The last two weeks I have written a top ten list and posting on the blog Many Little Blessings concentrating each week on one of Gary Chapmans Love Languages. There are five love languages; gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch.
This week is Words of Affirmation. This is a hard one for me! I’m not exactly a drama mama but I am on the loud side–I have 3 talkers and 1 talk/screamer. Of my 3 talkers–one talks non stop, one asks questions non stop and the other is always singing–and they are never talking or asking questions about the same thing. Sometimes by the time breakfast is over I feel like I’ve been a personal Google site with 1000 of hits.
I try to answer all the questions and patiently listen to all the comments but I find myself constantly saying the same things. Such as this scenario:
- Get in the car.
- Go to the bathroom before you get in the car.
- We won’t be back for a couple of hours–get a water bottle before you get in the car.
- Get out of the car and go put some shoes on.
- Yes, please get your stuffed animal and get in the car.
- (sitting in the car getting ready to pull out of the drive way) Oh, wait! I need to pee! I forgot my book! Do I need a jacket? and on and on and on.
- Repeat for the next trip.
Sometimes I get flustrated. Shocking I know. Sometimes I use words that are NOT affirming. I give looks that are not affirming and I even have a prayer “Jesus, please help me” that is a little on the sarcastic side–lets be clear I’m not proud of any of these things–but in my quest to be authentic I feel the need to be honest.
I know how important affirming words are and yet I let getting in the car throw me into a tail spin. I’ve really been working hard for about the last 2 years to use affirming words (since I listened to the CD). The easiest way I found to start is to make a list so I have a go to move. When I’m overwhelmed it is hard to say “have a super duper lolly luper day snookie wookums”.
So here is my top ten list–which I’m sure will be more like a top 40 because I have 4 kids and they all need to be affirmed verbally in a different way. I do verbally affirm the kids (and my husband) but I also give them notes. My personal favorite is hiding notes for them–in pockets, under their plate at dinner, write on their banana in their lunch, my son and I have a secret code . . .
Before I do the list I wanted to mention that words of affirmation is not my love language–good thing because I grew up with lots of sarcasm and rudeness. I have found that as I get older I seek less validation from the world and more affirmation from my husband and kids. This summer I had my kids keep a gratitude journal–that was very affirming for me–they think I’m the best Mom ever (on most days). The gratitude journal is a way to practice using our words of affirmation. Check out this September guide to gratefulness from Ann Voskamp.
These are my top 27 affirmations:
- I love you.
- I love your laugh.
- I love how you put your outfits together.
- You make me smile.
- Can you tell me a knock knock joke?
- I love you to the moon and back.
- Let’s play the “I love you more game”! No, I love you more . . .
- Can you read to me?
- Thank you.
- Wow, that was such a huge help to me!!!
- Thanks for getting in the car without my heading spinning around–I appreciate that! (said without sarcasm)
- You play the piano, guitar, drums so much better than yesterday.
- Can you play me the song that goes like . . . I love that one.
- I need a #1, #2, #3 and a #4 helper. Which one do you want?
- I’m going to try to do everything without complaining or arguing–anybody with me?
- I am thankful for you.
- I’m so happy God made you my kid! All the other Moms are bummed.
- I’m so lucky to have a girl like you!
- I love your freckles.
- I’ve never seen eyes your color before.
- Thank you for thinking of me.
- I’m going to try really hard be gentle, loving, kind and respectful–will you try too?
- Welcoming each day with a genuine, heartfelt “Good Morning!” and I have a little different “good morning” for each kid, “good mornin’ time”, “good morning beautiful”, “good morning–I missed you” and “good morning, how’d you sleep? or did you have a good rest?” They know who is up by the words that I use.
- Cleaning goes so much quicker when I have your help. or when you sing. or when you read to me.
- A smile.
- My friend gives her son a “thumbs up” when things are going well. I like non verbal “words” of affirmation.
I’m stopping there–partly because I need to get back to my real job of being a mom and the other is that I think I could write 100’s. I work really hard to lift my kids up with positive words and with their own journals I hope that they are learning for themselves to see that “in everything give thanks” is the way to a happier day.
There are lots of apps out there that have reminders–if you have trouble getting started using words of affirmation–schedule them in. We schedule everything else–why not? There are also lots of apps for affirmations–I was surprised at how many. I don’t have these apps but they were fun to look at–do I need my phone to tell me I’m beautiful? No, but not gonna lie–I smiled.
Today I’m linking up with these awesome writers.