Attitude, behavior, development – everything depends on the love relationship between you and your child. When children feel loved, they do their best. But how can you make sure your child feels loved? Learn more about the five love languages of children based on the book by Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Ross Campbell. Knowing your child's love language can make a huge impact in your relationship with your children and create a stronger bond with them.
Hugs and kisses are the most common way of speaking this love language, but there are other ways too. For instance, A dad tosses his 2-year-old son in the air. He spins his seven-year-old daughter round and round, and she laughs wildly. A mom reads a story with her three-year-old on her lap. With hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and other physical expressions of love, their love tanks remain full.
Words of Affirmation
In communicating love, words are powerful. Words of affection and endearment, words of praise and encouragement, and words that give positive guidance all say, "I care about you." Such words are like gentle rain falling on the soul. They nurture the child's inner sense of worth and security. Even though such words are quickly said, they are not soon forgotten. A child reaps the benefits of affirming words for a lifetime.
Quality time is focused attention. It means giving a child your undivided attention. Quality time is a parent's gift to a child. When you spend quality time with children, you need to go to their physical, and emotional level of development. The most important factor in quality time is not the event itself but that you are doing something together, being together.
Most children respond positively to gifts. You might be inclined to think that receiving gifts is the primary love language for all children, judging from the way they beg for things. However, those whose language of love is receiving gifts respond differently when they get their gift. For them, this is love's loudest voice. They see the gift as an extension of you and your love.
Acts of Service
Some people speak acts of service as their primary love language. If service is your child's primary love language, your acts of service will communicate most deeply that you love him. When that child asks you to fix a bicycle, or mend a doll's dress, they not merely want to get a task done; your child is crying for emotional love.
Remember, it is important to know what to look for and how to identify your child’s love language. Everyday, there are clues to your child’s primary love language. With love languages, you can pay attention to how your child expresses love to you and to others.
To know your child’s love language, you may try:
- Listening to what your child requests most often
- Noticing what your child most frequently complains about
- Giving your child a choice between two options, and see what they most frequently choose.
If you have identified your child’s love language correctly and communicate in his language by doing these things consistently, more than likely you will see a change in your child’s behavior and it can make parenting more intimate. You will also feel more confident in your parenting, knowing that you are meeting each of your children’s needs, from your heart to theirs.
Chapman, Gary, and Ross Campbell. The 5 Love Languages of Children. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2012. Print