How to Validate Character in Adolescents
It begins when we notice our tweens and teens being honesty, responsible, considerate, and other characteristics that display their integrity and leadership. Next, we talk with them, one on one, about a specific instance. The last part is expressing and assigning that attribute to them. As in “You are compassionate, you are thoughtful, you are reliable”.
Validating affirms their goodness. We’re reminding them that we value and appreciate their choice to do the right thing. We want them to keep it up.
Examples of how to validate specific efforts, talents and characteristics. Don’t worry if their outward response is small. They.hear.every.word.you.say.
- You rinsed the sink after you brushed your teeth. You are responsible and thoughtful. I’m going to follow your lead.
- Thanks for texting me about the program. You are reliable. You can always be counted on.
- Your room looks awesome. You took the initiative to organize your things. You’ve gotta feel proud of yourself!
Examples of how to invite them to explain the reasons behind their actions. When they voice their story their strengths and motivation grow.
- You worked on your math till you got it right. You never give up. I’d like to know what you tell yourself to stay determined.
- You washed your sister’s clothes with yours. You are generous and thoughtful. I’d love to know what you were thinking when you offered to do that.
- You were patient teaching your brother how to follow the directions and build his Lego set. You were friendly and sweet to him. I’d like to know how you stayed patient for so long.
I hope all is well with you and yours. If you need help, send me an email. I’ll get back with you personally.