Validating and empathizing

To reconnect with your partner, there are three listening skills that can help you feel heard and understood.

Imago Relationship Therapy is a type of couples counseling that offers many tools, among them a dialogue for partners to practice active listening skills that deepen connection and help each person feel understood.

This day might as well be re-named Boogie Man Day -- because it's a day which you know brings up many questions for your child. " It is then that you "validate" the child's emotions. Julie Gottman means "empathizing with the child's feelings and confirming that they have a right to feel that way." After validating the child's feelings, the mother can help the child to label them. Michael Gurian also recommends that his child (and adult) clients of absent fathers write letters to their father on Father's Day (and other days, such as Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, Birthdays, etc.) He coaches the child to tell their father 1) their accomplishments over the last year, 2) how they feel about their father loss, 3) how they are working to be strong and grow despite and through the loss.5.

Even if your child does not ask you questions out loud, you know your child will be extra-wondering about that unknown shadowy figure called father -- or rather, never-to-be-called father.1. Julie Gottman (from the awesome Gottman Institute) says if your kids approach you with questions about their father, it is important to "validate" them, by answering as best as you can. ) also agrees about the importance of reassuring the child they're not at fault, saying: "First and foremost, a child who is abandoned must be constantly and repetitively told (and convinced) that s/he was not at fault for the abandonment. Both The Gottmans and Gurian recommend identifying a father figure in the child's life that they can celebrate an "honorary" Father's Day with.

When it’s working well, both partners can feel connected, loving and secure.