When we are small, it is often our role models or parents who validate our behaviour. When our parents acknowledge what we are feeling and validate these emotions as okay, we feel seen and heard.
- Hearable/ vocal
- Worthy and valid
As humans, being seen, acknowledged and understood gives us a sense of belonging, an emotional and physical feeling of safety and connectedness. Knowing one is validated is vital for our emotional evolution.
However, when we grow up with many experiences unvalidated or misunderstood by our parents we can feel unworthy, alienated and different - without a sense of belonging. This may be because of circumstances or a lack of awareness/ parenting skills from our guardians.
Children generalise everything beause they are building short-cuts and schemas in their brains. Children make assumptions and have to have a ‘why’ answer for everything to help them to make sense of a big world. They do not know that what adults say to them is not concrete truth. Before the age of six, a child does not analyse what adults say, they do not have the cognitive ability. In fact, they are very black and white and spin every situation to be about them personally. Young children read correction, dismissal, ignorance, neglect and lack of validation as, 'It must be me. I must not be good enough.' When parents don't validate their efforts, a child interprets this to mean that they are not enough, or 'Not a Valuable Person.'
How many children blame themselves for their parents separating?
When we have a limiting belief set in our minds that we are not valued, it creates a domino effect throughout our lives. Low self-esteem, self-sabotaging behaviours, depression and anxiety are particularly common adult symptoms of a low-self-worth belief system that we have constructed as children. We often don't remember when we made it up either.
It is not the job of children to validate unhappy parents either. That is a therapist's job.
What validation is not: Agreeing, Judging, Correcting (or Punishing), or Teaching. Nor is it arguing why someone's experience is wrong. Children are naive, impulsive and sometimes naughty, but they are often acting out because something they have wanted validation for has not eventuated. While it is true, that as parents, we don't want to validate bad behaviour, if we back-track to the trigger event before the behaviour, we will find the answers. If a child feels belittled, unvalidated, shamed, fearful, vulnerable etcetera., they may act out in anger or frustration. They often don't know how to express what they are feeling, so anger is a common reaction. But if a child's experience is validated at the time they need it, the negative behaviour is unlikely to eventuate.
What validation is: Active listening (Really listening. Repeating back what the child is saying" "So, I am hearing that you....." Then being curious and asking questions to get more information.). Honouring what the child is saying. Communicating your understanding and asking if you have got it right.
Sometimes, it is easier for kids to write down what they are feeling if they can’t formulate the words. This is why many teenagers like to keep diaries. Our job as parents is to help our children feel that their challenges are understood. Even missteps are part of the journey and that is alright.
Remember, children are like little sponges - watching you for how you parent, how you manage stress and conflict and how you validate them and your own achievements. They will model their parenting style after yours. When we understand and validate our child’s experience we make it safe for them to understand and validate themselves.
(Great advice shared from Mr Anthony Hopkins facebook page. I hope he won't mind me sharing this. - Ghita)
Quote by ANTHONY HOPKINS
′′Let go the people who are not prepared to love you. This is the hardest thing you will have to do in your life and it will also be the most important thing. Stop having hard conversations with people who don't want change.
Stop showing up for people who have no interest in your presence. I know your instinct is to do everything to earn the appreciation of those around you, but it's a boost that steals your time, energy, mental and physical health.
When you begin to fight for a life with joy, interest and commitment, not everyone will be ready to follow you in this place. This doesn't mean you need to change what you are, it means you should let go of the people who aren't ready to accompany you.
If you are excluded, insulted, forgotten or ignored by the people you give your time to, you don't do yourself a favor by continuing to offer your energy and your life. The truth is that you are not for everyone and not everyone is for you.
That's what makes it so special when you meet people who reciprocate love. You will know how precious you are.
The more time you spend trying to make yourself loved by someone who is unable to, the more time you waste depriving yourself of the possibility of this connection to someone else.
There are billions of people on this planet and many of them will meet with you at your level of interest and commitment.
The more you stay involved with people who use you as a pillow, a background option or a therapist for emotional healing, the longer you stay away from the community you want.
Maybe if you stop showing up, you won't be wanted. Maybe if you stop trying, the relationship will end. Maybe if you stop texting your phone will stay dark for weeks. That doesn't mean you ruined the relationship, it means the only thing holding it back was the energy that only you gave to keep it. This is not love, it's attachment. It's wanting to give a chance to those who don't deserve it. You deserve so much, there are people who should not be in your life.
The most valuable thing you have in your life is your time and energy, and both are limited. When you give your time and energy, it will define your existence.
When you realize this, you begin to understand why you are so anxious when you spend time with people, in activities, places or situations that don't suit you and shouldn't be around you, your energy is stolen.
You will begin to realize that the most important thing you can do for yourself and for everyone around you is to protect your energy more fiercely than anything else. Make your life a safe haven, in which only 'compatible' people are allowed.
You are not responsible for saving anyone. You are not responsible for convincing them to improve. It's not your work to exist for people and give your life to them! If you feel bad, if you feel compelled, you will be the root of all your problems, fearing that they will not return the favours you have granted. It's your only obligation to realize that you are the love of your destiny and accept the love you deserve.
Decide that you deserve true friendship, commitment, true and complete love with healthy and prosperous people. Then wait and see how much everything begins to change. Don't waste time with people who are not worth it. Change will give you the love, the esteem, happiness and the protection you deserve."
Ideally, you want to find a couples therapist when you’re not in a real crisis. It’s nice in theory, but of course we are all busy. Most of us aren’t going to bother doing preventative work if there’s nothing urgently wrong.
Anyhow, here are 20 things to consider if you are the one booking in for couples counselling (Recommended Reading List is at the bottom):
High fives to both of you for taking this important step towards repairing your relationship! So long as you're both committed to putting in the work, you’re off to a great start.
Call or text me (Ghita Andersen) on 0439 888 070 if you have any questions about therapy or if you would like to see if I would be a good fit for you.