Monday, April 16, 2012

Love [your kids] in many languages

Several years ago, when we were newlyweds, we read a book called The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. It was such an eye opener. It's a pretty well known title and many people have read it. If you have not, I would definitely recommend it. It was one of those times where the proverbial "light bulb" came on. Kind of like, wow, that totally makes sense.

The author, Gary Chapman, describes the five different love languages and that everyone has a primary love language. He goes on to discuss how you can determine the love language of yourself, your spouse and/or the other people in your life and how to respond to that.

Obviously, when reading this as newlyweds, it helped us to better understand one another. It helped us to see how to better serve and love the other person in a way that makes them feel
appreciated and valued.

Now that we have four children, it has been so amazing to see their different personalities and characteristics develop. The concepts in the book are once again shining the light bulb on how to love our children and how each one responds to different ways of being loved.

One of our daughter's love languages is unmistakably quality time. You can spend the entire day with her and she'll beg for more. If her grandparents or other family/friends come for a visit, she dreads the moment of their departing. She loves people and enjoys special time with the people she loves. Many times, I have let her forego her "quiet time", while her sisters nap, to spend time with me. You would have thought that I had just given her the crown jewels. She was elated.

Another daughter thrives on physical touch/affection. She is our snuggler. We could have all of her friends over and they could be playing her favorite games and she would come and sit next to me and hold my arm (a.k.a elbow for those of you who know her). I can't tell you how many times each day she says "holdy, holdy" (as in hold me). This girl loves to snuggle and we love that she does.

It has been so amazing to see how our children respond when we speak their love language. They come alive and literally thrive. We look forward to the rest of the journey that we have with them to learn about how to better love each other and each of them.

I really do encourage you to check out this book so that you can learn how to reach the hearts of those around you. It can be really discouraging to put forth a lot of effort into loving someone only to feel like they are not responding or like you can't ever do enough. That is usually because you are not speaking their "language".

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