This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Yesterday in therapy I think we finally discovered what Bear's love language is. It is so difficult to get him to talk about his feelings that we didn't pick up on the signs, plus I think when we first got him, like most young children (which he really was, even though chronologically he was 13), he needed all of the love languages.

My new theory is his love language is Acts of Service.

The therapist asked Bear how he knew I loved him. Here's some of his answers (after being asked the same question several times.)

  • Because they haven't gotten rid of me.

  • Because they give me the stuff I need like a place to sleep, clothes and makes me food(meet his basic needs)

  • Because the other day when I sounded congested, I told Mom I didn't want to take more meds and she made me cookies. (Yes, allergy busting cookies).

Bear does like to do stuff to help others (speaking his love language?). He's always asking me what I'm making for dinner. I've always thought of it as being worried that he's not going to get his needs met. Now I'm wondering if it's his way of asking if I love him. Anyway, I'm going to try experimenting with this to see if this works.

On the brief description of of what Bear wanted from his parents. He wanted a mom who can cook and a dad who likes to do the same things he does and will spend time with him (Quality Time). Think he can have different love languages for different people?

Still haven't figured out what everyone else's language is either.


On a related note, This weekend I signed up to make a ton of cookies (ended up with over 24 dozen). I used Pioneer Woman's Christmas Cookie recipe (aka Stained Glass sugar cookies). They turned out beautifully (will post pictures later). I brought some to give to the kids for lunch at Grandma's. The requirement to get a cookie? You had to tell me how pretty they were. Hey, I know how to get my needs met! (My love language is Words of Affirmation).


Since we're talking about the cookies... I knew I wouldn't have time to bake all of the cookies (took 4 hours just to make the sugar cookies), so I had told Kitty that a consequence for her meltdown earlier in the day was to bake the chocolate chip cookies with Grandma and clean up afterwards. (The kids were spending the night at Grandma's).

Apparently Bear decided to do the cooking all by himself. I'd sent the dough to Grandma without the recipe, so the kids had asked her what temp they should be cooked at and she told them. Bear then put in the cookies for an HOUR! (he later told Grandma that was how long I usually put stuff in for) Luckily he checked them at 20 minutes, but of course they were already burned and smoking. He got so upset about Grandma telling him where he went wrong, that he left the room and refused to come back.


RADMomINohio said...

That is so interesting about the love languages. I went to the website and sent Penelope a request for her to take the assessment and I took the assessment as well. My love language is Quality of Time. I think from what I've read, Penelope's is all of the above. Can you say "Needy?" I'm curious what her results will be.

Lynn said...

That's some awesome detective work with Bear. And I think he could easily have different love languages with different people. Especially since he's still developmentally young.

Personally, I straddle between Acts of Service and Quality Time as my love languages. I like acts of service best but do appreciate just being able to spend time with the special people in my life.

It's always fun when others know and use our Love Languages. My hubby uses it to his advantage. Sometimes, when he gets home from work he'll immediately start helping in the kitchen or with some other chore. I'll tell him to stop - that he should relax because he just got home. He'll laugh and tell me it's foreplay. At which, I gladly let him continue. LOL

marythemom said...

Children under the age of 8 generally need ALL of the love languages. Our kids are usually developmentally a lot younger than their chronological age so it is extremely likely that Penelope really is all of the above.

LOVE IT Lynn! I'm still trying to train my family in how to speak my love language, especially my husband. His father was the original Marlboro Man (the strong, silent type), and Hubby is an introvert as well. It's hard for him, even after 19 years with me!


Unknown said...

Mary - I am trying to send you a message, but every time I try it tells me that I need to sign up to follow your blog. I already follow your blog, so I am confused. Anyway, I was hoping to get a message out to those who follow my blog. Due to recent events in my life I have really toned down the content of my blog. Yet, I still long for support from other parents of attachment challenged children. I am thinking of starting another blog that would be more anonymous, or if there was a private message board somewhere we could go to to support and be supported. Anyway, email me at brennka - @ -
Thanks! -Kerry

Anonymous said...

Mary, tell brenkachicka about EZboard. Our board is 100% private (or at least the forums we want private.)

Also, I think Bear freaked out over the wrecked cookies because Acts of Service is his love language. You know how bad you feel when you say the wrong thing to someone? (My love language is also words of affirmation and I know how awful I feel when I verbally hurt someone.) You need to let him know how flattered you were that he was trying to cook like you do "That's how long mom cooks stuff" and that his efforts mean more than all the cookies in the world. I see a great opportunity opening up for the two of you. This could be the start of a beautiful relationship.

marythemom said...

Ooh good insight on the cookies thing Purple! I will definitely look at it from that perspective. Thanks!!

Will be posting, but thought I'd tell you that Senior Boy broke up with Kitty yesterday. She's handling it better than I thought she would.


Anonymous said...

Mary, one ting to keep in mind, when you ask him to do a task he will not feel this is a gift from him. It's only a gift if he gives it freely. It's the Catch-22 of raising teens. They want you to be specific: instead of saying "Would someone please bring in the groceries?" They want, "Stan, bring in the last two bags from the car." But then they feel like you're a slave-driver. And God forbid you should ever miss one of their gifts. "I vaccuumed the whole house and you didn't even say thank you!" (Which of course means she vaccuumed the kitchen mat, poorly.)