Why stranger validation is damaging to our kids’ mental wellbeing



Parents, I’ve got a question for you…do you suffer from stranger validation? Do you even know what this condition is? No? Don’t worry; Dr. Mir is in da house, and I’m happy to explain the symptoms of what I believe to be a highly disturbing disorder.

  Stranger validation, (in my opinion), is an obsessive and compelling condition affecting some parents who seem to believe their children’s mental health and wellbeing is not rooted in who they are, or in the support they receive from family members and friends, rather it’s measured by how popular they are on social media.

  You see, while Roscommon parents will never suffer from this sickness, (because they’re responsible loving mams and dads), it’s a sad fact that some – well, one victim anyway – has reached such  a critical stage of this malaise, she should probably be temporarily  removed from Instagram and placed on emergency parenting skills’ support.

  I’m talking about US-based parenting blogger and mother-of-five Katie Bower, whose different, and I’d say skewed, approach to raising kids caused me some concern last week, when, sharing a picture of her son on his 6th birthday on Instagram, where she has over 52,000 followers, this mother brutally revealed to complete strangers, that her little boy, ‘receives the least likes’ out of all her children, and then begged complete strangers to click ‘like’ on his photo.

  Now, while I’m no Mary Poppins when it comes to raising kids, I’d like to be fair and cut Katie some slack here and assume that perhaps her earning power generated from brands that sponsor her is based entirely on what she, and her followers, perceive to be her picture-perfect family. However, I do believe that teaching our kids to measure their value in the amount of likes they generate on social media is just cruel, and, if I may add…a touch sad. In addition, I really have to ask if this mother is sitting her five kiddies down on a regular basis and showing them how many likes they each receive? Is she generating competition between the siblings and encouraging them to pit their individual attractiveness against each other by suggesting that, as one of them typically receives less likes than the rest, he’s ‘statistically’ the ugly duckling of the family?

  Like all kids, and indeed like Katie’s other kids, this little boy is a beautiful, innocent child who is worryingly being parented by a woman who seems to believe affirmation and acceptance doesn’t come through nurturing your kids and showing them love, instead, her perception of validation clearly comes from the positive reaction of  randomers sitting at a keyboard. Pathetic or wha’?

Are push presents now a thing?

Staying on the subject of parenting, (and again, I’m not perfect but the view is pretty great up here on my high horse), but I want to ask how many of you gorgeous Roscommon mammies have received a ‘push present’ when you gave birth?


  I only enquire because practically-perfect-in-every-way, model/reality star Vogue Williams, upon giving birth to son Theodore, received a (que gag moment), ‘push present’ of a rare tanzanite necklace from rolling-in-the-moolah hubby Spencer. That’s nice!

  Look, I don’t know about you ladies, but when I gave birth it was because I wanted to have a family; I never once thought I should be compensated for my excruciatingly painful efforts; because, for me, a healthy baby was the ultimate gift.

  However, come to think of it, given I received two stale custard creams, a cuppa, and twenty stitches in my lady bits immediately post-birth, (I delivered a 10lb human for God’s sake, give me some credit) a simple thoughtful gesture like a Tiffany bracelet, a diamond eternity ring or even a feckin’ cheap bottle of plonk from her dad would have made me feel just that bit less sore, and that bit more special.

Look picture-perfect for Santa at RosFM’s fundraising event

Community radio is alive and doing pretty well in Roscommon town, however RosFM does need our help in order to keep informing, entertaining and educating listeners. It’s for this reason volunteers have asked me to remind readers about RosFM’s Christmas beauty and masterclass fundraiser which will be hosted by blogger ‘Faces by Grace’. 


  The evening of beauty, which should prove to be the perfect platform for all stylish fashionistas to gain valuable make-up tips this Christmas, is sure to be a big success.

  Run by dedicated volunteers, RosFM depends heavily on fundraising events like this to help them improve and expand their broadcasting schedule so that it better serves the needs of local listeners. Remember, community radio cannot legally depend on advertising revenue, and seasonal fundraising campaigns are important to their future sustainability.

  So, save the date, it’s this Friday, 30th of November, from 7 pm to 10 pm in the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon town.

  I’m told tickets are €25 and are available from www.eventbrite.ie, the Abbey Hotel, and at the door on the night. Attendees will be entered into a free raffle to win a ticket for Club Rossie’s ‘Win a House,’ competition.