The importance of validating our kids’ difficult emotions

In our smart parenting toolkit in collaboration with Teen Brain Trust, level up your smart parenting with emotional validation tools.
mother tween

Ahhhh, validation. At some point or another, your angry or upset tween or teen will make you react in one of two ways: overly validate them (aka validation addiction, it’s a thing) or simply brush their feelings off with “they need to grow up and deal with this like an adult.” In other words, ‘they’ll get over it.’

Like with all good things in life, the golden rule for establishing healthy anything comes down to balance. In our recent rollout of our Smart Parenting Toolkit (not coincidentally ahead of that time called New Year Resolutions!), we’ve rounded up smarter tools, habits and practices to kick those old and unproductive parenting habits. Today, we’re spotlighting one in particular that gets us pretty jazzed for both its simplicity and accessibility. Enter: validating your kids’ emotions in collaboration with our friends at Teen Brain Trust.

A healthy just-right dose of validation

When emotions run high in our kids, it’s only natural that as parents, we tend to b-line straight for the solution. This can come out as trying to fix, give advice or defuse the problem. Meaning, no breathing room for them to feel the thing itself. Despite our best intentions, studies actually show that trying to suppress negative thoughts actually makes you think those thoughts more! When you do the emotional math, it’s clear: invalidating is a dead-end street.

More than just a dead end street, it’s got long-term consequences too, like increased aggression, lower self-esteem, higher anxiety and depression among others.

Apparently, there’s nothing to fix after all

Let’s help our kids normalize being okay with…not being okay. Growing up is hard. Facing uncomfortable emotions isn’t easy. Yet through all of it, we parents can transform our old tendencies to “fix” into healthy practices, like:

  • Leaving space for emotions to be there as they are
  • Asking for permission before sharing an experience or giving advice

We’re totally here for all of it! In our free toolkit, we dive deep into the reframing wonders of validation for you and yours. <4<Download it here> anytime.

Written by Tiffany Wen

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