When I read that one of the love languages of kids is gifts, I laughed. I’m not even kidding – I laughed heartily out loud. CG loves gifts. She LOVES gifts. I can’t stress that enough. A gift in the hand definitely represents love to her.
How do I know this? Not only because she loves getting gifts (she loves gifts so much that she always tries to help other people open THEIR gifts), but because she loves GIVING gifts. She had a playdate over this past weekend and she gave her friend one of her toys to take home. Not temporarily, but permanently. So that her friend could always remember the playdate. How awesome is that? I was very proud of her – especially since it was a Hello Kitty doll, which is a current obsessions of CG’s. At her after school program she is always making things – cards, crafts, etc. – which she presents to either Denis or me as a gift that evening when she gets home. Gifts is HUGE for her. For CB, not so much. Sure, he loves Christmas and his birthday, but he doesn’t get overjoyed by gifts like CG does. It’s because of that that I know Gifts is not a primary love language for my son like it is for my daughter.
Next up is Acts of Service. This was a TOUGH chapter for me to listen to. Service is NOT my strong suit at all. The book explains that when children are younger, Acts of Service are easy – I mean, young children CAN’T take care of themselves, so EVERYTHING you do is an act of service to show them you love them. But as they get older, you don’t have to do everything for them, and then the things you do for them become more….voluntarily. I’m not sure that’s the word I want to use. Intentional? Specific? Deliberate? I can’t think of the word.
Yesterday I talked about how quality time was something I need to work on. Well, quality time has NOTHING on acts of service. I will freely admit that I’m lazy. LA-ZY. Big time. I know it’s a huge problem, and despite trying to change (or talking about trying to change), I still constantly fail on this one. Fortunately, I don’t think my children feel that my darning their socks (ha!) or fixing a broken toy (double ha!) shows that I love them. However, I do think that DENIS would feel more loved by me if I helped out more around the house. In fact, I know he would. Does that mean that tomorrow I’ll instantly turn into June Cleaver? No. I could try for 100 years and NEVER be a June Cleaver (or a Marmie). But I can try to be better.
As for the kids, I think that if I can improve, they’ll see that and realize that service to others is important. And isn’t that the goal of raising children – to help them become mature, loving, helpful adults? And they can’t be helpful to others if they don’t learn it from me. They are definitely learning it from their father – the man sometimes seems tireless with his acts of service to his family. But it’s no good if they only learn it from ONE parent – because then they’ll see that maybe they can get away with being lazy if they marry someone who is very service-oriented. And that’s just perpetuating the problem.
This book is starting to make me mad. It was supposed to be about how I could help my kids – not how I could get convicted about my own behavior and how I need to change! BLERG!
Next up: the experiment to determine my kids’ PRIMARY love language (although I’m pretty sure I already know).