Posts Tagged ‘validate’

LOGICAL WOMAN AND EMPATHETIC MAN MAKE HISTORY: First-Ever Instance of Man Understanding Emotions while Woman Uses Reason

January 20, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS – For the first time in recorded history, a woman used “logic,” defined as “reason or sound judgment,” ahead of emotion in dealing with her boyfriend, while her boyfriend simultaneously placed more importance on understanding her emotions than attempting to fix their problems using only his perspective.

The historic moment occurred Tuesday afternoon when Polly Piatkouwski and John Tuttle “validated” each others’ thoughts by listening and repeating back what each other said, a strategy that has been previously believed to be theoretically possible, but heretofore never actually been verified to have occurred organically.

“I decided to listen to what she was saying and tried to put myself in her position,” Tuttle said.  Meanwhile, Piatkowski said she used “reason,” defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “the power of intelligent and dispassionate thought, or of conduct influenced by such thought.”

“It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be,” Piatkouwski opined.  “But I’ll probably go back to letting my emotions rule my thoughts, being indirect, and expecting John to read my mind.”  Tuttle said he planned to return to trying to fix problems, taking things literally and ignoring intangibles rather than listening to his girlfriend and understanding where she’s coming from.

Still, the moment will be chronicled and celebrated for decades to come, historians say.  “If it happened once, it could happen again,” said Nicholas Johnson of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Sociologists say women have used logic before.  They also have multiple records of men being emotionally aware and validating what women say.  However, this has never been accomplished to anyone’s knowledge by the same couple in the same situation.

Psychologist Norman Greenbaum said he believes that the couple’s claims are plausible.  “With hundreds of millions of couples having argued throughout America’s history, I believe this may have even happened another time at some point before and just gone unnoticed.”

Greenbaum said that it would be statistically possible for a man to be empathetic while his girlfriend uses rational sense to solve a problem.  He stated that this phenomenon may even occur again at some point.  However, cynics say the couple may be perpetrating a hoax, claiming that the odds of such an event are just too high to have actually occurred during the same situation.

(Note:  The above is a satire and not related to any particular situation.  It is written in the style of articles on the Sometimes I write blogs or website content that is exaggerated or intended to be humorous.  Not everyone will like it or get it. It reminds me of a story in which comedian Gilbert Gottfried was bombing, but continued to do more and more of the same material on purpose despite the audience’s reaction).


Helping Kids (Autistic or Typical) Regulate Emotions

December 21, 2009

Here are some strategies that are good to teach children to handle their emotions.  These can work for kids with autism, who have a hard time regulating emotions, as well as for neurotypical children.

1.  Validate their feelings.  Don’t diminish what they say by saying they should not be upset.  Tell them you understand they are upset and that it’s normal to be upset.  Identify with them by saying that everybody feels badly sometimes – even adults.

2.  Give them strategies to self-regulate their emotions.  Examples include having them:

  • Take deep breaths.  Have them breathe into their hands or use a windmill or a leaf.
  • Count to 10 or 20.
  • Talk about it with a parent, teacher, or peer.
  • Exercise

3.  Use a video camera to tape them complaining about doing an activity and also tape them acting appropriately.  Show them both versions so they can understand how others perceive them (theory of mind).

By the way, if anyone has any other ideas, feel free to contact me (contact information is at

Summary: “Raising the Emotionally Intelligent Child” by John Gottman

August 22, 2009

I think it’s critical to teach kids about emotions early and often, especially kids with autism, who usually have a hard time identifying, understanding, expressing, and handling their emotions.  So here I summarize notes from John Gottman’s book, “Raising the Emotionally Intelligent Child.”

  • Parents need to make the best use of the golden moments they have with their children, taking a purposeful and active role.
  • How parents interact with their kids when emotions run hot is key.
  • It’s good for kids to be able to regulate their emotional states.
  • Parents should offer their children empathy and help them to cope with negative feelings.
  • Good parenting is based on empathy and understanding.
  • Even more than IQ, your emotional awareness and ability determines your success and happiness.  For kids, it means controlling impulses, delaying gratification, motivating themselves, reading other people’s social cues, and coping with ups and downs.
  • You can say, “I think I know how you feel.”
    • Become aware of the child’s emotion
    • Recognize the emotion as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching
    • Listen empathetically, validating the child’s feelings
    • Help the child find words to label the emotion he is having
  • Don’t be harsh, critical, or dismissing of your child’s emotions.
  • See things from the child’s perspective.
  • The emotion coach can tolerate spending time with a sad, angry, or fearful child.
  • Confront your child’s sadness head on.  How do you feel?  Are you kind of sad?
  • Dismissing parents think children shouldn’t be sad.  They focus on the behavior rather than the emotion.
  • Sad children don’t always understand how to comfort and calm themselves.
  • Talk to children about their feelings.
  • Listen to their frustration and tell them it’s natural to feel letdown.  Validate them.