Over my years of practice as a practicing pediatrician, I learned a lot about ADHD. But sometimes I felt that information by itself eclipsed the intrinsic value of the person with ADHD.
Understanding the challenges begins by respecting every individual’s unique personhood, then encouraging that person to find and use his or her strengths.
You may wonder why I use the word “validation.” Allow me to explain. People are not only unique. They are each valuable.
Every baby, every child, every teen that I ever saw as a pediatrician is very valuable to their mother and father. They may or may not be particularly talented, attractive, athletic, intelligent, or easy to get along with. But, they are each valuable, and not just to their parents. That value is inherent and cannot be taken from them.
The word “validation” is often used when we check our car out of a parking garage. A sign says “validation” and has an arrow pointing one way. We go towards that desk, get our ticket validated, and use that stamped ticket to exit from the garage.
I think there are more important ways to use that word. That word is very important to what a coach does too.
When we validate someone, we tell them that there is something unique and precious about them – something about them, the way they smile, their courage, their persistence, their trust, their affection. We may congratulate people for their accomplishments. We may recognize people with awards. But we validate when we want to say something very special to uphold and encourage a person.
This is a primary attitude and belief that I bring to anyone I coach. Whatever challenge they face, whatever goal they pursue, I stand alongside my clients to provide a safe and non-judgmental space, where they explore, discover, and bring about positive life changes.
Every effort is worth recognition, every person is valuable.