What do you do when your child seeks your validation?

By Nicole Soames (Educational Psychologist)

It is important to help your child understand that what THEY think of themselves and their work is way more important than what others think of them.

By doing so, we are helping them develop internal validation, so that they stop seeking this elsewhere and from other people.

Our brains are wired to seek validation from those around us. We want to be accepted so that we are safe and protected. Nevertheless, you can make a big difference in how much your child values their own opinion of themselves and their work. ⠀⠀⠀⠀

Begin by paying attention to how you give them feedback.

Next time, instead of immediately jumping to praise or even criticism about something your child has done, ASK them questions instead:
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“What do YOU think you did well?”
“What do you think you could have done better?”
“How did you feel when you were making this and now that you have finished?”
“How does your work make you feel?”

If your child answers with “I don’t’ know”, you can use that as an opportunity to encourage them to self-reflect and think a little bit further about it. When we ask our children for their own assessment instead of immediately jumping in with our opinion, we are giving them a chance to self-reflect and self-evaluate. This helps them develop the internal validation, which is the most important voice to be listening to and nourishing.