Recently, Phoebie wakes up before I do and she will always wake and greet me with “I love you, mummy” or “I lovey dovey you”. It took me a while before I realized she was saying the latter because it sounded a little jibberish at first. When I figured out what she was actually saying, I practically melted and woke up immediately. Haha…
I then wondered how she knew to say “I lovey dovey you”, and after some thinking, I realized I said that to her a lot, especially when she was a baby.
I also noticed how Phoebie is more affectionate with my husband and I, now that she is a preschooler. She wants to hug us all the time and will shower us with lots of kisses.
I thought about her recent growth and it made me think how important it is to teach children about love. And the best way for children to learn about love is through the display of love around them.
I would think that to Phoebie at this point, love means saying “I love you” and giving loads of hugs and kisses to people whom she feels she loves. And she probably got such an idea because while staying home to look after her, I would always shower her with a lot of hugs and kisses.
Don’t get me wrong though, that loving only means hugs, kisses and all things sweet. Disciplining is also part of loving. I would like to think that as a mother, I am stern with Phoebie when need be. Disciplining lovingly requires some practice and it is something I am still working on, but that’s another topic for another time.
One of my favourite books about love is “The 5 Love Languages of Children” by Dr Gary Chapman and Dr Ross Campbell.
Dr Gary Chapman is well known for the 5 love languages series that he has written and the 5 love languages are:
1. Physical Touch
This includes hugs, cuddles, kisses, a pat on the back and even tickling.
2. Words of Affirmation
This includes saying “I love you”, encouraging the child when she fails to achieve something, complimenting the child when she does well, and telling the child how much she means to you.
3. Quality Time
This means spending time together with the child and doing something together. For a preschooler, it can mean reading a book, some time at the playground, building a sandcastle at the beach or coloring a picture. What matters is both the child and you are participating at the same time.
I guess this is straightforward. It means giving the child something. However, it doesn’t have to be something you purchase. It can also be something you made for the child.
5. Acts of Service
This can mean anything from cooking a meal for your child, to helping her solve a problem or difficulty. For SAHMs, this is probably something we all do the most.
Dr Gary Chapman’s theory is that everyone has different ways of perceiving love, both in giving and receiving. However, in this book, he also points out that for young children like Phoebie, they may not have developed a particular love language they are more incline to. Hence, it is important to practice all 5 love languages with them.
As a SAHM, I constantly need to remind myself to show Phoebie that I love her and not assume that she would know, just because she sees me 24/7 and I do almost everything for her and with her. A combination of all 5 love languages is needed for Phoebie to know that Mummy loves her.
I can’t say I am very good at modeling love to Phoebie but I would like to think that I hv at least done enough that she knows I love her and she knows how to show she loves me.
“Don’t presume your children, or other people in your life who you love, know that you love them.” – Lorna Byrne