John Maxwell said, “A child has no clear picture of himself. He sees himself only in the mirror of his parents’ evaluation of him.”
As women, we often find ourselves in the role of nurturer-especially when it comes to children. Through the years, I have learned the importance of validating a child-which means offering feedback that says, “I see you. I hear you. You matter to me.” Interestingly, validating does not mean agreeing 100% with what is being said-it is a way of communicating that the relationship is important to you, even when you disagree. Validation is the recognition and acceptance of another person’s thoughts,feelings, sensations, and behaviors as understandable.
Below, are some fictitious tongue in cheek examples of Moms who kind of missed the boat on the whole validation thing….
Columbus’ Mother: “I don’t care what you’ve discovered, Chris. You still could have written.”
Michelangelo’s Mother: “Mike, can’t you paint on walls like other children? Do you have any idea how hard it is to get that stuff off the ceiling?”
Batman’s Mother: “It’s a nice car, Bruce, but do you realize how much the insurance is going to be?”
Albert Einstein’s Mother: “But, Albert, it’s your senior picture. Can’t you do something about your hair? Styling gel, mousse, something…?”
Thomas Edison’s Mother: “Of course I’m proud that you invented the electric light bulb, Thomas. Now turn off that light and get to bed.”
If you are like me, you can see yourself nagging Albert about his hair with no notion at all of his genius, his potential-telling Thomas to stop reading and TURN THAT LIGHT OFF.
I love the idea of being a mirror for the child without a clear idea of who he/she is-this funny look at what some famous people’s mothers might have really been thinking, is a great reminder to be the mirror reflecting back to every child that he/she is a beloved child of God-with untold potential.
“there is no planet, sun, or star could hold you if you but knew what you are.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson