We, like most everyone else, are stuck at home. When you live with other people, being forced to be in close quarters with each other for an extended period can become frustrating, or a fresh chance to improve your relationships. To make the most of this time, we're trying for the latter. So this week, we're looking at our relationships through the lens of the five love languages.
In case you haven't read Gary Chapman's book, "The 5 Love Languages," here's a quick rundown. Chapman believes that while everyone expresses love (and craves it to be expressed to them) in their own way, these can all be organized into five groups. Chapman calls these groups the five love languages. The word "language" is really key here, because if someone tried to tell you that they love you in a language you didn't understand (like Arabic or German), you wouldn't receive the message. But, it would be possible for you to learn that other language, and then you would be able to understand the other person's message of love. That's important, because it means that while some of the love languages don't come naturally to us, there's hope that we can learn to give and receive love in them anyway.
So what are the languages themselves? There's Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Gifts. To learn more about each language, your best bet is to read Chapman's books. But to find out which is your primary (or even secondary) love language, take the quiz on Chapman's website!
Ariel and I know that between our two families, every love language is represented. So we have to work on all of them to make sure that we're all feeling appreciated while in quarantine. With small children, Chapman advises to practice all five languages anyway, since they and their preferences are still developing. And while adults have more fixed love needs, in unusual times (quarantine) or during transitional phases (around a big move, or when a baby is born), your needs might temporarily shift. All that is to say, this is the perfect time to take stock of what we and our family members need in order to feel as loved and whole as possible.
You can join us and work on the five love languages in your own home, too! From now until April 8th, 2020, we're giving away our mini kit for "The 5 Love Languages." If you don't already own the book, check out the ebook or audiobook from your local library, or get it from Amazon. You and your partner can read the book and use our discussion questions to connect with each other and the material. If you want to use our kit to do a virtual book club with friends or teammates, check out our article about how to easily run a virtual book club.
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Getting to know Jan Brett's work
Do you know who Jan Brett is? If you said no, I bet you’re wrong.
Do you remember, as a kid in grade school, reading a book about a kid who loses a white mitten in the snow? The animals of the forest, knowing cozy outerwear when they see it, climb in one by one, each animal bigger than the last. And then you all cut out mitten shapes from paper and got to use the STAPLER to stick the two pieces together into a mitten-shaped pouch, into which you popped your colored-in animals, thus replicating the story before your very eyes. I KNOW I am not the only one who did that at least once growing up. If you have a very similar memory, you can thank Jan Brett.
How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7, by Adele Farber and Elaine Mazlish
In October 1980, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish published How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. It became a bestseller in the world of parenting books, and has stayed relevant in the ensuing decades with various updates. In January 2017, Faber’s daughter, Joanna Faber, wrote a more specific version of this classic guide with her friend, Julie King. Joanna and Julie both grew up with their parents using the principles in the original How to Talk, but found they were still sometimes stumped when it came to the very young children in their lives. After many workshops, they wrote How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7. This book takes the principles and tools from Faber and Mazlish’s original, and focuses with laser intensity on the specific issues that come up with children between two and seven, with many real life examples of the teachings in action.
I held a bottle of shampoo hostage yesterday. It worked great, but at what cost?
Let me rewind a bit. My little Monkey has just recently become interested in watching movies and TV shows. This is kind of good for me, because until then, she insisted I play with her all day. Not just keep an eye on her and interact periodically. No, Monkey needed her mommy to be on the floor, reading books, playing games, and singing to dolls ALL DAY. It’s been fun, but Mommy needs to fold laundry, make meals, and organize the family’s business, too.
So now Monkey watches TV, sort of. She sits to savor some scenes, and runs around playing with her dolls, blocks, and playhouse the rest of the time. One favorite movie of hers, is Trolls. When we saw a bottle of shampoo at the store that looks like Princess Poppy, and even has her soft, pink hair, we decided to get it for Monkey. Well, that bottle of shampoo is now one of Monkey’s favorite dolls. I tried to get her to leave it at home, so we could go to the gym without a bottle of shampoo in tow (crazy).
“No, Poppy is MINE!” Monkey informed me.
Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
Let's keep in touch!