Last week I read a post written on my friend Liza's blog about speaking her children's love language. (If you aren't familiar with the concept of love languages, read this book). I have read the book and found it very valuable in my marriage. For instance, Noel primarily speaks "Acts of Service" while I am "Quality Time". This can create challenges if I just want to hang out together while there is work to be done...or if Noel gets too busy serving everyone else while I wait at home to see him. But, recognizing this has helped us learn to show each other love.
So, what about our children? Do they have their own love languages as well? I definitely think that they do, although it may not show itself until they are five or six years of age. And recognizing each individual's personality and speaking a different language for each child can definitely be difficult, if not even exhausting. But as I was thinking about my own girls, I realized that I tell them all of the time how much I love them, but do I really show them by speaking their individual love language? I decided to do what Liza did in her post above, and just ask my girls. Maybe their answers would either give insight or confirm my ideas of each girls' language. So one night last week I pulled them each aside individually and asked them how they know I love them? What do I do, or say that tells them that? Here are their answers:
Melayna immediately said, "You hug me" (The language of Affection) Okay, this makes sense. I mean, she's only five and her personality is still developing, so this may change over time, but right now, she is very content to come hug us quickly and then run back off again. She's not really all that demanding of our time and is really able to play and entertain herself. So, if I want to really show her love, I need to give (and receive) plenty of hugs and kisses from that little one.
Marissa took a little more time but still came back easily with "You help me do things". (Would this be quality time or acts of service?) I would have guessed that she was quality time but I know that she also likes to surprise people by doing things for them, like doing her sister's chores for them, or running to do errands to help out with Nolan. It should be easy to show Marissa love since I am also quality time -- but finding time for the two of us to go out alone can be difficult.
Morgan wasn't sure that she understood the question at first. Over analyzing maybe? Finally, she came back a few days later with a surprising response, "You hug me and kiss me". (The language of Affection? Really?) Hmmm... now this came as a surprise to me becuase she is usually more of a thinker than a feeler. So I asked her, "You really want Mommy and Daddy to hug you more? You don't think you are too big for that?" and she confirmed that she would love to get more hugs from us. Okay, that is something I need to do more. After talking more with her however, I realized that my earlier suspicion of her being "Words of Affirmation" was a close second. She loves to leave encouraging notes for people. We are always finding them all over the house for her sisters or for Noel and I. 'Looks like I need to leave her a few surprising notes as well.
Thank you Liza for reminding me of this important topic!