The 5 Love Languages by Dr Gary Chapman is life-changing. If you haven't read it, grab a copy! It's one of the most amazing books you can devour for your relationship.
The premise is this. Each of us "responds" to Love, and feels loved based on any one or a combination of 2 of these Love Languages:
It is life-changing as it is "reaffirming" to find out your love language and your partner's love language.
When our partner or those around us communicate in our Love Language, it is when we feel "most" loved or "recognised". There are profound ways we can use Love Languages in gaining a better understanding of how to create more connection in our relationships.
And it is also a great tool to highlight areas of tension.
In using the 5 Love Languages in understanding when we are most loved, we can also use the 5 Love Languages to identify when we are triggered - especially by our children.
Children are ALWAYS seeking our Love. They aren't waking up or going about their day to be "terrible" or deliberately being disobedient.
ALL children are seeking is Love (then again, aren't we all - conversation for another day!)
It is especially challenging to hold this vision when we feel tested and triggered.
An effective way to bring awareness to our triggers is understanding our Love language.
If our Love language is words; when our children lash out and say hurtful things, we can potentially get more heightened.
If our Love language is acts of service; when our children aren't "eating" what we make them or mealtime is chaotic, or they seem ungrateful for something we have "done" for them - we may react as we feel "unloved" or "unappreciated".
If our Love language is physical touch; when our children throw things at others or if they're going through the stage of hitting or biting, that can create a heightened state of fear and anger.
If our Love language is gifts; we may feel really "hurt" and disappointed when our child doesn't "like" something we bought them or they don't want to wear that outfit that we thought would be amazing on them!
If our Love language is quality time; we may feel offended when they don't want to spend time with us, OR we may even get more triggered when we have set some "me-time" for ourselves, and it's not going to plan because we have to be with the children.
This is a journey of awareness.
Here's the thing. Our triggers are our responsibility. When we are triggered, that's for ours to own.
It's ok to feel angry. It's ok to feel resentment. It's ok to be upset.
It's not ok to expect our children to be in charge of our emotional reactions, and it's not ok to expect them to have to fix it or be at the receiving end of our discomfort.
We're the adult. I know on some level you know this to be true.
Because we've all been there. When we were young and felt misunderstood by our parents - or when our parents are stressed or running on empty and have taken it out on us.
There may have even been times when we witness the hurt or upset of our parents, and as children, we take that on. Especially if our parents were always fighting, getting divorced, or stressed about finances.
This trauma can live within our body. If we don't release it - we unconsciously live from this place. This is called self-sabotage.
When we know better, we can do better.
Yes, as parents, we aren't perfect. This isn't about being perfect, and if you're a part of The Motherhood Mindset, it is about being committed to bringing awareness to our wounds, our trauma - so that we aren't projecting our lack and pain onto our children.
I believe the world can heal - when we take parenting as an opportunity for us to heal.
This isn't about coddling our children or having them live in a bubble in fact, far from that.
This is about raising a generation of children with emotional awareness and resilience because they witness the courage and vulnerability their parents go through.
This is also about us - as parents. That we chose this path - so how can we allow this journey to empower us to EXPAND ourselves, to have this journey of being a parent contribute to loving ourselves more, and having it be fulfilling, enriching and joyful?!
So beautiful one, when do you most feel loved? What's your love language?
.... and what insights can you see about what triggers you most when it comes to parenting?
What's the opportunity for healing?
Thank you for your courage to look inwards.