| July 8, 2019
It can be very difficult to see a young person struggling with their emotions. Sometimes it can be even harder to know how to respond. Whatever they are feeling, it’s important to take time to recognize and validate the emotions. When we validate a young person’s emotions, we are affirming that what they are feeling is real. This doesn’t mean that we have to agree with those emotions or the resulting behavior, but we are giving them space to express themselves without criticism or judgement.
Validation demonstrates that we are listening and open to communicating, and it can aid in building trust. Some ways that you can provide validation to young people include actively listening, avoiding interruption or offering opinions and reflecting back what you hear them saying.
Take a look at this article and resource for more information about the importance of validating children’s emotions and ways to facilitate that. While this article was written for parents, the information is applicable to any caring adult in a young person’s life!
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