As children grow and develop, they learn to communicate in different ways. One of these ways is through their unique love language. Knowing your child’s love language can improve your connection and relationship with them. Here are some tips for learning and speaking your child’s love language to them.
What Is a Love Language?
Dr. Gary Chapman (counselor, speaker, author and pastor) lists five love languages. These include physical touch, words, gifts, acts of service, and quality time. Each of these languages offers explanation as to how and why your child communicates and processes affection in specific ways. Although it may be harder to discern in their younger years, children in the middle to upper elementary school ages, and beyond, can take this quiz to discover what their language might be. Once you think you may know what your child’s love language is, it becomes easier to understand which expressions of appreciation mean the most to them. You can also better understand how they communicate that to you and others.
Understanding the Love Languages
In order to best communicate love to your child, it’s important to know the definitions of each of the love languages, and what they look like. For example, children who value physical touch appreciate hugs, kisses, playful wrestling, or sitting with you for a while. They love giving hugs and kisses as well. Children who need words of affirmation appreciate being verbally praised and given little encouraging notes. They also probably love writing notes and praising others. Those who appreciate quality time love doing activities with you. Or, those who appreciate acts of service or gifts will love it when they receive a thoughtful present or find one of their chores done for them. The way they appreciate receiving love will likely also be the way they show love to others.
Speaking Their Language
Once you know what your child’s language might be, look for ways to speak it to them! For example, if their language is physical touch, try giving them an extra hug or kiss. If they appreciate words, leave a note in their lunch box. Quality time can involve a meaningful conversation or playing a game together. If they appreciate gifts, make sure your gifts are meaningful and individualized, even if it’s as simple as their favorite meal. For acts of service, consider doing one of their chores for them, or taking the time to fix something of theirs. As you speak their love language, observe them closely and be prepared to make adjustments. Don’t just focus on one language and ignore the others. You can emphasize one language while still loving them in other ways as well! Kids need all your love and support!
Knowing a love language isn’t a fix-all solution and does not always simplify relationships. But it can improve communication, create a stronger bond, and encourage your child! Take some time to learn about them today.