Love is a pretty dynamic feeling. It is one that many of our kids have had pretty messed up experiences in. For this reason, I’ve been reading the book “The Five Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. I sometimes feel it is hard to show my love to the kids. I do love them and I want them to know it, but discipline and protection seem to take over. While I know both are a part of love, it feels like there needs to be something more. Why do I need to find this something more? My sweet kids, especially the girls due to so many broken relationships, really NEED to fully experience the love of a parent.
In the book, it outlines the five types of love all children experience. Each child needs all types but there is always one that stands out as stronger than the others. This is the type of love that needs to be fed most often. When children are lacking in their main language, their love tank is empty and they often act out, half poor self-esteem and school work.
The five languages are as follows:
Touch – Obviously hugs and kisses go here, but it also covers back rubs, hand pumps, simply sitting close together. Any type of touch is important as long as it is appropriate.
Words of Affirmation – Letting kids know what they are good at, that you are proud of them, that you love them fall in this category. Also talking about things that are important to your kids and complementing their appearances and work.
Gifts – This is not simply giving a present to a child, it is putting thought and effort into giving the gift. Children who have the language of gifts really appreciate what they are given. They proudly show it around and display it in a place of importance.
Acts of Service – Taking the time to fix a broken bicycle, helping with a school project and finishing a chore mean a lot to children who have acts of service as their main language. It is also important that the child know you are doing it from the kindness in your heart, not because you feel you have to.
Quality Time – Spending the time your child desires can be very hard in this busy world but it is very much needed for children who speak this language. This involves building lego, going to a special baseball or hockey game, fishing or even folding the laundry while having a good conversation all are ways to give quality time to a child.
One thing about the book is the fact that it is forcing me to grow! I’ll admit I can be a yeller when I get really stressed. I hate yelling and try to avoid it but sadly have been doing more than I feel I should. I am finding that falling back on loving these kids to pieces is really helping with that!
I have a houseful of kids and each of my kids speak a different language! This can be very difficult at times when juggling our schedule. I know I need to get better at supplying a good amount of fuel for their love tanks and I know I provide pretty sad example of quality time and touch. Quality time is hard because I am always so busy with all the activities, homework and housework in our family. Touch is hard for me because I have never been a huggy person. To be honest, I actively have to hold back a cringe when someone comes to give me a hug or a pat on the back. It is not because I don’t like hugs – I actually do very much – or I think people have cooties – perhaps they do, but I am far forma germ-o-fobe – It is because I just don’t know how to react when physical contact happens. This makes it really hard to snuggle my 12 year old. At least I am very good at this with Monkey Girl and it is showing with how lovey-dovey she is already. It is really hard not to snuggle a baby and I am determined to keep this closeness as she grows.
For those wondering, my kids love languages are as follows –
Elasto-boy (12) – Quality Time
Queen Bee (10) – Gifts
Mr. Hockey (9) – Acts of Service
Electircia (9) – Touch
We don’t know Monkey Girl yet because she is too little. Big Guy and Hubbers are both Words of Affirmation. I think I am Quality Time.
We are a pretty distinct crew eh? Makes for an exciting and challenging time!