Validation for an 11-year old…


The white car came cruising by my son as he was riding his Ripstick on the sidewalk. The car stopped abruptly, was put in reverse, and backed up in the middle of the street to where my son was. Words were exchanged. An 11-year- old boy hung his head.

With frustration in his voice, my son came in and told me what happened.

“Mom… I just got in trouble.”

“For what?” I asked.

“Some guy thought I gave him the finger.”

“Well… did you?”

“No, Mom, I went like this…” He proceeded to give me the hang ten sign.

I believed my son. Yes, he’s eleven and eleven-year-olds do dumb things like farting at the dinner table but we’ve raised him not to give anyone the middle finger.

There was a knot in my stomach as his dad came up from downstairs. “Where does he live?” This was going to be straightened out. For a fifty-something to feel he has a right to confront and intimidate an 11-year old boy who did nothing wrong is ludicrous. So the men had words.

It’s right for parents to stick up for their kids, especially when our kids are in the right.

My son needed to see that his parents were on his side. He needed to see us demonstrate our belief in him. When most days consist of correction, this day was a day of validation. Our belief rebuilt the one brick that was just torn down. Being an 11-year-old kid is hard and most days my son feels like the whole world is against him.

As parents, we MUST build our kids up at home by telling them how proud we are, praising them for work well done, and believing them when they tell the truth.