Five Languages of Love

Five Languages of Love

This is an old post, from 2016, with a few additions. The five languages of love are important tools in successful relationships so this post is worth repeating.

Recently I heard about “the five languages of love” so decided to research the theory.

What are the Languages of Love?

The thought process in the languages of love theory is that people vary in what they need from their partner to make them happy and content in a relationship. The five options or “languages” are listed as:

  • words of affirmation
  • acts of service
  • receiving gifts
  • quality time
  • physical touch

How to Use the Languages of Love

Simply put, if you want to be in a successful relationship, you have to know what your partner’s love language is and make sure your partner knows what your love language is, especially if they differ.  Since both people in a relationship can come from different upbringings, backgrounds, cultures, etc, their individual love languages will often be different.  Acknowledging that your partner has a different love language than you do appears to be the first step towards a successful relationship.

I would imagine that some people are content with just one language of love while others need more than one.  That’s where it might get tricky as your job in a successful relationship is to provide what your partner needs.   Some people are needier than others and needs do change throughout life. Be aware of changing needs on both sides and be prepared to adjust accordingly.  Frequent re-evaluation is highly recommended.

Do Your Homework

If you are not sure what your language of love is, ask yourself what makes you feel loved. What makes you feel unloved is important too.

Do your homework.  Find out what your partner’s language of love is.  Make sure they know what yours is. Be sure to ask them theirs and tell them yours so there is no room for misunderstanding.  Do not assume you know theirs or they know yours.

My Language of Love

I know my language of love is “acts of service.” I don’t need expensive gifts or fancy words or someone to hold my hand. I do however like to know that when I need support or something (that I cannot do myself) done, I know where to turn. 

“Acts of service” sound very rigid, almost implying contractual services. I’m pretty sure the experts do not mean that instead mean sharing duties or things that need to get done in a household. Things such as:

  • household chores like cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping
  • parenting things (I won’t call them chores) like playing, feeding, bathing, bedtime routines
  • shovelling snow and cleaning off vehicles (although I do love to shovel for exercise in the winter)

I am so impressed with how the younger generation has removed the gender-based roles in relationships. I know, I am dating myself. No longer is it only the mother/woman’s role to cook, clean, look after the kids while the father/man’s role is to go to work outside the home. Part of this evolution came about with the increase in double-income families, but another is acceptance, acknowledgment, respect, and compromise. I am so proud of my two oldest sons who have embraced this evolution, actively and emotionally committing to their roles as daddy and husband/partner.

I broaden the term “service” to include acts of kindness too. Nothing (to me) is more attractive (on anyone) than kindness. Conversely, meanness is very unattractive.

My Parents’ Language of Love

So, how do we develop our own language of love? Do we inherit it from our parents, like we inherit eye colour and other physical characteristics or interests and talents?

I assume my own preference is because my parents (at least in my perception of their relationship) used that method to show they loved each other and our family. We were not ones to express our love verbally, in fact, I don’t remember either of my parents ever saying “I love you” to each other or to us kids. But they both worked outside the home (my mom only after my youngest brother started school) to provide a home, food, and clothing for our family.

Were my parents happy in their relationship? Not always. I do know my father was devastated when my mother passed away, and her last words to me were “look after your father.”

Actions speak louder than words.

Raising our own Children

That language of love witnessed in my childhood (my husband was raised similarly) is most likely why we raised our children with the “acts of service” language. We knew no different. I know my children know we would do anything for them, still, even though they are now self-sufficient. Is that because we told them that fact often? No, but I hope we showed them with our actions.

I admit that I never gave much thought about what they needed or still need to feel loved, just assumed they knew/know.

I probably do not tell them I love them often enough; it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

The Five Languages of Love

Sleep Deprivation, the Consequences

Sleep Deprivation Consequences and Cures

If you google just about any health ailment or nagging symptom, sleep deprivation will be on the list of possible causes. Why is that?  Because people are just too (potentially dangerously so) busy and plugged in to sleep these days. When we do sleep, we don’t sleep well.

From small children to retirement age, our lives are jam-packed with structure and technology, leaving no (or very little) downtime.  If you ask a retiree, they will most likely tell you one of the most enjoyable things about retiring is the ability to nap when you want.

Improve the Quality of Your Sleep to Avoid Sleep Deprivation

What can you do to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep to ward off sleep deprivation? Start by unplugging yourself, literally and figuratively, at least four hours before your bedtime. Instead of focusing on the screens of a television, game console, computer, or cell phone, shut them down. Read a book, cook and savour a nice meal, or go out for a drink or meal with a friend or loved one. Without the phone.

Children Need Quality Sleep Too

This applies to your children too. Remember, you are their most influential teacher. They will pick up your unhealthy habits just as easily as your good ones. They do need routine in their lives but organized structure not so much. Kids also need downtime instead of being shuttled from event to event.

Sleep deprivation shows up in their behaviour and their health.  Research has shown that overly active (organized) kids tend to suffer from anxiety, which in turn leads to poor quality of sleep.  It is very easy to cut back on their organized activities.  Let them play at home with their siblings and parents. Bring back the board games of our youth. Encourage older kids to read books or experiment in the kitchen.  Simply slow down their lives, especially before bedtime.

Downtime is a Healthy Way to Reboot

Think of your brain as a computer that controls your body. Even the best computers need to reboot or update regularly to stay efficient and healthy.

Similarly, every cell in your body, especially those in your brain, needs downtime to repair and recuperate from everything we throw at them. Unfortunately, they can only recuperate or repair when we sleep. When we don’t provide these cells with quality sleep to perform this maintenance on a regular basis, sleep deprivation sets in and cells start to break down, causing all those symptoms you are googling about.

Teach Your Children Well

teach your children well

I heard the song “Teach Your Children Well” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young for the first time in ages the other day. The lyrics resonated with me as the parent of three now-adult sons, and five grandchildren…

You, who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so, become yourself
Because the past is just a goodbye.

Teach your children well
Their father’s hell did slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they pick’s the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them, “Why?”
If they told you, you would cry
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.

And you of tender years
Can’t know the fears
That your elders grew by
And so, please help
Them with your youth
They seek the truth
Before they can die

The second verse is for the children, to help them better understand the parenting skills (or lack thereof) of the previous generation.

Teach Your Children Well was released way back in 1970, but the words still apply today, at least I think they do. What do you think?

This is the video, the words sound much better to music…

The tune and lyrics are so catchy and relevant to family life that they are currently being used in a commercial for Sobeys grocery stores.

Thou Shalt not Kill: a Christian Commandment

Thou shalt not kill

If you were asked to rhyme off the ten commandments, supposed rules of God in Christianity, I am willing to bet “thou shalt not kill” is one of the ones you could quote.

Canadians are heartbroken and disgusted after the sickening discovery of 215 bodies of indigenous children recently at a residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. The fear is that this horrific discovery is just the tip of a genocidal iceberg.

Residential schools were created in 1876 as free boarding schools for indigenous children, funded by the Canadian government and run by the Catholic church. In 1894 attendance became mandatory, until 1947, although the last school only closed its doors in 1996, not that long ago. The intention was to enable the children to adjust to Canadian (rather than indigenous) cultures, to convert the children to Christianity, and to civilize them. These schools were intentionally located far away from indigenous communities to limit the children’s contact with their families, fully immersing the children in their adopted (supposedly superior) culture.

Forced to speak English or French, the children were stripped of their ancestral languages and heritage. Rumours of physical and sexual abuse were rampant within the residential schools. Children that ran away were severely punished upon their return, if they returned. Many went missing, never to return, so it was reported. The dead bodies cropping up are telling a different, more sinister tale although poor record keeping and unmarked graves will make it nearly impossible to unearth the whole, ugly truth.

Back to the ten commandments. How can any religion or culture that proclaims to follow the rules of Christianity participate in such heinous acts of abuse, torture and genocide on innocent children? It makes me sick! How could those that did survive those torture-filled years ever lead normal lives afterward?

How and why are the perpetrators not held accountable for their actions? An apology is severely insufficient. This was not a single act of abuse or a simple mistake, but years of racially motivated, discriminatory, criminal acts.

Thou shalt not kill

Mothers Day Celebrates My Greatest Achievement

Mother's Day: Celebrating my Greatest Achievement

Today I celebrate my greatest achievement on Mothers Day. I’m sure it is apparent how much I adore my three sons. They are all kind, caring, and loving, not to mention handsome, intelligent, successful, and definitely more humble than their mother.

Mothers Day

I am especially proud of the fathers my two eldest have become with the help of the wonderful mothers of their children.

Raising Boys to Men on Mothers Day and Beyond

When my boys were growing up, people always commented on how difficult it must be to raise three boys. I wondered about that comment as I never had any daughters to compare the boys to and I always thought it was an unfair exaggeration.

These days one would call the comments sexist and all kinds of other descriptive words popular in our vocabulary today.

I have to admit, I loved every minute of it. Ok, maybe not every single minute, but 99.9% of them.

Mothers Day

Disputing the Theory

As a mother of three boys and a grandmother to three grandsons, I dispute the opinion that boys are more difficult to raise. They may be busier physically, with different interests, but not harder or more stressful.

My father, who raised three boys and three girls, always said the girls were harder. His theory was based on the fact that he worried more about the girls until they were married. Perhaps another sexist comment, but the norm and non-offensive back then.

Boys will be Boys

There is something to be said for the saying “boys will be boys.” My experience is that (most) little boys are fascinated with things like bugs, dirt and mud, cars and trucks, dinosaurs, and more. I don’t believe these interests are taught and learned, but more instinctive or innate. Encouraged (as they should be) perhaps, but not taught.

For example, my four-year-old grandson can spend hours flipping over rocks looking for bugs. His big sister and a younger female cousin, not so much. They tend to run from the bugs, as fast as they can.

And, one of the words my youngest grandson, at just one-year-old, can say is vroom, vroom. OK, that’s two words, but I’m sure you get the gist.

Tomboys Raising Boys

Perhaps I find boys easy to handle because I was a tomboy growing up, much to the chagrin of my mother. I preferred playing hockey, football, and other sports with the boys instead of playing dolls with the girls. I don’t recall though, being particularly enamoured with bugs.

You could say I had lots of practice hanging out with the boys, that could be why I have so much patience with my grandsons’ antics and interests.

Conclusions on Mothers Day

In closing, bearing and raising happy and healthy children is something to celebrate. Mother’s Day gives us mothers a special day to do so. Even though mine are all now adults, I still consider them to be my greatest achievements in life, bar none!

Happy Mothers Day to the rest of you celebrating your own achievements!

photo credit: Facebook

Covid and Kids, What are the Long-Term Effects?

I worry about the short and long term effects of this covid pandemic on our children. Social distancing does not come naturally to them. It is difficult enough for us adults, but we (most of us) can see and understand the reason behind the rules. We also do our best to explain these rules to our kids and grandkids.

When we were not allowed to hug or touch each other I would tell my grandkids that “grandma is sick and doesn’t want to make you sick.” This little white lie worked, but I could see the confusion on their sweet little faces.

The primary (pun intended) lesson learned in sending our kids to school at four years old is supposed to be the development and practice of social skills. You know, stuff like sharing, trading, empathy, taking turns and more. How can they do this if social distancing is their new norm?

What lessons are they going to learn instead? Don’t touch, don’t get too close, don’t care, and god forbid, don’t share. Will they learn anything beneficial? At what point are we doing them more harm than good?

Parents are facing a dilemma. Most families need two incomes to stay afloat financially, and cannot afford to have one parent stay home to look after young children. Single parents have even less choice. Daycares offer the same risk and discourage social skills as schools are doing.

So, what is the answer? Perhaps a Covid related, government issued benefit for a parent to stay home to care for, nurture and educate their young children. If we can pay any previously employed adults to stay home even though they could/should have returned to work, why can’t we pay parents to stay home? Of course, like a maternity/paternity leave, it would have to guarantee a job upon their return to work.

Political Correctness: Out of Control

John Cleese, the English actor, and comedian of Monty Python fame has a theory on why political correctness is getting out of hand.  Jon Miltimore published this theory on Intellectual Takeout.

Political Correctness Killing Comedy

He’s hardly the first comedian to say so, of course. Funny men such as Jerry Seinfeld, Mel Brooks, and others have complained that political correctness is killing comedy.  Cleese, like Seinfeld, says he no longer performs on America’s college campuses, where political correctness enforcement is particularly strident.

In a recent monologue with Big Think, Cleese said the effort to protect people from negative feelings is not just impractical, but suffocating to a free society.

“The idea that you have to be protected from any kind of uncomfortable emotion is one I absolutely do not subscribe to,” Cleese says.

Cleese, who spoke to psychiatrist Robin Skynner about the phenomenon, posited an interesting theory on why many people feel compelled to control the language and behaviors of others.

“If people can’t control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people’s behavior,” Cleese says.

You can watch the entire monologue below. What do you make of Cleese’s theory? Is he right?

I agree political correctness is getting way out of hand in our culture, and not just comedians are noticing.

Political Correctness in Sports

For example, it is ridiculous that in our children’s sporting events everyone gets the same award, just for participating.  No winners and no losers allowed; treat everyone the same.  Competition is healthy. It should not be discouraged, especially if a child shows interest in an activity.  Kids need to learn that people will be better than others in all of their endeavours.  This includes sports, scholastic abilities, job skills, and any other activity. You excel at some, others not so much.  You learn to win graciously and accept defeat just as graciously.  That is a healthy skill that all kids need to learn.

My three sons were (are) very athletic and good at any sport they chose to play.  Were/are they the best?  No, but they learned to recognize and respect those that were/are better, more successful than they were/are.  This is an important life lesson and important for developing self-esteem.  Sadly, it appears that this valuable lesson is low on the priority list these days.

Anxiety, Depression, and Suicide

It is no small wonder that more teens today suffer from anxiety and depression than ever before. Teen suicide too is rampant, doesn’t it make you wonder if there is a connection to our current excessive demand for political correctness and the rise of anxiety and depression?

Suicide Prevention Hotline (USA and CANADA)
1-800 273 8255
It’s OK not to be OK

Brainwashing our Children, Practice What you Preach!

Are our children victims of brainwashing?  Some people believe overzealous climate change activists are filling children’s heads with doom and gloom causing unnecessary stress and even depression. Children are the unwitting targets of this brainwashing in this blatant form of emotional blackmail.  What parent, grandparent or any adult for that matter, can resist emotional and passionate pleas from young children?

Environmental threats are (and should be) a concern globally.  As intelligent humans we need to address the threats using proven scientific solutions and compromises.  The problem arises when big companies or wanna be scientists on both sides of the argument get involved by throwing big money or their famous face into the pot trying to sway the general public to their side.

Mega-rich oil and gas companies are fighting to keep their businesses afloat so deny that many of the suggested solutions will help, without attempting to compromise.  Activists like David Suzuki and Jane Fonda crave the spotlight, earning their own mega-bucks in appearance fees, flying around the world in fossil fuel powered jets.

Hypocrites, all of them.  While it is important to teach our children to respect the environment and reduce our carbon footprint, brainwashing them to preach unproven opinions without understanding what they are preaching is morally wrong.

Perhaps we should be teaching them to practice what they preach!

The Five Languages of Love

Five Languages of Love

This is an old post, from 2016, with a few additions:

Recently I heard about “the five languages of love” so decided to research the theory.

What are the Languages of Love?

The thought process in the languages of love theory is that people vary in what they need from their partner to make them happy and content in a relationship. The five options or “languages” are listed as:

  • words of affirmation
  • acts of service
  • receiving gifts
  • quality time
  • physical touch

How to Use the Languages of Love

Simply put, if you want to be in a successful relationship, you have to know what your partner’s love language is and make sure your partner knows what your love language is, especially if they differ.  Since both people in a relationship can come from different upbringings, backgrounds, cultures, etc, their individual love languages will often be different.  Acknowledging that your partner has a different love language than you do appears to be the first step towards a successful relationship.

I would imagine that some people are content with just one language of love while others need more than one.  That’s where it might get tricky as your job in a successful relationship is to provide what your partner needs.   Some people are needier than others and needs do change throughout life. Be aware of changing needs on both sides and be prepared to adjust accordingly.  Frequent re-evaluation is highly recommended.

Do Your Homework

If you are not sure what your language of love is, ask yourself what makes you feel loved. What makes you feel unloved is important too.

Do your homework.  Find out what your partner’s language of love is.  Make sure they know what yours is. Be sure to ask them theirs and tell them yours so there is no room for misunderstanding.  Do not assume you know theirs or they know yours.

My Language of Love

I know my language of love is “acts of service.” I don’t need expensive gifts or fancy words or someone to hold my hand. I do however like to know that when I need support or something (that I cannot do myself) done, I know where to turn.

My Parents’ Language of Love

I assume my own preference is because my parents (at least in my perception of their relationship) used that method to show they loved each other and our family. We were not ones to express our love verbally, in fact, I don’t remember either of my parents ever saying “I love you” to each other or to us kids. But they both worked outside the home (my mom only after my youngest brother started school) to provide a home, food, and clothing for our family. Were they happy? Not always. I do know my father was devastated when my mother passed away, and her last words to me were “look after your father.”

Raising our own Children

That language of love witnessed in my childhood (my husband was raised similarly) is most likely why we raised our children with the “acts of service” language. We knew no different. I know my children know we would do anything for them, still, even though they are now self-sufficient. Is that because we told them that fact often? No, but I hope we showed them with our actions.

I admit that I never gave much thought about what they needed or still need to feel loved, just assumed they knew/know.

I probably do not tell them I love them often enough, it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

The Five Languages of Love

Having Children: Are you Ever Truly Ready?

When are you truly and completely ready to have children?  Research shows that couples (and singles too) are putting off having children until later these days, some even forgoing the experience altogether.  There are many reasons for this:

  • to compete in today’s workplaces, many young people feel they must have an extensive post secondary school education (one or more bachelor’s degrees, master’s, PhDs etc)  This applies to both males and females.
  • these formal educations financially drain many couples.
  • after all the time and money spent on an education, many (women especially) feel they want to concentrate on their careers instead of raising a family.

That’s a lot of pressure on couples today.  No wonder the birth rates in many countries around the world are dwindling.

I had the pleasure of chatting with a young woman at my dentist’s office the other day.  Our conversation centered around her desire to start a family and her hesitation to do so because of the fact she and her husband do not yet feel ready.  She is in the final stretch of a master’s degree at the age of 32, anxious to finish her education and get on with the rest of her life.  She also expressed fear that she would not physically enjoy being pregnant.

Although I understood her misgivings, I assured her that a couple can never be totally ready for pregnancy, children and the changes they bring to your life.  However, if you are financially, emotionally and physically prepared, pregnancy and the birth of a child can be the greatest experience ever.  Open your mind to the miracle that each pregnancy is, embrace the changes to your body, and try to relax.  Be sure to make and take the time to cherish and enjoy the experience.  I am quite confident offering this advice as I am an expert on the subject of pregnancies.  To see why I feel this way, read a previous blog post on the subject.

In conclusion, you will never feel 100% ready for a pregnancy.  After all, in my opinion, the reason we humans have a nine month gestation period in our pregnancies is to give us time to get ready!