While Brandie is enjoying time with her newborn, several guest bloggers will fill this space. Love Languages is brought to you by Laura Shoaf, mother of two, Program Manager for Healthy Families Rappahannock Area, and Wonder Woman Wannabe.
My husband jokes that our daughter has a hug radar: whenever she senses someone hugging, she runs into the room shouting “group hug!” This is a girl who LOVES snuggle time and can’t sit on the couch next to you without holding hands or putting her feet on your lap. Our son, on the other hand, couldn’t care less about hugs but will play Legos with you for hours.
After reading The 5 Love Languages of Children (by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell), I realized my kids were speaking different Love Languages. The idea behind Love Languages is that we all, including kids, receive and give love in different ways.
· Physical Touch: Positive physical touch is important to people speaking this language – it could mean hugs and kisses but also includes things like rough-housing or playing sports together.
· Words of Affirmation includes any kind of praise or affirmation. These kids like to hear that they are special or that they did a good job.
· Receiving Gifts: Kids who speak this language feel most loved when someone gives them a present or surprise. It’s the not the size of the gift that’s important, but the message that you were thinking about them.
· Acts of Service: Actions speak louder than words for these children. They feel most loved when you do something nice for them, like helping with their chores or working with them on a school project.
· Quality Time: Undivided attention works best for kids who speak this language: cooking a meal together or playing a game makes them feel loved.
So how do you know what language your child is speaking? There are probably lots of clues, if you pay attention:
· How does your child show you love?
· What do they ask for the most often?
· What do they complain about the most often?
· Ask them how they know that they’re loved.
· For older kids (ages 9 to 12), try the Love Language Profile – this short quiz gives a choice between a series of 2 options and asks which they would rather hear, like “Let’s go to a movie” or “Give me a high five”.
By speaking your child’s Love Language, showing them love in the way that they prefer to receive it, you are building the foundations for a stronger relationship and investing in your child’s security and happiness. Not only will your child be loved, they will KNOW that they’re loved.