Friday, January 7, 2011

Love Languages and Teenagers

My husband and I over the years have taken various classes and workshops to help our reationship, teach us how to be better parents, yada yada yada....   We've learned that I am a lion/beaver and my husband is a lion/golden retriever. That wasn't very helpful in the long run!  But we had a good laugh! We've learned so much, I can't remember it all! Sometimes I wonder how much I've forgotten!

One course that we studied that I really thought was eye-opening was the Five Love Languages of Couples by Gary Chapman.  Once we identified our different love languages, of course, they were not the same, we learned to give each other the types of love that each person needed.  In a nutshell, you really need to read the book, Gary Chapman identifies five different love languages; physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts and quality time.  Each person has a variation of these five languages of love.  A person whose love language is acts of service would feel loved if someone baked them a pie or cleaned up their room.  Those things wouldn't necessarily make a person feel love if their primary love language was words of affirmation. 

When the kids were little, I read the five love languages of children.  I felt that we had pretty much figured out what the kids primary love language.  For my son, it was physical touch.  For my daughter, it was gifts.  Now that they were teenagers, I began to wonder if I was missing something.  I found out that Gary Chapman had written the five love languages of teenagers.  I have been reading it this past Christmas break. 

I had the kids take the test that identified their love languages.  Boy, that was fun!  My son kept calling me Angie from the George Lopez show.  He has been teasing me all week as we play the 'I appreciate that!' game during dinner.    They laughed and laughed while taking it, made funny little remarks about mom and dad, and kept saying, 'I know I'm loved, why do I have to do this?'  Anyway, they finally got the test taken.

It was kind of eye-opening.  They each had different love languages that I had thought!  The ones we thought they were, were actually close seconds but each of them had a different love language.  My sons primary language is now a three way tie with gifts, acts of service and quality time.  My daughters was quality time and words of affirmation.  It was an eye-opener to me.  My husband and I are now going to try to give them more of those languages. 

I'm pretty sure my kids know that we love them but sometimes I think they need to see my husband and I try hard to figure them out.  I'm not sure it that is an act of service or quality time.  Oh well, I'm sure that they appreciate us trying!

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