Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
I think most people by now have heard of the theory of having 5 different love languages and how we are each more dominant in one over the others. I’d read about filling each others love tanks through our various love languages and how that can be a real gift to those we love dearest.
In reading The 5 Love Languages of Children, it struck me that not once, have I ever considered applying these principles of love to my children. My eyes were definitely opened to how I need to shape myself to be a better and more loving mom to them. It’s not that I don’t love them, but as they get older and begin to shape their own love language needs, I need to be very aware of that in order to better love on them and help them mature into loving, caring adults themselves.
Before I go into further details about the book and my reaction, here are the 5 love languages that all children (and adults) speak:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
Each chapter breaks down the different languages and further provides example of how to demonstrate each love language in a receptive and reasonable manner as well as how to apply them in the more difficult situations such as the teenage years, during hard times and when we’re in need of a love tank fill ourselves.
My children are still too young to have developed a love language but that doesn’t mean I can’t feed into them from the 5 as I see their needs.
While reading the book, I started paying closer attention to my boys to see how I could better love them in the place they are now. My 4 year old was so receptive to when I provided words of affirmation, more so than when I hugged him or kissed him. I still do those things but seeing the way his face lit up when I told him how much I appreciated what a good helper he was showed me that this was how I needed to love him right now. My 2 year old has been acting up a lot lately. We were chalking it up to the terrible two’s but as I watched him more, I realized that he was in desperate need of quality time and physical touch. I’ve struggled with the quality time part with the baby and taxiing his brother to and from preschool 3 days a week but when we’ve been able to sit down and read a book together or watch his favorite show, he’s been a completely different boy. Same with when I give him hugs and kisses.
I remember a moment, just last week, where he and I were having a rough day together. I finally picked him up and held him tight. At first he tried to break away but I just held him and within 5 seconds, he broke down and cried and held me right back. It was honestly one of the most painful and joyful moments I’ve had as a mom. In that moment, my little boy broke and let out all his frustrations and emotions that his little body was holding onto. We both had a cry that day. I still tear up thinking about it.
What really struck me in reading this book was how much I needed to evaluate my own love tank, my own needs and how it was just as important that my needs be met in order for me to be able to meet the emotional needs of my children and of my husband. I was floored at how empty my tank is and has been for quite some time now. It’s not really anyone’s fault but after taking the test myself, I know that my primary love language is Words of Affirmation. When I stop to think about it, it’s plainly obvious to me. Words have a profound affect on me. Positive words elate me, harsh words (especially in the absence of loving words) absolutely cripple me, even if they aren’t said with intent to hurt.
Through the process of reading this book, I’ve come to understand my children better, my husband better and most of all, myself better. I’ve done a lot of thinking and evaluating what I need in my life and am starting to make those changes and trusting in God to help us adapt and provide what we need financially to make them work. It’s also making me look into things like my career and whether it’s something that will fulfill me long-term or if I need to really follow my passions for health, fitness, people and photography and look into how I can bring those to life. In short: it’s really messing me up and scaring the crapola out of me…but in a good way. I think.
The ultimate take-away for me in reading this book is this: pay attention. Watch for signs in myself, my husband and my kids that scream “I need more love” and then do what I can to love them all the way they deserve.
You can take the love language test here.
Have you ever taken the love languages test? What was your primary love language?