Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How do you need love?

I think one of the hardest parts of parenting a child with RAD is dealing with the sadness of not being loved back.  We love them so fiercely. When we show love to our kids or husbands we have a love style.  In his book  5 Languages of Love by Gary Chapman, talks about our love language, or the way we need to receive love. He states there are 5: Words of affirmation, physical touch, gifts, acts of service, quality time. There is even a little quiz on his website that you can take to help determine yours if you don't know it. Mine is quality time, there is no doubt.

One of the difficulties in family relationships is that we tend to show people we love them by using our own love language. So I may want to show my husband love by spending time with him. His love language is acts of service, so it does not make him feel loved in the same way as me when I spend an hour with him. Weirdly enough, I can clean the whole basement and he is beaming. If that is your love language...sorry.

One of the ways I figured out my kids love language was by asking them how someone would know they are loved. "Hug them" is a sign of needing the physical touch. It is Taz's love language.

Knowing our family helps us to be attuned to them, to meet their needs. So do a little experimenting with family members with whom you may be unsure and see what brings a smile to their eyes!

As far as RAD goes, it has helped in approaching those kids in ways that are most meaningful to them. Their love language is out of whack, but I can guarantee you, from day on Taz has loved a hug even when he would not hug back. On days when he wouldn't take a hug because of rage a high five or a pat on the hand, still calmed him.

All of us really want to be loved in a way that is meaningful and deep to our hearts.

Have a healing day.

By the way, my husband is going to swing dance lessons with me tonight. I'd better go scrub the bathroom floor! (Quality time/ Acts of service)


Tara - SanitySrchr said...

There are five of us in this house...all five of us have different love languages, though one of them doesn't fall into to Gary's catagories. Kate's is "leave me ALONE" with each word becoming progressively louder!

marythemom said...

I find the 5 Love Languages to be incredibly helpful in my relationship with my family and others. I blog about it all the time. Like Tara, everyone in my family has a different love language.

One thing to be aware of is that young children need ALL the love languages (think of babies - they wouldn't survive if you weren't meeting their needs). I think it's usually about age 8 when a child settles on a primary love language. We have had an extremely difficult time figuring out love languages for my adopted children who came to us at age 11 and 13, and I think it was because developmentally they were much much younger. I literally just figured out that my 17 year old son's love language is Acts of Service. I had thought it was Quality time because he was always complaining we weren't doing stuff with him, and Quality Time probably is his secondary language, but part of it was that when I was spending time on the computer I wasn't cooking for him or doing things for him.

Another way to figure out someone's love language is by observing what they do to tell you that they love you - often we speak our love language. There are some flaws with this method though - for example, my mom and I are both "Words of affirmation" and our speaking love language is Acts of Service - because people tend to praise you and thank you (verbally) when you do nice things.

Another example I've seen is to speak to your child with just one language for awhile and see if they blossom or wither (for example, give them lots of hugs and tickles and touch, but don't tell them you love them and praise them, don't do anything for them, focus on spending your time with others or on your computer instead of with them, no gifts...

Mary in TX

Brenda said...


That is some great information! Thanks for sharing it!