Lust Buster

Lust Buster

In most boundary situations with children, the simple SAY WHAT YOU SEE® phrase, “You want _____,” is the best place to start. The power of validating what children want cannot be overestimated. When children know that it’s OK to want what they want, they don’t have to fight to prove it.

You’ve probably heard children quickly escalate from “I want it,” to “I need it,” to tears and a tantrum, especially when you try to talk them out of it by saying, “You don’t really want that…” But if you haven’t experienced the de-escalation that comes from doing the opposite—validating what they want—I hope you will give it a try, not only with your children but with yourself.

I say that because I just had a surprising experience with self-validation.

I’d been pondering how much of my life I’ve spent telling myself, “You don’t want that…” and realized that invalidating myself with that phrase was not only a motivation killer but was creating a kind of volcano of “lust for stuff.”

Talking myself out of wanting things with arguments like, “It’s just another thing to dust,” or “You don’t really need that,” seems to work really well for a long time, but then something will show up that I just “have to have” and if I can find any excuse at all, I’ll buy it.

When I make an impulsive purchase based on that kind of rose-colored, irrational lust for something, I generally discover a couple days later that it’s not that great after all and wonder what I was thinking. It doesn’t happen often and is generally not that extreme, but when it does, it usually kicks my, “You don’t want that,” strategy back into high gear which perpetuates the cycle.

So this time when I saw an ad for some beautiful but very expensive blouses and felt that kind of irrational desire kick in, I didn’t shy away from it. I printed out the ad, put it next to my couch and every time I walked by it, I validated how much I wanted them. I started with “you” just like SAY WHAT YOU SEE (SWYS) with a child:

SWYS to myself: “You really want those. Of course you do! They’re so colorful. You can picture them hanging in your closet. How fun it would be to pick one and wear it whenever you wanted! They’re easy-care gauze, long and flowing just the way you like…”

Even though I understand the power of validation, part of me was worried that the more I let myself want them, the sadder I would get that my budget didn’t allow me to buy them, or worse, that I would end up buying one anyway. Neither of those things happened.

Instead, two days later when I walked by the ad, I stopped cold. I was stunned at how different they looked. They had lost their “lust-er” and become just ordinary blouses—nice colors, sure, but way over-priced! The rose-colored glasses were off. I could see them for exactly what they were—blouses I liked, but certainly didn’t have to have.

Validation really is the secret to lust-busting!!!

I’ve been validating what children want for years, but this personal experience gives it new urgency. I’d love for you to experience it, too! That’s why I’m inviting you to take the 30-day Validation Challenge:

1. Deliberately validate one thing your child (or each of your children) wants each day for 15 days;


2. Then add one thing you want to the validation-fest for the remaining 15 days.


3. Report the results in the comments below.

If validation is hard for you, start with things you or your child(ren) can have and dwell in the “wanting” zone for a few minutes first to relish the joy of anticipation. Then ramp up to validating things you or your child cannot have and practice granting wishes in fantasy or using SWYS to facilitate sad or angry feelings.

If you already naturally validate one thing you or your child(ren) want each day, pick a number that feels like a challenge to you.

Validating “wants” is one little step that can make a big difference! I look forward to hearing what it does for you!

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