Love Your Children – Validation

There are many ways to show that you love your children. In a previous article, I discussed the importance of loving your kids unconditionally–nothing they can say or do could ever diminish your love for them. This helps them feel lovable.

Another important way to show you love your children is through validation. To validate something, or in this case someone, means to bestow value upon it. Children need unconditional validation, as much as they need unconditional love. That means, letting your children know that not only are they always loved, but they are always valued as individuals, no matter what. Just as your love helps them learn to love themselves and feel secure and worthwhile, your validation helps them feel recognized for who they are and begin to feel confident, competent, capable, and appreciated for their own specialness.

Showing your children that they are valued occurs in a variety of ways, and in a variety of situations. Valuing your children for simply existing in your life can be conveyed through love and affirmations. Your children need to know that they don’t have to do a thing for you to love and value them.

Your child also needs to know that he is valued for the person he is, for the qualities and traits that he has. It is important to recognize who your child is, then show him how you value him for the person he is. For instance, if your child is ‘silly,’ then, be sure that he knows that you enjoy this characteristic, and validate this special quality. Now, certainly you may need to help him learn when it’s appropriate to demonstrate a particular characteristic and when it is not, but enjoying that quality can help validate this aspect of your child so that he can fully blossom.

I worked with a child whose father took things very seriously. When he threw a ball with his son, he expected his son to throw it back the ‘right’ way. When he took him bowling, the boy had to follow all instructions. Sure, we want to teach our children the proper way to do things. But, there needs to be a time to allow the child to be silly, especially if that’s a part of who he is. So, when he giggled and started throwing the baseball between his legs, or tried to see how many gutter balls he could get, this father had a choice. He could enjoy the moment and validate his son by laughing and joining in, or storm off and call it quits, which is what he chose to do. The boy’s comment to me? “I don’t think my daddy likes me very much.”

So, how about you? How do you allow your children to be themselves? How do you validate and appreciate their uniqueness and special qualities? Validation is a very important part of feeling loved, valued and positive about themselves.