Every individual has a love language. It describes how we receive love from others. The Love Language concept was published in a 1992 book written by Gary Chapman through his counseling practice. According to Chapman's theory, each of us has one primary and one secondary love language. A person naturally tends to give love the way they want to receive it. There are five love languages: Words of affirmation, quality time, giving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
Why is it important to know your child's love language?
As a parent, we want to be connected and understand our kids, help them feel a sense of security, and boost their self-esteem. These can all happen if they feel loved. Knowing how they want to receive love can help strengthen their emotions, build a strong bond, and communicate better. It can also help ease parenting struggles. Determining their love language depends on your child's age. Young kids such as infants, and toddlers does not have one yet and needs to be showered by a lot of love in different ways, which is more often and direct. But for 5 years old and up, they may have a love language and unable to communicate it yet. In this blog, we will discuss about the things you can do to unfold your child's love language.
The five love languages
Words of Affirmation. These are the kids who love to hear words of endearment, praises, and encouragement. If you notice that your child smiles after you tell him he did an excellent job after doing his homework, or his eyes light up every time he hears he's been helpful at home, your child's love language could be through words. Here are the things you can do to connect with your child:
Leave little notes in his room or bag that have words of encouragement.
Give them kudos for doing specific things or a compliment. ("That shirt looks good on you!", "You really look nice today!")
Say I love you more frequently.
Say positive things about them and let them overhear it.
Say positive words together. ("I can do this!", "I'm good at this!", "I am brave!")
Call or send them messages about the things they did good or share an inspirational quote.
Quality time.If your child shows joy and confidence whenever you are around, then his love language is quality time. Your presence and undivided attention bring them comfort and security, and it is also an excellent time to bond. Make time for your child and schedule fun activities that both you and your child will surely enjoy.
Have a chat, talk about his day and your day.
Give them full attention (no gadgets) during bedtime stories, meal times, playing games together.
Go someplace together. (Groceries, shopping, walk in the park)
Do chores at home (wash the dishes, clean the bedroom, do the laundry together)
Watch movies. Have a family movie night.
If you are a busy parent, sometimes sharing a space can help. Your presence means a lot to them even though you are doing some work.
Acts of service.If your child gets excited whenever you cook his favorite meal or says, "Wow, Thanks, Mom!" when he sees his room cleaned, then his love language is acts of service. These kids appreciate those simple, thoughtful gestures. Doing things for them may express your love, but be careful not to overdo them. The best way to show your love and support is by teaching them how to do things to promote self-reliance. We still want them to grow and do things independently.
Another sign of this love language is when your kid asks you to help him with a school project or wants to learn a new skill. Here is a list of what you can do for a child who appreciates acts of service:
Replace a battery or fix a broken toy
Do one of their chores every once in a while
Make their favorite meal/snack
Help them with homework or a school project but not always.
Support their hobby or skill
Physical Touch.If your child always asks for kisses, hugs, and cuddles, and pats on the back, your child's love language is through physical touch. For these kids, these gestures make them feel more loved and connected. Here are some things you can do for your kids:
Snuggles with your child
Hug whenever they feel sad or needs encouragement
More pats on the back when they did something good
Hold hands while you walk or while watching TV
Give frequent kisses
Light tickles at playtime
Gifts.If your child appreciates any gift, big or small, expensive or not, then gift-giving is your child's love language. They see the gift as a symbol of your love. They feel special, remembered, seen, and appreciated. They remember who gave the gift and sometimes have a hard time throwing it away even if they do not use or see it for a long time. For them, it's the thought that counts. Stickers, flowers, snacks or anything, will be appreciated by them. Be careful not to overdo them or get used to giving them what they want. We want them to feel loved and not spoiled. Here are some things you can do for your child:
Surprise them with their favorite treat
Give them a flower or a colorful leaf while walking in the park.
Give them stickers whenever they feel sad or when they did something good
Reward them a coloring book or something they want (it doesn't have to cost much) for an excellent report card
Leave notes with their gifts to make it more special
Surprise them with their old favorite toy that they have already forgotten
Knowing your child's love language will help you be more connected and strengthen your bond. You can do the listed things above based on their primary love language, or you can do all love languages and shower them with unconditional love.