We all go through life hearing many things about ourselves. Telling ourselves many things about ourselves. These little facts. These little truths. These little half truths. These little falsehoods. These statements that shape how we see ourselves and how we feel about ourselves. These words are adjectives. And sadly, all too many are negative.
People will take the time to tell you that you are: annoying, stupid, ugly, fat, crazy, failing, etc. Whether it’s actually true or not. (We usually believe it either way.)
How often do people take the time to tell us the good, great, amazing things about ourselves?
Those adjectives, especially when meant, are called validation.
And validation is really fucking important.
I have decided to raise my kids on validation. Oh, they are by no means perfect, as no one is, but they are still going to grow up hearing all the amazing things about themselves. They need to know that in an imperfect existence is still beauty, that isn’t even hard to find.
Also, I am known for a temper that I take out on those I love, so they at least need me to counter that with a ton of validation.
So all three of my kids, whether they roll their eye or not, get a regular dose of validation. Some days I even make them repeat it back.
You are smart.
You are pretty/handsome.
You are silly/witty.
You are special.
You are important.
You are loved.
You are valued.
Of course, that sometimes bites me in the ass.
Like the time Sambam wanted some treat or such there was only one of, meaning her brother would be left out on. I informed her she wasn’t special (opps mom!) She called me on it and informed me she was too special! So I paused, took a deep breath, and agreed that yes, she was special, but no more or less special than her brothers.
Also, there was this gem from tonight that while vain, tells me she is at least listening.
Me: See you tomorrow baby!
Sam: See you tomorrow momma
Me: I love you!
Sam: I love you too
Me: You’re beautiful!
Sam: I know
It has to be noted that lack of validation in childhood and the young adult years can be a huge factor for someone developing Borderline Personality Disorder. I can’t help but be aware of the gene pool my kids were born into, but I can counter it the best I can.