What Love Language Does Your Child Speak?

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

When I started writing this week, Monique suggested I talk about the beautiful sunshine and the weather today is gorgeous. In truth though, it’s rained so much this year that I find myself wondering “Are we done yet?”. Frankly, this weekend only served to support that notion as my hike to Lexington started out sunny. Ten minutes into the hike it began to rain. Five minutes after that the sun came out along with clear, blue skies and the temperature increased at least 10 degrees…and on the way back it hailed…really?!? Talk about wacky weather!

It’s interesting how perspectives can shift and adjust according to our life circumstances. We have had a drought for so long that I had nearly forgotten what it was like to have a winter season and yet here we are at the tail end of an honest to goodness California winter.

I’ve noticed that happens for me as a father at times too. After 15 years with my kiddo, I find myself thinking that I really know her and then she does something completely outside of my expectation. It has happened often enough that I picked up Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages for Teens. It was a good read and a nice reminder about our children’s drive for independence at that age. It also served as a reminder for me to continue to learn and grow.

Among other things, one practice that I like about Gary’s work is that he creates opportunities for us to better understand the lens we are seeing the situation through and then to use that understanding in working with our children. Here is an example from his study guide on the 5 Love Languages for Children:

Think about positive and negative words from your childhood. What impact did they have, both at the time and over the long term?
Have you seen a similar impact in your own kids from words spoken by you or your spouse? What are ways you can change the tune, moving from negative and angry words to positive and lovingly corrective ones?
We often assume our children understand our love, even if we don’t always express it. But children are very literal and may need to hear an explicit expression of love from us. Over the next week, every time you feel love, express it as directly as possible to your children. At the end of the week, ask them if they better understand your love for them.

As we move into spring (March 20) what are some of the activities that you and your family look forward to? Speaking of looking forward, this weekend is Daylight Savings. Don’t forget to set your clocks!

Other things you can expect at McAuliffe are field trips, class plays, end of year assessments, MARS scoring, the student-faculty basketball game, science day, parent appreciation day, art day, movie nights, and much, much more.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Rick

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