Sunday, March 22, 2009

Learning Their Love Languages

So I've really been trying to focus on meeting my kids' needs through their "love languages" (see Gary Chapman's materials for more details). All of my kids need different things from me in different degrees. And of course at such young ages, what they need most now will most likely be very different in a few years or even just a few months.

I've learned that Isabella is my "words of affirmation" chick. She has to have LOTS of encouraging words. All kids need plenty of doses of affirmation. This chick needs about four times the normal dose. And a single harsh word is a major blow to her. In fact, she notices when I compliment one child and not her. For example, this morning Abby wore a beautiful new Strasburg dress to church (It was a $142 dress that I got for like $27 on the clearance rack!). When she got dressed, I told her how beautiful she was in her new dress. Isabella IMMEDIATELY said, "I don't look pretty in my dress." Well, of course Isabella looked pretty. She could model for any children's company easily...have you seen those blue eyes? And she does have her photo up in a local yes, she's pretty! Anyway, I immediatelyl complimented how pretty she looked in her pink dress. While I know she needed that, she did still complain that she didn't have the same dress as Abby. Definitely a preschooler! No older child would be begging to match her sister! I remember begging my mom not to match my younger sister and I once we got older.

Abby is my quality time chick. She could spend HOURS with me shopping, Ebaying, folding clothes, creating stationery designs, cutting shrubs, you name it. She just wants to be with me. It doesn't matter what I'm doing. She wants me and just me. She loves to be affirmed, receive gifts, etc. but nothing speaks to her like quality time does. She gets that from her dad! He's the same way. So with Abby I have to be very intentional to carve out time for us to just hang out. Oftentimes that means involving her in the household affairs while the other 3 sleep. She loves it. We also go on "dates" once in a while just the two of us. And it's not just me...she loves to invest in time with Matt too. I love that. I found her tonight snuggled up on the couch with Matt just loving on him. Oh, I treasure these days!

Ali Kate's love language I'm still working on. She seems to need a little bit of everything. Physical touch may be hers. She is my snuggly bug. She always has a lovey, usually her dog Chuzzy or Ruf Ruf. She loves to nestle against my shoulder and suck her thumb. I can hold her in my arms and just sway her. The funny thing? As a baby, she was not a snuggly one at all. My how times have changed! She's the kid who always wants Mama to hold her and to sit with her. When I actually do sit during the day, you can usually find Ali Kate in my lap or on top of me!

And my Grant just loves attention....hugs, kisses, googoo eyes, coos, whatever he gets. He's in that goo goo eye phase where he coos at you, and I just love it! This is such a fun stage with him! I try to make sure that he gets some snuggle time every day when the others are off doing something else.

Ok, so I had no idea this post would be this long...but I'm a talker. And so are my girls...making for lots of words in this house each day. Poor Matt and Grant. Anyway, the point of it all...I try to make sure that I'm depositing daily into my kids what each kid most needs. Do I always make the mark? Absolutely not. But I keep trying. And I keep learning. And I also speak to their other needs...Isabella will enjoy that tomorrow when I send her some chocolate chip cookies as a suprise in her lunch box to school (the language of gifts).

Thanks for joining my 3rd Multiple Kids Mondays. I hope you're enjoying this! Please join in and post whatever you want about your life with multiple kids.

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