Ever thought how your love language can extend beyond the relationship that you are in, and that your own children have a specific love language. And similar to my daughter, if your child's love language is words of affirmation then you would know that what and how you say it matters. We are currently working on organizational skills and being responsible. During a conversation with my oldest daughter, it was revealed to me that she is attached to words and the meaning behind it. At that moment I pondered on her explanation and put that conversation in the back of my mind, knowing to revisit again.
Often times I leave for work early in the mornings. Because I am first up and out of the house, I only have time to wake her up, give a few reminders, then I’m off to work. One morning, I woke her up before going to exercise, I kept my same routine but this time I said, “can you show me how responsible you are by getting ready for school?”. When I came back, she was fully dressed, bookbag packed, coat beside her, she was completely ready for school. She showed me how responsible she was. The mommy in me smiled for joy because she showed me what I already knew. She jumped up so fast, rattled off everything she had done to show me how responsible she had been.
I smiled excitedly responded with a “thank you so much for showing me how responsible you are” and giving her a hi-five. I was able to yield the results I wanted by saying things in a way that made her feel valued and appreciated, rather than barking orders as if she is less of me.
Children-like many adults are motivated when there is value in what they’re doing.
Of course, while we learn our child not everyone can take the time to learn our babies or know how to address/respond to them. Recently my daughter’s teacher emailed me about her forgetting to turn in her homework, he said she should have the cognizance to remember things and it never fails she’s forgetting things in a different classroom. (EXCUSE ME BUT WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO…What was really going through my mind along with every emotion ready to let him have it plus some.) However, God has delivered me from that side, so I let the email draft sit in my inbox and shared it with my best friend who works in education. She was able to give me an insight on the teachers’ side and how they would read the email. Which of course I didn’t like but it gave me time to stop and think (cause you know that teacher was about to feel my raft). In that moment of processing the previous conversation with Alexa came to the forefront…She is attached to words and meaning behind it. THAT’S IT.
Here are a few examples on the difference of words and their meanings:
“Good job” vs “that was awesome that you remembered to fill the dishwasher without me asking you”.
Good job is closed ended and doesn’t specifically name what your child(ren) was good at. It also can appear dismissive. Specifically naming the behavior/action your child did and giving that hi five in the end shows that you noticed their efforts and you value their decisions.
“How was school” vs “Tell me about your day, what was the best/worst part of your day?”
Asking open ended questions allows you to bond and, really find out the issues at school and a time for them to download everything from their day. Asking open ended questions can also teach your children what it looks like to be an active listener.
I remember growing up with the threat of a belt or switch if we didn’t meet our parents’ expectations. That’s my husband’s suggestion of reprimand, making me the bad guy, but I’m more so of the parent that says, “let’s talk about it to understand why those actions are not appropriate”. My kids are quick to change and maintain the behavior rather than continuing the cycle of ideal threats/punishments/taking something away, and the behavior is still the same.
Therefore, when her teacher said those things to me, as an adult, I began to think, he has not learned an effective way to communicate with my daughter. What is he saying to my child? Is he talking to my child the way that I know to speak to her? Is he speaking to her with words of encouragement or is he speaking to her in a manner that is perceived as negative? Now I am able to finish my draft that is sitting in my email for this teacher.
Being a parent also means being the advocate when they are not in your presences. Knowing your children’s love language is a benefit in their development and it allows others to learn how to effectively communicate with them.
What are your children’s love language? Have you thought about it? Do their teachers know their love language? Share with me your child’s love language and how did you come to that conclusion. Here’s a link to do a live language quiz with your child as well.
Take the quiz and let’s chat about the results. It’s a cute way to do “would you rather” or “this or that” game.