“Mom?” “Yeah honey?” “You are the best mom in the world.” All of a sudden nothing else matters and my daughter has my full attention. My 7-year old knows how to stop my world with just eight little words.
This isn’t the kind of “you are the best” speech with a goofy smile and the sway with hands folded stance that really means she wants something. This is a heart felt, legitimate, wanting-nothing-in-return response.
It doesn't matter what activity we are doing or about how much money we have spent. It doesn’t matter if I took her out for a hot chocolate or spent a ton of money on Frozen on Ice tickets. Money isn’t the issue here. The thing that truly matters in these moments is simply quality time and quality attention. We could be doing just about anything, but if I am fully present and fully engaged in my daughter, she feels loved. The same goes the other way. We could have planned something huge but if we aren’t engaged and present, then it doesn’t mean a whole lot to her.
We call it filling up our love tanks. My son’s love tank can easily be filled by tickling, cuddling, kissing him or just playing with him, but my daughter, on the other hand, is very sensitive and introspective and it takes a bit more work to fill her love tank. She loves all the same things as well, tickling, cuddling, kissing her (playfully) or playing a game, but there is another level with her. She needs to truly be reassured that we love her and we can only do that by showing her with our full attention.
I don’t know if any of you have ever read the Five Love Languages, but this was a great book for my husband and I when we first got married. It applies to everyone and is a great tool with our kids as well. The five love languages are quality time, acts of service, gifts, words of affirmation and physical touch. For my daughter, she is definitely quality time and words of affirmation. I tell her in so many different ways that I love her, but I also give her my full attention to show her I love her.
What are your top two love languages? What are your spouses or kids’ love languages? How can we show love in THEIR love language instead of our own? It is easy for us to show love in our own love language, but if that isn’t how they truly feel loved, then we are like ships passing in the night. What are some ways to show the people you care about that you love them in a way that they will best understand? Take some time to think about what your own love languages are, as well as the people you love most.
For more info about the Five Love Languages, check out this website: www.5lovelanguages.com.