Day 7: In Review

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I want to finish out this #5LLChallenge with a Valentine’s Day review. How’d we do after both reading the book and thoroughly analyzing it? Well, Valentine’s Day was super busy. Our schedule was WAY full: a Ladies’ Mugs and Bagels event for me, two birthday parties for the kids, errands, some work, and Wototo Children’s Choir at church. But it all started with breakfast made by my guys.

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#madskills

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They made us pink, purple, and red pancakes; heart shaped bacon, strawberry milk (Aron actually cooked the strawberries down to make the syrup); and coffee. Delicious and thoughtful.

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So how did Aron do? He gave me a sweet note that made me tear up and he made me great coffee. That filled my love tank with Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service, my top two love languages. AMAZING! But wait! There’s more! He also got me pretty tulips and Chinese delivery for dinner! If you’ve been following along, you know that Aron did GOOD!

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#chinese #myotherotherlovelanguage

How did I do?

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I made him a homemade Valentine with a nice note on the back…you can’t see.  Sorry.  Definitely covered the Words of Affirmation base for him for sure!

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I also bought him a copy of Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull.  He mentioned he’d like me to try to find this book at the library last week. It was checked out everywhere, so I did him one better.

Aron’s secondary love language is physical touch. I’m not going to share any intimate details…because there aren’t any. We were so tired from our day and full from dinner, that we passed out on the couch. I know, Boo Hiss. But he got plenty of hugs, hand holds, pats, etc. And that’s OKAY (re: Day 4 of #5LLChallenge.)

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 In an earlier chapter, Chapman says, “Much of the misbehavior of children is motivated by the cravings of an empty ‘love tank.'”  Isn’t that true of all of us, btw,  whether we’re 5 or 35?

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We all get to actin’ unlovely when we’re not feeling loved. It’s a natural instinct. When my kids are misbehaving, it’s hard to slow down and think, “What could I be doing better? How can I leverage my child’s strengths and personality so that I can help minimize this behavior in a positive manner?” It’s more like, “Shut ‘er down to shutty town and go to your room.” Knowing my kids’ primary love languages and speaking them can make a huge difference.

This second reading of 5LL gave me another chance to stop and take a look at my kids.  It doesn’t take much time to start seeing patterns from good and bad memories to recognize possible primary love languages of my kids.

imageMy son is brilliant. He is a leader. He is a planner and a strategist. He is an inventor. One thing he is phenomenal at is reinventing games into new games. Sometimes they are super complicated with no less than twenty rules. It’s easy to shut him down because it’s honestly miserable to try to remember all the details. But, boy, does it fill his love tank when Aron or I can stick in there with him and play a full round. It validates his ideas and hard work. We try to use these opportunities to teach him flexibility and making tweaks to his ideas. This game was actually pretty fun. John Palmer’s primary love language is probably Quality Time.

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Ellie is smart and caring. She is incredibly creative. I know I’m biased and prone to exaggerate about my child, but she can literally think of something and then draw or paint it. Just today: underwater mermaid spa, BAM! #selftaught. I’ll have to admit, when I thought about her, I had a hard time pinning down her primary love language. So I decided to ask her, “What’s your favorite thing you do with your daddy.” She said, “I like it when I get to go out with him.” Aron takes the kids out sometimes when he has to run errands or is networking. They all love it, but that was her answer. So far, I’m thinking her love language is Quality Time with Words of Affirmation as a close second.

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Oh Abbie, she’s my sweet tart. She is spunky and fearless. She’s smart and friendly. She never stops moving until she passes out asleep. Abbie likes to ask great questions, you know, the kind that embarrass her parents in public. “Mom, why is that man so old?” Her primary love language has to be Physical Touch. She is my only child that begs to be held, rocked, or snuggled. She crawls into our bed multiple times a week like a silent night ninja. She loves to hold hands and hug and get kissed. But Acts of Service has to be second because she “reminds” me when I haven’t done the things she needs me to do…twelve seconds after she asked me to do them.  “Mom, you forgot to…” or “Mom, why haven’t you…yet?” Yep.

I’m going to have to read The Five Love Languages for Children next.

To close out this #5LLChallenge, I want to remind myself and whoever may have chosen to follow along, that there are so many people, not just our spouses or children, that can benefit from this concept of love languages. Family, friends, business partners, co-workers, teachers, etc. all have them. Just think of what a high five, or an atta-boy, or a thank you note, or a phone call, or lunch date could mean to someone.  It’s not just a romance thing. Just by taking a little time to make some observations, find some patterns, and listen to what they say, I can identify ways to bring the best out of them too.

I’ve really enjoyed this. I hope you received something from it! I’d love to hear from you! What’s your primary love language?

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