LOVE YOUR KIDS HOW THEY NEED TO BE LOVED
Updated: Jun 25, 2022
"Ughhh! I hate you!" they screamed from their bedroom.
One of my kids was throwing a fit over something simple I asked of them. The door was slammed, and I proceeded to wait patiently for them to come to me to apologize shortly. They always do -- usually bringing gifts as well.
You see, this particular child's love language is gifts. No doubt about it. When I finally realized it, I felt so dumb for missing it for so long.
I bet you've heard of the 5 love languages within a marriage, but have you heard of them within a parent/child relationship?
This child "gives" me their things all the time. Sometimes it's a random gift. Most of the time it's when they're trying to repair after a blow up like I mentioned before. The gifts are always little trinkets from their bedroom because that's what they have access to. Nothing particularly special, but the intentions behind them are absolutely heartfelt. This child usually will even go so far as to wrap them in a gift bag they keep stashed in their bedroom for such a time as this.
After the realization of this child's love language slapped me in the face, I started paying more attention to how my other children show me their love.
Turns out I have one gift giver, one quality timer, two physical touchers, and one that is to be determined (the baby).
Quality time is my own love language, so it is easier for me to give to my children. For me, that looks like inviting them to help me with my day to day tasks and as many one-on-one dates as possible.
My child whose love language is quality time, relishes in the moments they get to help me with the most mundane things because it's quality time to them. However, my other children see it as such a burden to have to help mom fold socks or clean up the kitchen. Another dead giveaway that this particular child's love language is, in fact, quality time.
Gift-giving and physical touch, however, are the last two love languages on my totem pole, so showing my kids love in these ways takes lots of intentionality on my part. I'm working on it!
I think there's a misconception that gift-giving has to be expensive, but if my gift-giving child has taught me anything, it's that the gifts can be as simple as a colored picture or a handmade beaded necklace. It actually IS the thought behind the gift that counts to them, not the gift itself.
I'm certain I'm not the only mama who gets completely touched out by her kids. My two-physical touchers are CONSTANTLY all over me. I love sweet snuggles as much as the next mom, but I get a little cranky when it turns into wiggly wallerin' -- which is nearly always because my kids do not sit still for more than 10 seconds unless they're dead asleep.
So, what's a touched out mom to do??
...be intentional with your physical touch. I don't allow my kids to use me as their jungle gym, because, quite frankly, I just can't handle it. But if there's ever an opportunity for me to hold them while singing songs in church, to have them crawl up on my lap and share a snack, or snuggle the nightmares away, you best believe I'm going to take it.
This knowledge of how my children best receive my love has been invaluable.
Before, I would be giving words of affirmation to my child who really just needed a congratulatory hug. Or I'd be scratching the back of my child who would have preferred I give them a matching beaded necklace to my own as a reminder I am always with them.
Now, I can show them love in the ways that makes their little hearts soar. I can make them feel special and seen. I can repair relationships better after an argument. I can guide them through life's transitions, feeling loved and secure.
And to me, that's everything.
Do you know your child's love language? If not, I encourage you to pay attention. It just might surprise you!
For more info on The 5 Love Languages, visit the website here.