So I’ll tell you what this picture has to do with this post on my NEXT post….hehehe!
This is the beginning of what I’ll call a “Unit Study” on Discipline. Funny how every few years I have to read up on things I thought I had already read up on! Discipline is a struggle for me. I want to have things run like the meaning of the word implies…learning, guiding, following….Discipline and disciple have the same root word!
Unfortunately, I have a tendency to punish rather than discipline. I’m a control freak and perfectionist and I expect a lot from people, especially my children. I also am not naturally inclined to showing affection. So you can imagine what this combination can concoct….I’ll quote my sister, “One hot mess!”
When my first child was still an infant I read up on discipline and thought I had found my methods. I refreshed my reading every year but felt mostly comfortable with how things were going. Add a few more kids, different stages, several multi-cultural moves and other fluctuations and over the past year I’ve felt like I’m back on step one of the stairs.
Needless to say, I’m reading, praying, searching, pondering, and listening a lot and in a lot of different arenas to once again hone my skills and find what will work for our family. I’m finding that mostly I’m just needing to re-prioritize and slow down and remember that being a Mom is really the most important thing I can do right now.
To start on my journey I went back to “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. Have you read this? I would say it’s a must read for all married couples and especially if you have children. The 5 “love languages” are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, physical touch and quality time. The theory is that each person “communicates” and feels love in different ways. For example, since I first found this book I have always been a “Acts of Service” kind of gal. All the other languages are nice and some very important, but if you DO something for me, especially without being asked, I feel incredibly loved.
The website: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ is wonderful as well. It explains the basics and also has an assessment that you can do with your spouse and children (I help my kids take it) that will help you determine what your main “love languages” are. I try to do the assessment every 6 months with both my husband and children, it is amazing how much can change in 6 months!
Each person in my family is very different and thus the way they feel loved is different too. This is a very helpful tool for me especially since I have one child that has a primary love language as physical touch and another as receiving gifts….these are on the bottom of my list! It’s been so good to remind myself that just because it is not a priority to me does not mean that I can ignore them. Actually, I must make them a priority so that those members of my family feel loved in the way that best fits their needs.
It is simply amazing to watch the immediate difference and spiritual uplift that comes into your life and home by focusing directly on showing love to people in the way they love it the most! I’ve found that when this is a priority, discipline flows much more naturally and everyone is happier.
So, what’s YOUR love language? Have you found that showing love in a specific way helps your relationship(s)?