Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Challenge

It's Valentine's Day and love is in the air! Well, actually at my house, love is my husband is in London today while I am here in Connecticut. So it's just me and the kiddos and way too many conversation hearts. UR CUTE, KISS ME, YOU ROCK, etc. My kids never tire of reading those things. And it's like they think I wrote the messages on there myself, just for them.

And that got me thinking about other ways to tangibly express love to my children. Supposedly, there are five different "Love Languages". Words of Encouragement, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, and Gifts. We all need all of them to feel loved, but usually each person has one or two that really speak "Love" to him or her in a powerful way...a primary love language. So my first Valentine Challenge is to try to find out each of my children's primary love language(s). Some suggestions that I have read are to "have your child draw a picture or call out ways that parents love their children (without influencing their answers)". "Observe how your child expresses love to yourself and others." "Listen to what your child requests or complains about most often." "Or you can experiment by expressing love each way, and then noting your child's response." I am totally going to try these experiments this week!

And once I figure that out, my next Challenge is going to be: To make each child feel like I love them the BEST. I love the book called, "You're All My Favorites" about a mommy and daddy bear explaining to their three baby bears how they love all three of them the best. Precious!
And I know a bit about this first hand. I am the oldest of four kids, and I think each one of us growing up secretly thought that my Mom loved us the the best. Actually, we are all grown adults with families of our own, and I still think each of us secretly believes that Mom loves us the best. Sure we know she tries to be fair and spread her love around to all of us equally. But each one of us knows in our heart she really loves me the best.

Now that is a good trick! I am not sure how she did it, but I need to figure it out. Because I want my kids to feel the same way. I want each one of them to feel so loved, that they think I love them the best. But then again, not so much that they feel like taunting the other two with this information. I can just hear it now "Mommy loves me BEST!! Mommy loves me BEST!!"
That's always good for a punch in the nose. (My older son is the middle child "Rocky" is a man of action!)

So I guess that leads to my third Valentine Challenge...To somehow achieve Challenges #1 and #2 without any bloodshed! "Rocky" could prove to make this last Challenge very challenging. Then again, he may have already given me a clue to my first Challenge...perhaps his primary "Love Language" is physical touch. :)

Happy Valentine's Day! And Good Luck in whatever Challenges you face today.

And if you have any other fun and/or creative ways to show love to your children, please share!


jeannine said...

I'm gonna take you up on your challenge. I just asked my 4-year-old what daddy and I do that makes her feel like we love her, and she jumped into my lap for a big bear hug. I said "hugs and cuddles make you feel loved?" then she puckered up for a kiss. Guess that was an easy one!

Sherrie said...

I love this challenge! I am not a huge fan of Valentine's Day, and this gives me a very fresh outlook on the day. I love these kind of conversations with my kids, and I always need a good reminder to have this kind of chat.

My youngest already told me hugs and kisses before I was even done with the question. My oldest on the other hand asked for time to think about it. I am not sure what to do with that one yet. I may have to go the drawing route with him. :)

Fawnda@Fireflies and Jellybeans said...

I am pretty sure that my son's is physical touch! He can NEVER get enough cuddle time, even at 3 he wants to be held and snuggled (I love it!)... as for my daughter... that is to be determined!

And just so you know Karly... Mom loves me the best! ;)

jeannine said...

I asked my 5 year old the question, and she said "when you play with me and show me how to do things" - quality time? that's easy for me, because that's also mine. I think my oldest's is gifts, which I totally SUCK at, so it's really hard for me. I feel like I'm indulging her or spoiling her when I buy "things" for her that she doesn't really need. I guess I could focus on small things, just to let her know I'm thinking about her - a candy bar or something for her room. I've noticed that whenever I do something like that she says "You DO love me!"