Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review of The Power of Validation

How can parents raise a child who has the confidence to avoid peer pressure, deal with bullies, avoid self-harm, and get a proper grip on emotions? That is the goal of The Power of Validation, a practical, commonsense book on child-rearing that many readers may wish their own parents had known about.

What is validation? It's "the recognition and acceptance that your child has feelings and thoughts that are true and real to him regardless of logic or whether it makes sense to anyone else," the authors write. No, it doesn't mean giving in to their demands or necessarily agreeing with their feelings. It might well mean "Yes, I understand that this is what you want to do, but we're doing something else right now."

This book shows that validation promotes a healthy, well-deserved self esteem that is based on children fulfilling their potential. Parents learn how to deal not only with children's worry, anger, fear, and jealousy, but with happiness, joy, and having fun. "The idea is to allow independence, interests, and imperfection while recognizing and accepting your child's weaknesses and strengths," the authors write.

The book has occasional exercises that help readers try out the principles themselves, and they are all easy to understand.

If only I could, I would travel back in time with two copies of The Power of Validation. One would go to my parents when they had their first child, and the other would be for when I became a parent.

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