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Improve Communication with your Child with this Baby Step

In order for your child to talk to you, they need to feel heard and understood. An essential parenting skill that improves communication is validation.

Validation doesn’t try to fix, shut down, or correct. It simply says I hear you. It opens the door for them to start trusting that you’ll listen to them.

Validation is NOT

  • Permission for bad behavior.

  • Letting them “get away” with things”

  • Giving in to them

Validation is about feelings. Validation is about connecting the dots between feelings and behavior.

Of course, behavioral intervention is important. However, since behavior is communication, when you practice validation, it becomes easier for them to talk to you with words, rather than behavior.

Next time you get that that here we go again feeling

  1. Pause

  2. Breathe - Yes. Always.

  3. Validate - “You seem mad, sad, scared…”

  4. Pause again.

  5. Breathe while they react.

  6. Practice curiosity. “Tell me more”

They may yell, argue, say mean things, deny, or say nothing. They don’t have the “right” words yet. Talk less, listen more. It is not the time for correction. (That will come later.)

Your goal is to open the lines of communication and keep them open through the teen years and beyond. Better communication doesn’t happen in giant leaps and bounds. It’s built over time, like trust. It happens with baby steps.

This week's Quick Tip for a quick win with your parenting...

>>>Small Steps Lead to Big Changes<<<

Little differences in how you respond to things can lead to much more positive interactions! - dad of a 12 year old.

(CAVEAT: If they are at risk of hurting themselves or someone else, you have to combine the skill of validation with the skill of boundaries. “I see you’re mad. I can’t let you hit your sister. It’s my job to keep you both safe.” Then actively intervene to separate and bring your dysregulated child into a time-IN.)

If you’d like to talk more with me about how to improve communication with your kiddo and receive some immediate empathy, support, and relief, click the image below to schedule a free ½ hour parenting support call.

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