The Importance of Validation

I set up an appointment for my daughter with a therapist. First for a kids’ group and then one on one.

The reason isn’t just for the coping skills she’ll learn or realizing that she’s really not alone in facing life changes and challenges. It’s for the validation. I was told one of the things she would be learning was how to express her emotions. To me, what’s priceless is that she will be given the message that her feelings are even valid to express. That she has a right to them and that others find them important.

Being with a narcissistic parent, she has learned to show him what he wants to see.

I had asked her the other day if she gave her father any indication that she liked some of the documentaries he made her watch. She looked at my rather incredulously, almost like I was stupid, and said, “Uh…yeah. If I didn’t, he’d get mad!”

She told me not only does she have to be there when he watches these documentaries, but if she looks away or hides her eyes or covers her ears, he will get angry and threaten that she will never watch her own shows again if she doesn’t watch his.

That is so controlling, more than I thought he would be…but why wouldn’t I know this? Maybe I just thought he wouldn’t be like that, that cruel to her.

In our conversation, dd said to me, “I think what he does is child abuse.”

It is. But there are no laws that will protect her from it.

So in the face of so much discounting of what she feels, she really needs to be with others who will validate those feelings and her right to have them and to show her that anything less than that is not healthy at best and abusive at worst. The skills will be great, but the validation will be even better.


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4 Responses to The Importance of Validation

  1. Survivor says:

    I agree. Our children need a way to voice what is happening. I couldn’t believe it but my oldest(almost 12) told me how he stood up to his father before his summer trip to see me. I am out of state so the kids are only with me during the summer and holidays. My oldest was in the middle of something on the computer and his father tells him to stop and clean the house. With my absence, the children now have to do the chores. My son asks if he can have a moment. His father tells him he won’t be allowed to see me for the summer. My son says, “I think the court papers say something different.” His father responded that my son would miss his plane then. What a courageous thing my son did because his father can be very intimidating.

  2. PhoenixRising says:

    His son would miss his plane then???

    What a creep. But he’s only burying himself. I’m so sorry your kids have to go through this, but how wonderful to see this growing empowerment in your son!

  3. PhoenixRising says:

    And you know, i don’t know how you do it. It’s summer, so my daughter spends more time with her father – much to her chagrin and mine. But it’s for a few days in a row. And I worry!

    I can’t imagine being separated for longer! Hats off to you and your inner strength.

  4. Survivor says:

    The separation is heart breaking. I know when the children leave at the end of the summer, I will see a therapist.It is what I did last year. It is to process the grief and loss from their departure. It is normal though to feel this way and the important thing is to get the help to be strong for the children.

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