This week we’re looking at some of Dr. Marv Penner’s strategies and skills for helping hurting kids. Marv has developed a set of skills based on the acronym L.O.V.E. The letter V calls us to validate what’s happening in the lives of hurting teenagers. Many kids in pain have been told that their perspectives are inaccurate, their emotions are illegitimate, and they need to “get over it.” Our relational commitment validates them as people of worth. Our supportive words validate the courage it takes to face their own pain and share their stories. And our patience and gentleness validate the emotions they feel about the circumstances they share with us. The fear, confusion, shame, hurt, isolation, anger, and loss must be processed, not simply stuffed away. All of us know how difficult it is to begin to open up to someone and to be told in one of a variety of ways that what we’re experiencing really doesn’t matter. Let’s avoid doing that with hurting kids.