I woke up this morning with an epiphany about relationships. Well, I guess it wasn’t really anything new to me, just a reminder of something that I discovered years ago. I’ve been having a little trouble finding common ground with one of my children lately. So much so that it’s concerning. The answer came to me as I lay there thinking about getting out of bed. “You are not giving her love in the way she receives it,” my inner voice chimed.
Now, after rolling the words over a couple of times, I realized it was an important clue to the dysfunction in our relationship. I’ve always felt that I knew my kids well enough to love them…or at least I thought I did. Truthfully, we all need to be loved in different ways to be satisfied with any relationship. “Research shows the parents-not peers- exert the most significant influence in the life of a teen. And the door to that influence is love. The key to opening that door, according to Gary Chapman, PhD, is learning to express that love in a language that makes sense to your teenager.”
I had read Five Love Languages: Viewers Guide many years ago but have since forgotten some of what I learned – obviously. As one of my all-time favorite books, I needed to reacquaint myself with its principles. There are different books for every relationship in the Love Language family. But the primary one mentioned above was the first and can be used for most situations.
My daughter loves it when I give her a foot rub, make her a bowl of ice cream, or bring home a book she’s been wanting. What I didn’t realize was that while doing these things, I wasn’t putting my heart into it as an expression of love and was almost feeling burdened by them. I was sending her the wrong message. What’s more, I kept trying to love her my way – with hugs, conversation, and quality time (my love languages). She needs to be loved in her language – acts of kindness, favors, and gifts.
Now, I have to put my discovery into practice . I will let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I’m going to reread my copy of The Five Love Languages. If you have not read any of Dr. Chapman’s books, do yourself and your loved ones a favor, order or pick one up today. How did you overcome a relationship glitch with your child? Please share. Be well-be beautiful.
Resource: The Five Love Languages of Teenagers
***I have read the above mentioned books and recommend them as wonderful resources for any relationship. If you choose to purchase these products from the links, I will receive a small revenue. Thank you.
Photo by Silent Psychosis
What a beautiful article! As someone who struggles in relating to their mom I found it very inspiring. While my sister and my mom an talk for hours it seems to me that I can’t even talk to her for five minutes.
I’ve read The Five Love Languages. I had forgot about it until reading your blog. When I think of ways to honor my mother I need to remember that the road to my happiness starts with me. Thanks for helping to remind me to speak the language of love, whatever her language is. And thanks for not being afraid to write about your heart. It blesses others!