Crissy has been a friend of mine since our kids were little. God has given the Bontrager family a heart for sharing authentically what God is doing around them everyday. I have learned many things from Crissy and Brian through the years as we shared different parenting experiences within a common faith perspective. They are part of the Vista Parent Equipping Team so catch for their class based on this blog at Vista. You can read more about the Bontrager family on Crissy’s blog – A Cracked Pot:Letting God hold it together at crissybontrager.blogspot.com.
Loving My Kids
Within, the last couple of years I have watched my 2 boys develop their own individual personalities. My oldest son, who is 10, loves video games, computers, and even coming up with his own design for video games. However, my youngest son, who is 7, is all about his friends, sports, and really anything that involves a ball or running.
However, what I didn’t realize is that both of my boys feel love in different ways. I came to this realization reading the book The Five Love Languages of Children. The thought had never occurred to me that my children would need to feel love from me in different ways. The book suggests the five love languages are: Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, and Acts of Service.
I took some time to think about each of my boys and which of these love languages each of them desired the most. What I found was that my 10 year old son seeks out words of affirmation and physical touch. So, letting him know that I appreciate him helping with dishes or laundry is showing him love, or giving him a big hug when he gets home from school. However, my 7 year old responds more to quality time, and words of affirmation. He will often push away from a hug, (not that he doesn’t want one from time to time) and would rather play a game or go for a walk together. I began to change the way I interacted with both of my boys to show them each the love language that they desired.
As I began to be conscious of how I was showing love to my boys I noticed a difference in them as well. My 10 year old started helping me with housework more often, even when not asked, and my 7 year old began giving me hugs instead of pushing away. I also noticed an overall change in the behavior of both boys. Making this small effort made a big difference in the love my boys felt from me. I know my heart overflows with love for them, but now I am sure they know it too!