Along the way, I learned that my sons did not feel the love I thought I was showing.
When the children were young, I read The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. One night at dinner, our family discussed the languages—gifts, physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time. My sons identified their love languages, which were consistent with my observations.
Armed with new information and a desire to implement it, my sons still didn’t feel loved at times. Why?
The acts of service I performed were what I would have wanted as a child. I gave the words of affirmation I wanted to hear as a child. (See Their Longings, Not Yours here.)
More importantly, my desire for my children to know they were loved kept slipping down the list while my desire to train them for their future kept creeping back to the top. The necessities of daily living and culture wars re-enforced this tendency.
My peers and I feared our children being unprepared for their future adult challenges. We should have feared the consequences of them feeling unloved.
Is your love being felt?