Thursday, October 20, 2011

How Is Your Love Tank?

Have you ever asked that question of your spouse? Silly as it may sound - the idea presented itself to me while Dave and I read through the 5 Love Languages Book back when we were dating. The point of the question is to tap into your spouse and find out if you are meeting THEIR needs. Not satisfying your own desires but filling their love tank in the way in which they feel loved. This book was amazing for us because we were able to learn that both Dave and I feel loved in totally different ways. And I realized I was trying to fill his love tank the way that I wanted mine filled. Kind of confusing but if you are intrigued - I encourage you to read the book. There is also a website you can access and take an online test to discover your personal love language.

Anyway, about a year or so ago, I decided to read the 5 Love Languages of Children in an attempt to learn what love language Mattea was speaking. Quickly I realized she is a quality time kind of girl. She loves spending one on one time with both Dave and I. It isn't that she doesn't like hanging out with her sister. I just happen to think that she is feeling deprived of that special time now that her days are spent at school. Because of this lack of quality time, I have seen behaviors emerge from Mattea that I had never experienced before. We were looking at some serious discipline problems. So I decided I would try and use the one week off of school that she had to really meet her needs and fill her emotional love tank.

We celebrated her school break at the salon with a wonderful pedicure. I was hoping this would satisfy that desire for one on one time and also boost her mood. Attending first grade has meant that she has had to make adjustments to her prior lifestyle - and she hasn't exactly been thrilled about it. Life ain't like it was in kindergarten baby! As the year progresses, things are improving but in those first few weeks, I would hear a lot of whining and complaining about how she no longer gets to play because we "make her go to school." Or sometimes I would hear, "I never even get to see you mom, I'm ALWAYS at school." My heart broke 2/3 of the time. My poor baby was missing me and the time we had together. The other 1/3 of the time I was annoyed and told her to "buck up, this is your new life. Get used to it." Yep, not the most compassionate mom.

So seeing and recognizing opportunities to meet and fill Mattea's love tank has been on my priority list. She is a much more pleasant child when her emotional needs are met. And who can blame her, so am I? I know when my love tank is filled and my emotional needs are met, I'm a much happier person. Funny how that works. So, the salon trip was a success. We both had fun and we both left with pretty toes. Now, to try and tackle the overwhelming task of interpreting Miss Paloma's love language. Wish me luck....

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