When I began taking my dating life seriously I read a book “The 5 Love Languages”. It was very eye opening to me this concept that there were ways that I can be manifesting my love to others but because I am not speaking their “language” the manifestations have no meaning.
As I have been watching my son grow I am learning that he himself has a love language. Truly he expresses and needs all 5:
Words of Affirmation:
I’ve been learning that Words of Affirmation are more than “I love you” it’s applauding him when he does something correct. It is learning to acknowledge his correct behavior and positive attitude more than correcting and reminding him about things such as “don’t forget to flush the potty”
So often in the day to day functioning of raising him its so easy to point out mistakes and errors. However, instead I'm choosing to focus more on the things that he accomplishes on his own. Behavior and actions that show he is growing up and taking responsibility. There are times that I slip into old patterns and I find myself feeling like I'm doing more correction and reminding but as I always state I'm a work in progress and so is he.
Over time as I’ve struggled I’ve realized that quality time has different meanings for him. It’s a closeness—it’s being involved in my activities. During this quarantine time he had enjoyed popping into my office during my patient visits to say “Hi”. Putting him in my desk to watch his movies while I work at the computer, cooking together, sometimes just sitting in a chair answering emails while he sits on the floor playing with his trains are the times he needs. There are times when he does want my undivided attention and he communicates that very well. I have learned to also communicate when I'm unable to give him my undivided attention and why. I have also learned to set limits and honoring those limits. For example--when I'm working on my last 1-2 patients at the end of the work day and he comes into my office I explain that I have to finish and that when I'm done I'll be all his until he gets bored with me and I honor that time. I leave my phone in with my computer after my last visit and I'm all his. We talk about his day. We play trains. We play baby shark (don't ask 😉). We enjoy each other until he has his fill and is ready to move on to something else. Sometimes it's 5 min and other times it's 60 min. Whatever his love tank needs to be topped off and full ⛽️ .
Spoiling my son is something that is so hard not to do. Every time I see a toy that I think he would enjoy playing with I want to get it for him. However, my money being funny and my change being strange coupled with memories of him enjoying playing with a toilet paper roll keep my wallet happy. But I’ve learned to make a big fuss about the most mundane and necessary things. Underwear, toothbrushes, toothpaste. Things should be appreciated and respected. Everything and every moment is a gift. I find that by elevating the “mundane” my son appreciates all things in life. I hope this trend stays. I love that he is appreciative of items but I also know that as he begins to desire and express himself it will be more vital to ensure that even the smallest gestures are appreciated as the big gifts.
Act of Service:
Kids learn by example. They parrot what they hear quickly becoming little mynah birds; intelligently selecting the naughty words we may utter in an unguarded moment. I have grown up watching my mother do for others; not only in her role as a nurse practitioner but also as a sister and daughter in her family. I treat my parents based on how they treated their parents. I treat others how my parents treated others. I expect and hope that my son will learn by my example.
Finding acts of service for my son has caused us to grow closer together. I am always finding the balance between encouraging him and pushing him to do for himself and learning to overcome frustrations when things to quite go as smoothly and easily as he feels they should. On the other hand I enjoy doing things for him such as getting him juice before he asks for it sometimes. Taking his plate into the kitchen for him. Little things that I know he sees. Displaying this behavior to my own parents so that it is a normal occurrence that is an expectation rather than an exception.
Moments of "cuddle time" is one of my favorite times of the day. Even when I'm running behind in the morning in getting dressed when he asks for "cuddle time" I'm happy to oblige. Of course I set a timer for a few minutes and let him know that we can only cuddle for a few minutes because otherwise we both would loose track of time. I find that it gives up both a moment to connect with each other when we feel disconnected and fills up my love tank 🥰.
On this journey of discovery that he and I are on. I am learning that there are certain times and instances when I have to tap into which particular language he needs. For example, when he is trying to over-talk whomever I’m talking to of course it’s a sign that he needs attention but why and what language is not being met. Sometimes if it’s something he’s proud of and he is looking for words of affirmation; then there are times when he is looking for quality time. Time for me to stop and provide him with my undivided attention—watching him play for instance. Other times just my mere presence soothes and helps fill his love tank up.
As he changes his love language needs will change and I must adapt. It’s challenging and fun to learn the ways to speak to and fill up his love tank.
During this pandemic and self-quarantine I craved and searched for ideas to help me keep Jeremy entertained and active. I thought that I would share with you my top 4 favorite Mom Blogs.
I can’t say enough about this website. Really and truly if there is a favorite among my list this is one. I highly encourage you to sign up for her emails because not only does it get your access to a myriad of free printables; it also give you updates when she comes up with new content. Which helped me when Jeremy got bored by some of the activities that we had done.
The Magic Milk STEM Experiment that she featured on her bog is by far my favorite activity to do with Jeremy. I used expired milk so I had to make sure he didn’t try to drink it before we started the experiment. Jeremy loves colors and stirring so the Magic Milk STEM project was a perfect fit.
his website was so helpful for me in developing ideas for sensory activities for Jeremy. I loved doing her Spring Scavenger Hunt printable. It even gave me the idea to do a fall scavenger hunt recently where we hunted for different colored leaves.
Jeremy loves music (I think it comes form all the singing I did while he was in utero)! Her Brain Breaks for Kids post gave us some great songs for us to sing together.
This website has a great printables that I found helpful. My favorite one is this color Bingo! So creative and fun to play. She has a lot of great printables too that I have used.
These blogs have been a lifesaver during the pandemic and while trying to home school my child in between working. Hope you find them helpful.
All my life I’ve realized that I was black. Well, not all my life however when I think back there is not a moment where I do not recall being aware of my skin color. Even at a young age I remember kids in my class telling me that I couldn’t drink white milk because I was not white I had to drink chocolate milk. Growing up I have realized that my country views me differently and that there is a second set of rules that applies to me; a set of rules that has nothing to do with fairness or equality. Growing up I have always been told that I must be twice as smart, twice as talented, and twice as successful to get half of what my white counterparts had. Through my years of living I have realized it as a harsh truth.
Being black I learned about our history of enslavement, lynchings, rapes, beatings, etc. I have learned about the “war of northern aggression”. I have learned about the constant attempt to subjugate my race. I have learned about Tulsa, race riots Jim Crow. I have even learned about the civil rights movement. I have never been deluded in thinking that I was somehow considered equal with my white counterparts. I have always known that inequality was still present, that racism was still an ugly abscess that festered in America hidden and indurated under its lily white skin.
In my family we talk about people getting their black wake up call. A call to awaken them from a deluded dream of mistakingly thinking that somehow they were viewed as equal with their white counterparts. Being as “woke” as I thought I was I received mine for a second time as a 42 yr old woman when I realized through the murder and lack of justice for Breonna Taylor that I am not safe in my own home. Erroneously I believed that in America the days of whites breaking into the homes of blacks unannounced and killing them was no longer tolerated. I never was delusional in the believing that it did not occur; but imprudently I assumed that in my home I was safe. Misguidedly I believed that those that would choose to violate the sanctity of my home would be brought to justice. I foolishly felt that in America at least in my home I had nothing to fear. As a mother I believed that if my child if my son could just make it home he could be protected.
Of course I’m talking about my little one! It is so much fun to share “coffee time” with him. I will say before the pandemic it was the highlight of my weekend but now that I’m off one day during the week and working virtually 2 days it’s like 5 days of morning bliss. I have learned 3 things from him that I endeavor to never let go.
Be prepared for the unexpected. Early on in his barista career, he loved to put surprise items in the coffee, ostensibly for added flavor or just to see what happened but luckily he grew out of that phase. But definitely being on my toes and aware of his quick movements save many a great cup of coffee from having an added bonus. Being prepared of the unexpected.
Coffee time is a fun time in our household and a time to take a moment in the rush of life to stretch and grow.
I know, I know, I know not a very realistic plan but it was still my goal. From all the reviews I read at the time the movie had a magic of unparalleled magnitude that I did not want my child or I to fall victim to.
I grow weary and tired. I am weary and tired. I am done in.
I will voice the names of those who are supposed to protect my family and call them to act. I will voice the names of those who fail to act, who fail to enact, who fail to heed the call to action. I will voice their names for those names that I cannot bear to say anymore.
A few weeks ago I decided to take the little one to feed the ducks. Geechi in her true nature of wanting to minister to the ducks suggested that I feed them the stale raisin break that we had left. Remembering that raisins are toxic to dogs I hopped onto Google to make sure that raisins wouldn’t be toxic to ducks and geese. Well to my surprise I learned something—DON’T FEED BREAD TO DUCKS!
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT! Had all the movies showing people feeding bread to ducks lied to me?!? YES. Apparently bread provides no nutritional value to ducks the same as soda water (it’s the southern in me) to humans. If you were lied to like I was here is a list of things you can feed to ducks and geese.
The movies lied but the internet never will ???. Leave the ? at home and bring some ???????
While I aim to be my son’s friend I also realize that my job as a parent is to love him, affirm him, and discipline him. Bell Hooks, in All About Love, states that “Abuse and neglect negate love”. Earlier in the same chapter she denounced hitting and draws no differentiation between disciplining and punishing. However, there is a difference. Punishment is focused on the past and is rooted in anger. Discipline however is focused on the future and is rooted in love and care. Even God disciplines.
“At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.”
Hebrews 12:11 MSG
I write this not to change your mind but to be a voice of those who spank our children but in the current climate feel that we must hide in the shadows for fear of judgment. I speak out to voice that there is a difference between spanking and abuse and when we really honestly and openly talk about it we know the difference.
As with anything that centers around children trial an error is essential. I hope these tools help. If you have any other tools or suggestions please share them in the comments below 👇🏾 to help others.
Overall one must be intentional. Intentional with how you start and end your day. Intentional with your inner circle of friends and what you allow to influence your sphere. Intentional in seeking out opportunities for growth and new experiences. Intentional in spreading positivity towards others.
Embracing my imperfection and striving for perfection through grace.