Feelings of unconditional love and appreciation are important for your child to grow up to be a confident successful adult. However, if your love language doesn’t match your children’s, then all of your loving actions may not fully convert to loving emotions in their minds. Of course, your children know that you love them, but if you learn to actively speak their individual love languages, then their childhood experience will become even more fulfilling.
Spending time with my daughter is one of my favorite things to do. I especially look forward to picking her up from Kindergarten, hopping on the train to go to Ballet class, and then intently watching her as she twirls and dances to the music. These moments are so precious to me and I will cherish them forever.
Then one day, I began to wonder if my little girl enjoys these moments as much as I do. Does she feel that intense love that I have for her during these moments that we share together? This led me to Dr. Gary Chapman and his love language profiles.
In order for your children to experience love to the fullest, it's up to you to learn to express their love language.
So what are the 5 Love Languages? Let’s explore them here:
- Words of Affirmation. Children who have a primary love language of Words of Affirmation feel loved when they receive verbal praise or other kind words spoken about or to them. It’s important to show this type of child love and appreciation by being vocal about their greatness out loud. Perhaps you could commend them for completing their chores, keeping their room clean, doing a good job on a task, or for just being an overall great kid. With these types of people, just verbally saying “I love you” to them goes a long way.
- Acts of Service. For these types of children, nothing says “I love you” quite like service. They feel most appreciated when you do something for them. So helping them with their homework, bringing them something they’ve forgotten, or helping them practice a routine for a dance recital or training for a karate tournament makes them feel amazing. For this type of child, “action speaks louder than words.”
- Gifts. Children who speak the love language of receiving gifts feel deeply loved when they receive gifts from you. Somewhere deep down, they believe that if you really care about them, you’ll show it by giving. Don’t worry -this expression of love does NOT have to be expensive because it really is the thought that counts here. A card, a toy from the Dollar Tree, or even an unexpected treat such as ice cream or fruit snacks will make these children feel deeply appreciated. Remember, little things mean a lot to these kids.
- Quality Time. These children absolutely crave undivided attention. They feel loved the most when their parents devote time to spend with them. So, shut off the computers and cell phones and spend at least an hour with your child every day with absolutely no distractions. You’ll be amazed at how quickly their love tank fills up.
- Physical Touch. Appropriate touch is what keeps the love tank of these children high. Frequent hugs, high fives, or even placing your hand on their shoulder will make them feel loved. So the next time that this type of child climbs in your lap just as you’re trying to get a task done, remember that he/she is seeking an expression of love. Take a minute to give them a great big hug.
Were you able to identify your child’s love language? If not, you can always have them take the Love Language questionnaire on the 5 Love Languages website. But whatever love language your children have, you must learn to express your love to them throguh that language too so that they can have the best possible start in life.