like one of the most fundamental ways that you can validate your kids is with attention.
I think that for many parents, their goal is to get their child to calm down as quickly as possible.
But think about how that feels as an adult, right? Like sometimes you just need to feel your emotions and talk through it. And the same is true for our kids.
So that might be with just listening. That might literally be with your presence, your presence, your kid is sitting next to you super upset and you just wrap your arm around them and sit with them while they cry.
Okay. Now a couple of important points here.
All feelings can be validated, some action, some behaviors have to be limited, right? We are not saying let your kid do whatever they want to do, or have whatever they want to have them being super destructive or shouting or messing things up. not okay. You can still validate the feelings behind it. And really limits Okay.
Now, when you do that, you want to be careful to try and avoid the word but so think about how this feels to be on the receiving end of butts and conversations like oh man, you are so stressed out. But already you what that person has communicated to you is like, here's this little gift that I'm giving you. Nope, nevermind, bout to invalidate you, right. So instead of saying but you can do a couple of different things. You can replace the word but with the word and I know you're really upset and we have to behave respectfully. Or you can do things like let's say the kid is upset because their sibling has torn apart their Lego toys that they just built pay. So you can say, I see that you're upset.
The problem is that's a phrase that little that babies don't understand how important Legos are. Or you can say even though you know, because this gives the kid credit for knowing something. Even though you know that littles can't control what it is that they do when they're a baby. It still really hurts to see your stuff torn apart.
So that was the really long version of validating littles and some of this you can apply to validating kids.
So same thing here. Sometimes just your attention just your presence is Enough, sometimes you're going to help them by when you see that they're having an emotional reaction, offering them a label of what that emotion might be.
Man, it looks like you're really frustrated right now. Or, gosh, that really hurt your feelings. When Suzy did X, Y and Z.
You can also validate with other words, right?
So ways in which that makes sense ways in which you think anyone would react similarly, ways in which you yourself, although Be careful not to go into a full on example, here would feel similarly to them. Like, man, I wouldn't like it if that happened either. Okay. And you can use your same validating with fantasy like, Oh, I so wish that we could get you that new pair of shoes. I hate that we can't.
Now, here's the thing, little kids do not like it, when you pare it back to them what they say. So if they're like, I'm really angry about blah, blah, blah, and you say back to them, you're really angry, they're going to respond with Yes, that's what I just said.
So you want to vary up the words that you use.
You also want to be really careful not to jump to problem solving, or advice giving, right? Give some space for the person just to feel the emotions. And you can ask them, Do you feel ready to talk about what you might do in this situation? Or do you need some time here? Because most of the time, if you yourself are struggling, right?
You don't want to immediately have a solution. Sometimes you just need to cope with what's going on. I think I forgot one thing on the previous slide. Let me check. Ah, yes. So with that, you want to also be really careful not to ask a whole big long series of questions that can feel like an interrogation. And all of us have trouble identifying what our emotions are, sometimes little kids are still just learning about what their emotions feel like and how to label them. And so if you ask them 20 questions, sometimes that can be super overwhelming and lead them to shut down. All right. Finally, how to validate teens and adults. So being here, pay attention, right?
That act interested skill applies to validation too, because just by acting interested and listening to what people are saying, they tend to feel more heard and more understood.
You also want to reflect back what it is that you're hearing. So person gives this big, long explanation about what's going on for them, you provide a sort of summary of what you hear. A lot of times people feel like when someone in front of them is venting and having strong emotions, that they need to do something to fix it. Oh, contraire, just by letting the other person know that you're there with them that you hear what they're saying, that can help them calm down in and of itself. Now, I mentioned this on the other video, sometimes what you can do is take a solid guess, at reading minds by trying to interpret what it is that the other person might be thinking or feeling.
This is very different from what we talked about in terms of the observe and describe skill right there. We said, Do not assume another person's feelings, thoughts or intentions.
And what you're going to do here that's different is it's a, it's a softer approach, where you're not assuming it's not, oh, you feel angry at her, right?
It's more like a feeling. And you're asking about that instead of assuming, but sometimes we feel really seen and understood when a person can identify what's going on for us without us having to go into a big explanation. Now, if you are wrong, if the other person's like, No, I am not feeling that way.
You accept that gracefully and say, Oh, got it, I must have misread that situation, what's happening for you?
And what you want to do Finally, is whatever in there that you can find that make sense about a person's reaction based on what's happening now, what would happen to most people, or what you know about that person's history. You want to put that out there?
Like, of course, you're stressed out, your boss is being a complete jerk. Anyone would feel that way or, dang, it makes total sense that you'd be afraid of confrontation in that situation.
Given All of those times that that didn't go the way that you wanted in the past. Okay?
Finally, probably the most validating thing that you can do on just a human to human level is showing up quality.
Don't try and one up the other person. Don't try and come up with different scenarios where this was true for you.
And so it shouldn't be true for them. Try and come alongside them and treat them like equals, even if like they're teenagers and might be younger than you in terms of how you validate and respond to them.
Okay. All right. Hope that was helpful, folks.