As a mom of many, I field a lot of questions about how I deal with the roller coaster that is having children.
Answering questions and listening to their stories is not something that is a burden, rather it is something I enjoy very much.
God calls us, as women, wives, and mothers (as well as men, husbands, and fathers) to reach out and admonish (to give encouragement through advice) to those around us who are just starting out on a path we have already traveled. Newlyweds, new parents, expanding families, first-year homeschoolers, new believers: they all need a little bit of our time and our experience. Titus 2:3-5
Today I want to share one of the biggest lessons I have learned over the past 15+ years of having children, and that lesson is that love is the key. I know that may sound a little cliché and simplistic, but isn’t that what we need? Simple? Yes!
Whether we are trying to help our children understand how much we love them, if we are focusing on the ever-present task of disciplining them, or if we are facing the unpleasant, but necessary task of punishing them, are we doing so in a language they understand? Do they know that it is in love?
To communicate with your child in love, you have to know what their love language is. That was a huge turning point for me. Up until I read The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman, I didn’t know that people “heard” and “received” love in different ways.
For me, learning each of our children’s love languages was what I needed to help me meet each one of them exactly where they were at, and that changed so many aspects of our family. We noticed far less bickering between them and more willingness to help each other. The disrespectful tones faded away. The conversations got better. The relationships grew stronger and closer.
Am I saying that everything in our family is perfect and our children behave at all times? No, of course not, but rude, mean, spiteful, disrespectful, angry, hurtful, and disobedient are not a normal part of our family life. Whenever we notice that someone’s attitude is in need of a little correction, speaking their love language and using it to help them to figure out what is going on is usually all it takes.
This is an on-going learning process for me. With two teenagers in the house, speaking love languages has changed. What reaches out to the Littles and the Middles just doesn’t work with the big kids. Does that change or lessen the big kids’ need to feel and know they are loved? Not at all. It just means I have to become fluent in communicating with someone who has left behind being a child and is standing on the cusp of being an adult. The Barney song isn’t going to do it!
The more I put into speaking love to them in the way they can connect with, the stronger my relationship with each of our children gets.
So, do you know your kids’ love language(s)? If not, find out! You and your kids can take an online assessment test to determine their love language (and your own).
Find out how they receive love, and fill them up with it! When a child knows that they are loved, and they feel loved, they also feel safe and secure.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11
Me? I am a Words of Affirmation person. How about you?
All for God’s glory,
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