Every year for the last couple of years I have posted visions of black love for Valentine’s Day. While this year I sure missed collecting all those photos and hearing the stories behind those photos, I wanted to take a different look at love, I wanted to explore the love languages and how they apply to your life as a parental figure. So journey with me down this lane of love!
Act of Service
It’s imperative we show our children love. Treating them with respect, helping with homework, watching Moana with them for the millionth time, these are acts of love and acts of service. I know that we as parents can get busy, we don’t have time to use the restroom, let alone sit still and watch YouTube videos or make slime, but it’s important that we make time. It’s our responsibility to organize ourselves in such a way that we can be of service to our children. We must be an example of this type of love so that they not only experience it but can give it back to us and others as well. Take the time to figure out what acts of service your child is longing to have you participate in and then create the time and space to do said acts.
I think Acts of Service and Quality Time can cross over sometimes. Kids want us to be present in their lives. Whether it’s a school play, basketball game, a stunt you just have to come outside to see, they want us to spend the time recognizing them. Again, time is sometimes limited, there’s work, house work, social lives (yes parents we can have social lives), how do you create time for quality time with your children?! I thought that this quality time had to designated, special so I had to schedule it, what I learned is that my kids appreciate anytime we spend together as long as I making the effort to acknowledge them. Putting away groceries, sorting laundry, full concert in the car no matter where we are going, these are all moments I enjoy spending time with my kids and they enjoy with me. Quality time is what you make it, it’s up to you to make the effort to share time and be present.
Words of Affirmation
“I love you!” Three simple words, yet can be so hard for people to express, even parents. Our kids need to know how we feel about them, we need to speak it into them. Pouring words of encouragement into our children help to combat what they might be hearing from the outside world. You are beautiful vs. You need to lose weight, You are loved vs. Nobody likes you, You are intelligent vs. You are stupid, we lay the foundation for opening their minds, eyes, hearts, and ears to accept words that they hear about themselves. Actions and words work together to let our kids know how we feel about them. It’s up to us as parents to make every effort to show and speak love into them on a daily basis.
Who doesn’t like to receive a gift?! Now some may say this is teaching kids to be materialistic, but it can also be an expression of love. I know for me personally I pay attention to things my kids like that will help them be creative. Symone loves to cook so I might pick up some jazzy spices for her, Jamiel loves sports so a new pair of cleats may do the trick, and Anissa LOVES designing for her baby dolls so finding some material on clearance works out. Whatever gift you decide to give your children, let it be from your heart. Children are more perceptive than we think, they can tell a guilt gift over one you put some thought into for them. So give the gift of love and pay attention to who your child is becoming and how you can encourage them to be the best version of themselves through gifting.
I have to admit this is on the lower end of my personal love language so I have to work at it. Yes this extrovert will shy away from physical contact. I have never had this issue however with my children. I love hugging them. Hugging has become the way we greet each other on a daily. One of the brightest moments of my day is when I’m making dinner and my son, who has gained some height, enters the kitchen to bend down and hug me. It means just as much to me as it does to him. Although they are not as often as they use to be Anissa’s Eskimo kisses are always welcome. Even the oldest one comes by with her arms outreached. There has always been something about a hug with me, it’s squeezing a person and allowing their weight to fall into you, almost as it for that embrace all their cares have been dropped off and they or you can be weak, I think this is why I’m careful as to who I hug. My arms are a safe place for my children, I want them to know and feel it whenever we touch. HUGS TO MY BABIES!!!
Our children need our love! Home should be the first place they experience love. No matter the parental role you play please note that determining how the child in your life best receives love is important. Make every effort possible to support their love language.
How do you show the children in your life love? Do you wish as a child you would’ve been shown love in a certain way?
To hear more about Love Is…Tune into The Parental Guidance podcast, episode 5.