Children need emotional validation, especially young kindergarten-8. If their negative feelings about what is happening in their lives are not validated, they may continue focusing on the negative until they are validated. Children can become pessimistic if they do not feel they are being emotionally heard and validated.
As the parent of four children, I have learned to not skip the important step of emotionally acknowledging my children. Before I realized how important this was, I was eager to try and quickly change their negative feelings and views of their life into positives.
Once you have validated your kindergarten-8 child’s negative feelings, you can give your child a choice: to continue to perceive his/her situation as negative, or to choose to change it to a positive. The first choice teaches our kindergarten-8 children to be victims in a world of random events they are powerless to control. The second choice teaches them they have the power to change anything for the better.
Recently my daughter came to me expressing her negative feelings about a friend’s treatment towards her. I could have quickly dismissed her feelings and encouraged her to not let it bother her, or joined her by saying, “That is terrible! She is so mean.”
I did neither. Instead the conversation went something like this:
Mom: “That is unfortunate, Anne. You must feel really sad about the way she treated you.”
Anne: “I do. I don’t like it when she treats me that way.”
Mom: “I understand. Nobody likes to be treated that way. You deserve to have your friends love and respect you. When you are ready to clear these negative feelings, and would like my help, let me know. Or, you can continue feeling bad. But remember, whatever you focus on in life, you will have more of it show up as your experience.”
Anne: “I want to clear these bad feelings right now and create a positive friendship with her.”
At this point I took Anne through a process called “Emotional Freedom Technique” (see attached) which is designed to clear negative feelings and stressful energies that keep us from progressing.
I have taught my children that the law of attraction, or the law of the harvest (which is that whatever we put out returns to us multiplied) is in constant operation in their lives. If they put out negative thoughts and feelings, they will have more negative experiences show up in their lives. If they put out positive thoughts and feelings, they will have more positive experiences show up in their lives.
Anne understands this universal principle and was eager to clear the negative thoughts and feelings and change them into positives. It was important that her negative feelings were acknowledged and validated first.
Most adults in our world were not emotionally validated. They were emotionally shut down or ignored. As parents we can do a much better job of validating our children’s emotional response to their lives’ events-free of any judgment. Once validated, those negative thoughts and feelings can be easily released and positive thoughts and feelings can be created.
After Anne cleared her negatives, she decided what she wanted to create was a fun-loving, kinder relationship with her friend. She helped put this into motion in her life by speaking what she wanted in positive “I am” statements such as this:
– I am experiencing all my friends respecting me and being kind to me.
– I am respectful and kind to all my friends.
– We have fun together and support each other.
– Things always work out the best for me.
– I am grateful for the love and support of my good friends.
After Anne’s energy-clearing session, she called her friend and easily made amends. Her friend was apologetic, they laughed and started planning their next activity. What Anne had asked for in her affirmations had already begun to show up for her.
Children model their parent’s perception and language about the world. If Mom and Dad are pessimistic, the children often are too. If Mom and Dad are optimists who are willing to validate their child’s negative emotional responses to a situation and then help them change that, they play a powerful role in teaching their children they can have lives that are positive with many successes to look forward to.