“Mommy, you never spend any time with me. Just when we’re doing school and cooking for me.” Then, she burst into tears and hid her face
My first reaction was to go through the checklist of all of the things that we DO do together. But, I had to stop myself. I looked at my beautiful oldest born with tears in her eyes. I had to examine myself. What was I doing so wrong that she felt this way?
God’s timing is pretty incredible. A friend lent the book The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. I was only in the introduction and saw “quality time” listed as one of the love languages. It clicked. Chloe’s love language is quality time. Yes, we go on walks and play together. We do these as a FAMILY. How much time was I spending with Chloe alone? I am a stay at home mom, and I am not complaining about that. But, when your husband is working a ministry schedule, getting time alone is pretty tough; let alone time alone with each child.
This was a turning point for me. I had to carve some time into each day to pour into Chloe. Her behavior has been a struggle and I could not figure out what was going so wrong. Chloe loves art. If someone sits down to color with her, it means the world to her.
I have been sitting down at the table while Addi and Harper are playing together. We color pictures. We talk about anything that pops into her 5-year-old mind. Chloe has been saying for two years that she wants to be a baker. I love cooking with her. She helps me put recipes together, but I never let her near the stove. We’ve always had a gas stove until now, and I didn’t like the major burn risk. Now that we have an electric stove, I am letting her stand on a step stool and COOK with me. (I have drilled the safety into her brain, and am always right there with her.)
I have seen a change already. She feels loved. I am speaking her love language, and she is finally FEELING loved. I am seeing small changes in her each day. She WANTS to do the right thing and make us proud, and it is mind blowing. How could something as simple as sitting down to color a few pictures with her make such a huge difference?
I can say “I love you” to her all day long, and I do. She knows I love her, but if she doesn’t feel loved all of those words become meaningless. How can I teach her about God’s love for her if she doesn’t feel loved or know what feeling loved is like?
I don’t know where you are at with your children. I highly recommend getting this book and digging in deeper to what your child’s love language is. It is never to late to start rebuilding your relationship with your kids. I would have never realized that my little girl was feeling so hurt if she had not finally cried out and told me.
I cannot wait to get further into the book and learn the love languages of my other children; though Harper may be too young right now. Learning to love them better is the best thing I can do as a mom.