Cupid knocks on our doors in February, so what better month to focus on love and connection? The goal of this month is to figure out each of our children’s preferred love language and love on them the way they want to be loved.
Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the book ‘The five love languages of children’ argues that knowing each of our children’s love language makes all of the difference in our relationship with them, and in our connection. I couldn’t agree more, my three daughters couldn’t be more different and they each have a different language of love, they each feel love in a different and unique way. These are the main 5 love languages for children:
1. WORDS OF AFFIRMATION –
Compliments and praise. One of my daughters for example, thrives on positive reinforcement. The more I take the time to let her know all the good things about her and all the great things she’s working on, the better she feels and the more loved she feels. Even something as simple as singing ‘You are my sunshine’ to her every night makes a huge difference, because I make sure to let her know that she really is my sunshine.
2. PHYSICAL TOUCH –
Sometimes, something as simple as holding our children’s hand on our way to school, a morning hug as soon as they wake up, a kiss on the chick as they leave out the door or a cuddle as you watch a movie, are more significant and meaningful to them than a thousand ‘I love you.’
3. QUALITY TIME –
Having undivided attention might be the best way to show our children how much we love them. Some children need this more than any other thing. The activity doesn’t really matter, as long as they have our full attention and presence. One of my daughters speaks this love language, and she gets her love tank filled by sitting with me coloring with her as we chat, by being my only companion on my grocery trip, or by sitting on the coach and watching her dance and twirl and jump.
4. GIFTS – Giving and receiving gifts can be a powerful expression of love for some children. Some children really acknowledge the love and effort that is put behind each gift, which makes them feel valued and loved.
One of my daughters values gifts tremendously when she receives them, and shows her love for others by giving them gifts. By gifts I don’t mean a huge, super expensive toy, and I am not talking about constant gifting of things. She really loves receiving love notes with her lunch box, she loves it when I send her a little chocolate in her coat pocket, she loves it when I go to the grocery store and I remember to buy the specific apples she loves, she loves it when a friend gives her a post it with appreciation words… she really treasures all this ‘gifts.’ In the same way, she loves giving special gifts and surprises to her loved ones, and her heart fills when she does that for others.
5. ACTS OF SERVICE –
These are things like helping our child putting away his coat when he gets home, carrying his backpack on the way to school, taking her to dance class, cooking their favorite meal, teaching them something… For some children, this is their primary love language, as it happens to be one of my daughters’. She thrives when my husband or myself take time to sit with her to build a Lego, or to program her robots. This simple act of service doesn’t go unnoticed, and fills her love tank to the rim.
It took me a while to identify how each of them felt loved the most. In parenting, as in life in general, one size doesn’t fit all. Identifying my daughters love languages have made a world of difference.
What are your children’s love languages? Have you figure it out? Let me know!
Much love, Diana-