Make together time quality time

Family sitting on couch talking

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) Families spending time together is important, but being able to communicate well with each other while you’re together is what makes it “quality time.”

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services says it’s all about learning to validate each other’s experiences. Validation communicates to the other person that you are listening, you understand how they feel, you can see their point of view, and you’ve had similar experiences.

Validation Communicates

  • You are listening
  • You understand how they feel
  • You can see their point of view
  • You’ve had similar experiences

Non-verbal validation means putting electronics away so that you can make eye contact, face the other person, avoid eye rolling when they are making their point, keeping an open posture, and not interrupting.

How to Validate When Listening

  • Put electronics away
  • Face the other person
  • Make eye contact
  • Avoid eye rolling when they are making their point
  • Keep an open posture
  • Don’t interrupt while they are speaking

Verbal validation is words or phrases that reflect what the other person is saying or communicates an understanding of their experience (ex. having dinner together and your ten year old says, “It was a terrible day at school. I got yelled at for no reason!” A validating response would be to take this concern seriously and say something like, “it feels really bad when you get in trouble and didn’t do anything wrong. Tell me about what happened.”)

How to Validate When Talking

  • Reflect their statement to show you heard what they said
  • Use language to show you understood, too
  • Ask them to elaborate

Validation does not necessarily mean you agree with the other person’s point of view or behavior, it just means that you can understand their point of view or the feelings they had.

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