The Righting Reflex vs Validation with Ned Johnson

Do you ever wonder how to be most effective when your child is upset?

Ned Johnson, co-author of What Do You Say? How to Talk with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance and a Happy Home, says it’s a human reflex to try to problem solve when a child is upset. But logic won’t soothe your child’s hard feelings. Try this instead, which will likely help both you and your child feel better.

Take a listen.

Now we'd love to hear from you. What's bubbling up for you after hearing this vlog? Let us know in the comments section below!


  1. Natasha Attard on May 6, 2022 at 7:16 am

    Makes sense. Listening, validating feelings and empowering kids.

  2. Christy on May 6, 2022 at 8:54 am

    Thanks! I really like the term “Righting Reflex”! I do it all the time with my husband and daughter but, I find I use validating statements with my students! Yikes! I have a new perspective.

  3. Kristina on May 14, 2022 at 7:05 am

    Absolutely important. Dealing with many issues with my very bright and depressed 14 y.o. who is split between 2 households- mom and dad. I have “RR” hard core, due to not being with him full time anymore. I feel like I need to “fix” things and find answers, and WHAT? I only have a few days a week to do this now! Big mistake. Going to be very careful about this. Thanks. Going to work on this very hard!

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