I love my son, Jakim, who is now 13yrs old; my how the time flies. I loved him madly before he was born, for he is our miracle baby. And though my love and how I expressed it was clear to me, I want to share how I came to learn and embrace my son’s love language for me, and how you can benefit by doing the same.
While living in Germany, I found myself pregnant with our only son. At 15 weeks, my water broke and I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. When we arrived that night, no one spoke English and I was terrified. Through the terror, I prayed for the life of my baby. I stood on God’s promises that he would live. He did live and arrived 6 weeks before his due date. In the NICU, I fed him from my breastmilk and he grew like a little weed. He stayed in the NICU for 10 days before I signed him out against medical advice (In Germany, they wanted him to stay until his due date).
Fast forward to February 2016 and my son is now reciprocating that love and care towards me. He loves hearing the stories of how I took care of him as a baby. He always tells me, he will take care of me just like that. He tells me how he has to “set kids straight” when they make jokes about me being bald. When he tells me these things, you can see the love shining from his eyes as my protector. Since he is taller than me now, he is always asking can he grab something for me from the top shelf in the pantry or in the linen closet. He now asks to wash my car or even make me a snack when he sees me working late into the night on my business. He recently started adding alarms on my cell phone to remind me to get up and go to the gym as well as alarms to unplug for the night, to read a book, or to get some sleep.
Initially I was annoyed and thought, “Why is this boy constantly trying to tell me what to do when I’m the parent?” I would tell him he was being too grown or that he was bordering on being disrespectful. However, the light bulb clicked on while I was driving one day. I clearly heard, “That is Jakim’s Love Language. Embrace it”. I was floored. I had no idea this was his way to show he loves me. I went to my son that evening and apologized for fussing at him for “telling me what to do”. I told him that I truly appreciate the fact that he is looking out for me. I think he grew an extra 3 inches tall in that moment. He graciously said, “It’s okay mom.”
Also Related: Do You Know Your Love Language?
Since that recent conversation, he has stepped up his game to show me he loves me. When he went to the mall with a friend and his friend’s mom, she said he searched every jewelry store for the perfect bead for me. I had no idea he spent his birthday money to buy me a beautiful bead for my Pandora bracelet. I wear that bracelet every day.
During this month, I want you to think about and even look for the ways your teens show their love towards you. It may be hidden in subtle things but they are still just as important and just as valid. Acknowledge and embrace your teens love language and watch your relationship grow.
Out of the 5 love languages depicted in Gary Chapman’s book (words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch), which one have you noticed your child respond most to?