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Validation

The importance of validation.
Young people having a conversation
© University of East Anglia

Validating someone’s feelings does not mean you agree with the beliefs underlying those feelings, but it means you acknowledge the presence of those feelings and that you understand that such feelings are a part of the human experience.

Validating is very powerful as it helps the person feel understood. This is especially important for children as they rely on and check with parents/teachers to make sense of their emotional experiences, particularly experiences or situations that are new or unusual for them.

Validation can help the child feel calmer and enhance the child’s ability to process their emotions.

Frequent invalidation of a child/teen can lead them to be confused about or doubt their own feelings as they grow up and may contribute to low self-esteem or sense of self, besides potentially affecting or even rupturing your relationship with them in the long-term.

© University of East Anglia
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