Tweens

Good morning, friends! It’s been a long time since I’ve written but God has been waking me up, via puppy, at 5am for the last few mornings and I finally figured out it was so I can start blogging again. So here’s to hopefully getting back into the habit!

I am in a season of growth. I’m being stretched, challenged, and loved on by a Holy Father. This past weekend was a huge step of growth for me and affected me so much, I need to share it and hope it will also help others.

My daughter and I have been struggling. We moved into our new house in June, away from the grandparents. She started a new school, then we switched her back to the school I teach at. A lot of changes. A lot of new routines. A lot of things that are hard for anyone and especially for those who struggle with anxiety. Then, there’s the fact that’s she’s official a “TWEEN.”

With all of the things and during the past few months, my daughter has gotten pretty sassy (not in the good way), sometimes disrespectful, and is really struggling with being responsible and obedient. It’s been HARD. And I’ve struggled in parenting her. I’ve tried charts and incentives and consequences. I’ve gotten angry. I’ve raised my voice, which I usually don’t do. I’ve said some hurtful things such as “Why are you like this?” and “Do you hate me?!” and “Why can’t you just…” and “Do you EVEN Care?!”

I know what you’re thinking… doesn’t everyone react that way sometimes? We can’t always be the perfect Mary Poppins mom… Kids push us to the limits.

I told myself all of those things, too. And… maybe they’re true.

But I learned something on Saturday so profound that it immediately changed me. Stopped me in my tracks and made me reevaluate it all.

My Pastor’s wife, Carolina, asked me (while talking about parenting) what my punkin’s love language was. And I didn’t know.

I grew up in church and I know all about love languages – there are books and blogs and everything on it – By Gary Chapman. Basically, there are five love languages – five ways that people genuinely feel loved and they are different for each person! Meaning you can be doing something for someone to show them love, and they don’t recognize it as love! Talk about miscommunication!

Let me explain further… the five love languages are Quality Time, Physical Touch (Affection), Words of Affirmation, Gifts, and Acts of Service. So let’s say someone’s love language is Quality Time and yours is Physical touch. You may be hugging, kissing, snuggling, lovingly patting them, stroking their hair, thinking you are showing love meanwhile they are feeling so alone because you never have time one-on-one to just talk and hang out. You’re “loving” them, but they don’t feel loved because it’s now how they perceive love! Wild, right?!

So Carolina sends me a link later to the 5 love languages quiz – adults, teens, and kids can all take the quiz. I did it with Raegan really thinking her language would be quality time and instead it was Words of Affirmation! I was shocked!

Now, I’m really good about words of affirmation. I tell my kiddo I love her all the time, I encourage her, praise her, point out the things she’s good at… I am good with showing love in this way.

But, there’s a flip side to this coin. The way a person feels loved is ALSO the way they can be hurt the worst!! Negative words, angry words, raised voices, words that attack character rather than behavior…. is the way my daughter’s heart is also hurt the most.

I. Was. Shattered.

Not because I’ve been disciplining my child. Not because I’ve been correcting her, withholding privileges, giving consequences… but because my words have been hurtful these last few weeks. I’ve been building a wall between us. I’ve been hurting her where it hurts her the most…. unintentionally… not on purpose.. but nonetheless, it’s been done.

I went to God with shame, guilt, and thankfulness. I asked forgiveness for allowing my own anger and frustration to hurt my daughter. And I thanked Him… oh yes, I’m so grateful for this revelation. I’m so thankful that Carolina sent me the quiz, that we took it, that I learned and that I can grow from here on out.

I still need to raise up my daughter to be all God wants her to be… but I am being more intentional now. Way more intentional in the words I say and the tone it comes out in. I’ve increased the amount and ways that I lift her up with words of affirmation and when I correct her, I am very specific to make sure I am correcting the behavior and not attacking her character and who she is.

It’s only been a few days but it’s a brand new start. I’ve learned how to parent my daughter better so now I am going to do better. When you know better… do better. I’ll still fail… unfortunately… but I know what needs to be done now and it’s changed me. I’m growing. I’m becoming more of who God wants me to be, and He is helping me raise my punkin to be who God wants her to be.

If you’re interested in taking the quiz for yourself or your kids, here’s the link! Love Language Quiz for Kids, Teens, and Adults. I hope you’ll check it out and learn for yourself! I think it’s an amazing growth tool for anyone! If you do, or if you already know your love language, drop it below! Mine is physical touch followed by quality time. My daughter’s is Words of Affirmation followed by Acts of Service. The website has tons of information about each of the love languages as well! Enjoy!

Happy Tuesday Friends!

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