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Positive Discipline Tool Card: Validate Feelings

Positive Discipline Teacher's Tool Cards by Jane Nelsen and Kelly Gfroerer and Positive Discipline Parenting Tool Cards by Jane Nelsen and Adrian Garsia, each offer 52 Positive Discipline tools that are available to help with many teaching and parenting challenges. Validate Feelings is the highlighted tool in this blog post.

After trying out this tool with the children in your life, please share a story of success, or struggle, you've had with it. Thank you! The more you apply the Positive Discipline teaching and parenting tools, the more they will become a part of your own lifestyle. Practice makes better!



Story - Out on the playground, 9-year-old Mark came running up to the yard duty teacher, complaining that no one wanted to play with him. The teacher said to him, "Sounds like you're feeling lonely." After a few minutes, Mark perked up and said, "I'm going to go now and play kickball." 

Sometimes validating feelings is all that was needed to turn a kid's day or current mindset around. Sometimes, it will take more than just validating feelings (EX: active listening), to help out. Remembering, though, that it feels good to be understood and validating feelings shows the child that you are trying to understand what they're feeling. It's listening to them on a heart level - a really powerful way to connect.



Story - 15-year-old Amy came home from school and snapped at her mom, Carol, with  rude remark. Carol's usual reaction was to tell Amy to stop being so rude to her. This often got them into a verbal tug-of-war, which left both of them feeling frustrated.

This time, Carol decided to try something different - validating feelings. Carol responded to Amy's remark, "Sounds like you're upset." Amy responded, "You bet I am." Amy went on for five minutes complaining about a teacher at school. Carol then said, "Sounds like you wish things were different in that class. If you were the teacher in that class, what do you think you'd do?" After responding, Amy apologized to her mom for taking her anger out on her. 

Validating feelings helped Carol support Amy without taking Amy's behavior personally and allowed Amy to feel heard, calm down, and make amends on her own. 


Where can you purchase these tool card decks? The card decks are available at (Select products, then select tool cards) and there are versions available for iPhone and Android in the App stores on the phones.

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