While writing this post, one of us had an accident.
And by one of us, we mean Angie.
She’s fine. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.
And by that, we mean she’s not fine at all. (Newsflash: that’s what it’s fine usually means.)
Angie ruptured her achilles during an intense paddle match.
She cried. She collapsed. She had to be carried off the court.
By the time you’re reading this, she’s having surgery to repair said achilles.
And she’s fine. Or so she keeps saying.
So here’s a kinda condensed version of the post we planned to write.
We often run through the same reels; we discuss the same topics, over and over. So, it should come as no surprise that one topic that’s on high rotation for us is our kids. We talk about parenting. A lot. Most recently, we’ve been talking about how to speak our kids’ language. And we’re talking about a little more than knowing what OK Boomer means. We’re talking about how to talk to them so they’ll hear us. We’re talking about how to talk to them so they’ll stop rolling their eyes at us. We’re talking about how to talk to them so they’ll listen, really listen, and maybe even reply.
This topic has been on our minds and when things are on our minds, we tend to see them everywhere. No surprise then that we suddenly feel bombarded by articles, posts and conversations about connecting with our teens. Hot topic? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just universally challenging, yet seemingly elusive.
Phew, we’re not alone.
We’re really not alone. Last week, we stumbled upon a Facebook post that had hundreds of comments; it’s a Grown & Flown post in which a mother pleads for advice. The mom thought she was close with her daughter and had a loving and warm relationship, yet the daughter proclaimed that the mom was good at providing materialistic things but “...there is no love in our home.” Tons of people read and commented on this post, and most of the advice? You should read about love languages; it sounds like you aren’t speaking hers.
We find ourselves digging into love languages. We thought it was a straightforward concept. Until we tried to really understand it. And learned it’s the opposite of straightforward.
So, let’s back it up. In case you don’t know what the hell we’re talking about, we’re referring to the best-selling book, The 5 Love Languages, by Dr. Gary Chapman and the subsequent versions relating to the parent/child relationship. The concept is that there are five basic love languages and if we can identify our primary love language and our loved ones’ language, and then learn to speak them, we will create a deeper connection.
Here they are, in a nutshell.
1. Words of affirmation. Expressing affection through ‘spoken’ praise or appreciation.
2. Acts of service. Actions, rather than words, are used to show and receive love.
3. Receiving gifts. Gifting is symbolic of love and affection.
4. Quality time. Expressing affection with undivided, undistracted attention.
5. Physical touch. With this love language, the recipient feels affection through physical touch.
Here’s our rub. What if we’re not sure which language we speak? What if we don’t want to be pigeon-holed into one language? We want to believe and use the languages, but we’re struggling. Did this concept become so popular simply because it’s presented as an organized 5-item list(icle) or is it actually revolutionary? Is it because it transforms love from something amorphous into something concrete or that we’re often searching to strengthen our relationships with those we love and this how-to guide feels implementable?
Maybe the virtue is in the noticing of it.
Maybe just recognizing what the languages are and being aware of them is the key.
L: how u feeling?
A: don’t ask
A: having a pity party for myself right now
L: u should be
L: i feel terrible for you
A: i’m devastated
A: and i can’t stop replaying the paddle match in my head
A: but my god
A: the messages pouring in from my team and my friends and my family
A: is making me feel loved
A: and when u feel like shit, it feels good to feel loved
L: tell me some of your faves
A: this one made me smile - Angie noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!
A: and i got plenty of mushy ones that made me really emotional
A: i loved this one too - seriously, how are you and what can i do for you?
A: somehow the word ‘seriously’ made me answer how i really am
A: and ofc i really liked the message that started with MOTHERFUCKER!
A: but pretty sure this one wins
A: because it made me laugh when i didn’t feel like laughing even a little
A: knowing i have achilles surgery the next day, i get this text - guess who?
A: i heard about the breast implants tomorrow. i’m proud of you. don’t go too big. you’ll look ridiculous.
L: that can only be uncle ian
L: wait, maybe there should be another language
L: sarcastic humor!
A: the 6th love language
Pssst… wanna learn more about your teens’ love language? Click this link for the quiz, report back and let us know what you think. https://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/teens/