“My child will actually say ‘I am upset’… Before all they would do was scream”: Teaching parents emotion validation in a social care setting

Lambie, John A. and Lambie, Hugo J. and Sadek, Susan (2020) “My child will actually say ‘I am upset’… Before all they would do was scream”: Teaching parents emotion validation in a social care setting. Child: Care, Health and Development, 46 (5). pp. 627-636. ISSN 1365-2214

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12770


Background: Emotion validation by parents has positive outcomes for children's emotional development, particularly in vulnerable families, but there is a lack of research on supporting health workers to teach emotion validation to parents whose children are open to early help and children's social services. There is also a theoretical debate about how best to conceptualize emotion validation and why it is beneficial to children. The purpose of the study was to test the feasibility of teaching emotion validation skills to parents and family workers in a social care setting, and to examine the effects of such teaching on children's emotion awareness and emotion regulation. Methods: This small scale qualitative feasibility study involved 11 parents (with children aged 2‐5 years) who were receiving early help social services, and 5 family workers. All parents took part in a 4 week course teaching emotionally validating parenting: either in a group class (6 parents) or one‐one delivery at home via a family worker (5 parents). Effects on parents, children, and family workers were assessed using semi‐structured interviews. Results: Six themes were identified in qualitative analysis: 1) Parent became more validating, 2) Parent's own vulnerability affected their ability to use the skills, 3) Child became more aware of emotions, 4) Child became calmer and more accepting of negative emotions, 5) Child transferred emotion validation to others, 6) Family workers incorporated emotion validation techniques into their professional practice. Conclusion: Results demonstrated the feasibility of teaching emotional validation skills to parents via both delivery methods, with positive outcomes reported for parents and children and positive impact reported on family worker practice. Qualitative analysis suggested that parental acceptance of child's negative emotions may be linked with greater self‐awareness of negative emotions in the child.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Parenting, emotion validation, emotion coaching, children, emotion awareness, emotion regulation
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 06 May 2020 16:00
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:52
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/705490

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