It wasn’t hard to figure out Crew’s love language.
He is always writing me notes so I surmised that his primary love language is Words of Affirmation. Plus he is always asking me “Mom, do you think I am a good drawer?” “Mom, do you think I write good?” “Mom, do you like my story?” “Mom, do you like me or Croft better?” etc. He constantly wants words of affirmation.
On the other hand, he lashes out with words too. I woke up to this message one morning.
(I don’t remember what I did to get called a “Jerk Bum Mom”, but I had a good laugh.)
Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, authors of the book, The Five Love Languages of Children, say that words are a powerful way to communicate love. And they are not talking about just saying “I love you.” Words of affirmation can be
words of praise
words of endearment
words of encouragement
words of affection
words of guidance
(You will need to read the book to go into greater detail in each of these categories.)
The authors remind us that “children think we deeply believe what we say.” (Shoot!) And our tone of voice, our mood and the way the message is delivered is important as well. “A positive message delivered in a negative manner will reap negative results.” As with all love languages, the love must be unconditional. And “I love you” must not be based on conditional statements.
While words of condemnation hurt all children, it is interesting to note that angry, harsh or unloving words are actually more painful to a kid whose primary love language is words of affirmation. Negative words are devastating to them because they need affirming words so much.
Because of this, I have to be extra careful what I say to Crew. I learned this the hard way. One time I said, “That was dumb,” and he cried and cried because he thought I said he was dumb. I tried to back pedal and say that I didn’t say he was dumb, I said what he did was dumb, but I was splitting hairs. Either way I hurt him. I learned my lesson. Now I know I can’t joke about girlfriends. I have to be careful with sarcasm and swearing. I watch how I praise and how I correct. At night I look him in the eye and say, “I love you. You’re my boy.”
As I was thinking about Crew, I wondered if Love Languages have anything to do with talents or interests? Like if you are really active are you more likely to prefer Physical Touch? Or if you enjoy writing are you more likely to need Words of Affirmation? Because Crew spends hours on the computer typing stories.
The Moon Was Made of Cheese was this weekend’s project, complete with an “About the Author” page.
If you need some ideas to get started, here are some Words of Affirmation ideas from past posts:
Happy Valentine’s Day! Go tell someone you love them.