Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
March 12, 2024 ·  5 min read

What Children Require Most From Parents Isn’t Love

When Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D., taught parent training workshops, he often included an activity where Bernstein turned down the lights and asked people to listen to their parent’s voices. It was interesting that when Bernstein turned on the lights to end the activity, he often saw emotions from the people who were taking part that ranged from smiles to tears. Volunteers would talk about the lessons or words that had stuck with them over time.

A majority of the people you see in the group training sessions, much like my counseling clients, tend to have a feeling that they are loved by their parents. When they were asked, “Do you believe that your parents actually understood you?” the majority said they wished their parents would have made the time and shared with them the value of what they were doing. Thus, Dr.Bernstein, a psychologist working with kids, teens, and families, also believes that the child and the family should be loved.

It is all right if you don’t share Bernstein’s point of view. However, consider those you know who are sullen, even if they possess almost all of the love from these people. What else should I expect from them? It is more likely that they have created a story like, “My parents state that they love me, but they, unfortunately, were not remarkably clever enough to understand my character.”

Why Validating Your Child’s Feelings Matters

In an article for Psychology Today, Dr. Bernstein emphasizes that recognizing and validating kids’ feelings is an integral part of supporting their mental health, building resilience, and encouraging healthy growth. Children need to feel understood, accepted, and able to handle the complicated emotional world they live in. Validating their feelings is an important part of making that happen.

Like adults, kids feel a lot of different feelings, from happiness and excitement to anger and sadness. Feeling these feelings is a big part of how they learn about themselves and the world around them. Validating a child’s feelings means noticing and accepting the feelings they show without judging or ignoring them. It’s about letting the child know that their feelings are real and that it’s okay to have a range of emotions.

Listening to our kids with the same care we’d give a famous person is something Bernstein talks about in 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child. What a great gift that would be for them. When we’re parents, this is especially true because our phones buzz with so many exciting content choices and alerts. One of the greatest advantages of listening to and respecting children is that they will have a secure emotional platform in the future. A child feels emotionally secure if he or she is provided a safe space where they are being listened to and their emotions are considered.

Building Emotional Intelligence: The Benefits of Validating Children’s Feelings

The road to security, in this way, helps kids dodge stress and misfortune, enabling them to live with day-to-day problems. The children being schooled and cared for by validating their feelings are proven to gain resilience and adapt after circumstances have differed from theirs.

Being genuine in recognizing kids’ feelings likewise leads them to feel okay with their own value of self-esteem. Youths find that they are cared for and not treated as a number when they are listened to and recognized as their own human beings. Such positive feedback produces an attractive contribution to the entire positive scheme of yourself that holds the key role in enhancing your confidence and self-esteem. They will easily cultivate a healthy belief about themselves and nurture friendships with others if they receive what they try to express.

Keep in mind, too, that when you allow kids to know that you also get their feelings, it helps them communicate everything better. When children can speak their feelings, they not only get the chance to express what they are experiencing, but they also can learn to put their thoughts and feelings into words. This offers them an additional opportunity to communicate with other students. They can also express their thoughts and also seek guidance when it is due. Communicating and developing positive relationships, as well as the ability to interact socially and smoothly with different people, are all indispensable parts of the beneficial development process, which only happens when the child has a good command of the English language.

Final Thoughts: The Power of Validation

Validating and empathizing with children is also how they learn to understand and care for others. Teachers and parents need only to accept their children’s emotions and show them how to be sensitive by approving their kids’ emotions. Children have the ability to distinguish and comprehend emotional expression, which in turn results in them being friendly and empathetic. Besides making relationships glow, emotional intelligence is a powerful skill that underpins almost everything; it includes a range of abilities that allow navigating through life smoothly.

However, establishing empathy with children is not only for their personal development but also for the good of society. There is a need to acknowledge their feelings. One who thinks how others may be feeling and responds with care and fairness can be best said to be caring and understanding. The projects we will engage kids in to instruct them that their feelings are crucial will play a vital role in creating a generation that is emotionally intelligent, understanding, and caring and can affect the world positively.

Validation of feelings is the most crucial thing you ought to discuss. In fact, the establishment and maintenance of mental well‐being form the basis of coping with new circumstances through resilience and personal growth. Through listening and acknowledging kids’ feelings, we aid them in developing a robust emotional base otherwise; they will lack self-esteem, hence, their inability to express themselves will be crippling; more so, they will not be able to understand how others feel. Giving children the chance to bear their feelings and acknowledging their emotional standpoint is not just about the kids but about everyone in our society.

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