Teenage daughter being hugged by mother, as they sit on mother’s bed. Daughter has just returned home late from her date.
Teenage daughter being hugged by mother, as they sit on mother’s bed. Daughter has just returned home late from her date.

How Validation Soothes Our Native Insecurity

You are with a small group from your tribe, hunting for gazelles on the grassland. It is a hot afternoon in east Africa, 200,000 years ago. Suddenly, a cheetah breaks out of the taller grasses, running rapidly toward you. Utter fear and panic flows through your body, until one of the younger men is able to shove a spear through the cheetah’s heart.

But what if you had been rejected by the tribe, and forced to hunt alone? Wherever or however you live today, your mind and body still has evolutionary ties to the men and women who hunted the…


Parents who are responsive to their children are the most needed tool for society to move forward, according to Center on the Developing Child at Harvard. But the full capacity of children to become adults who move society forward requires that parent and child create feelings of trust and security that can be felt gut-deep. The feelings of emotional safety are not just an emotion, but also visceral sensations complete with changes in the body itself.

Children who feel close to their parents grow up, on the average, to have better mental and physical health than children who do not…

Katrina Miller

Katrina Miller, PhD, is a Marriage & Family Therapist and an assistant professor at the University of Phoenix. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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