I want to love my children effectively but to do that; I need to speak their love language. Did you know there is a particular way your child is programmed to receive your love? Children express love and feel love in different ways – some through affirming words, acts of service, and others through gifts, quality time or physical touch.
By understanding love language, we can more easily determine the emotional needs of our children. Based on the book, “The Five Love Languages of Children”, we can learn to connect with our children based on how they love. The love languages are:
- Physical Touch: Kids who feel loved through touch like lots of tickles, hugs, holding hands, etc. and are typically very affectionate with other people.
- Gifts: If you have a child who seems to asks for gifts constantly, it might not mean that they are selfish or spoiled but rather that this is their love language. They may feel valued when we buy gifts that will be important to them.
- Words of Affirmation: These kids may be labeled as “sensitive”. They light up when they are told how great they did or how much they are appreciated. These children also take negative comments or criticism very hard.
- Acts of Service: If your child is one to ask you to do things that you know they can do, they may feel loved and treasured when people do things for them. Maybe it’s making their bed for them, cleaning up their mess, or even sharing your food with them – all of these small things make a big impact in how they feel.
- Quality Time: These kids feel love when you spend time with just them. It can be as simple as stopping what you are doing to give them your undivided attention or planning an outing with just them.
For me, I have taken a step back to really see my children for who they are. I know that my oldest thrives on one-on-one attention as well as small gifts. For him, he feels the most loved when I spend quality time with him and even give him a small gift (for example – a beautiful rock I found just for him, a new Pokemon set of cards or something I made for him). I see his face light up and his whole world feels complete when his love language is met. My youngest, on the other hand, is only 2 so I am still trying to figure out how he feels the most loved. Right now, he loves physical touch from me. He loves when I hold him, tickle him, or hold his hand.
Since we naturally express love the way we receive it, we may not be effectively getting through to our children if they recognize love in a different way. I imagine as my children grow and change, so will their love language, but no matter what their life brings or how they change, I vow to grow and change in the way I love them as well.