help with a sentence


Can someone please explain what the follow sentece means?


parental invalidation of who I was and how i felt

asked Jan 05 '13 at 16:50 chellie New member

2 answers


Synonyms for invalidate are nullify, annul, cancel, repeal, void, and quash.   There are many ways that a parent can invalidate how a child feels or how he identifies himself. The child might be a bookworm with a parent who thinks success is best shown on the football field, or vice versa.  He might be gay with a homophobic parent.  Parents, by nature, steer their children to think this way or to do that thing.  If the child has another idea, which isn’t uncommon, the parents often tell him that he is wrong to think or feel that way. 


Here’s my own example of parental invalidation.  My dad keeps all of his emotions inside. Having four daughters going through various stages of puberty at one time must have been pretty hard on him with all of those emotions running rampant in the house.  Of course, I didn’t understand that when I was a kid.  The message I “heard” from him was, “Don’t have emotions.”  This is entirely different than, “Don’t show emotions,” which is what I believe he intended to pass on.  When I was angry or sad or even elated, I was made to feel that it was wrong to feel those emotions.  My feelings were invalidated. 

link answered Jan 05 '13 at 20:13 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

thank you for helping me

chellieJan 05 '13 at 22:51

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It is a poorly written sentence. With more context, it becomes clear that the writer means, which I believe is as Patty suggested.

link comment answered Jan 06 '13 at 04:24 Will Sutton New member

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