Family and Relationships

The 5 love languages – For Children.

We all want our children to feel loved. Heck! WE want to feel loved as well. The 5 love languages was written by Gary Chapman in 1992 and details how romantic partners can express and experience love.

Since then, romance and the languages have been extensively written and talked about. I want to focus on our children. It’s no secret that children that come from loving homes grow up to be better people in society.

During this Covid-19 pandemic, life in the home can become a bit chaotic. Many people are spread thin financially and there is a lot of tension at home. when you are in this season, it is hard to show your children love.

When we think of meaningful ways to show love to our kids, we think of extravagant gifts, lavish parties trips to the beach, hop on a plane to Dubai, and so forth.

I struggle with this myself. I am here to tell you, while these grand gestures are nice, our children do not necessarily need them. In this article, I shall share some real and practical ways to reconnect with your child, to be a present parent, and show genuine love and affection to them.

I believe that children have love languages. I also believe that their love languages are developing and evolving as they grow. It is therefore important to touch on each love language.

Lets begin;

1. Words of Affirmation

This love language will teach you that actions don’t always speak louder than words. Hearing the words “I love you” are important but hearing the reasons behind it sends your spirit soaring while insults can shatter you.

  • Tell them you love them daily
  • Tell them how proud you are of them regularly
  • Find reasons to congratulate them and encourage them
  • Try to avoid harmful words and tones in your voice
  • Listen actively when they speak to you
  • Avoid undue criticism
  • Praise them aloud around others
  • Write little cute notes and place them in their bag or their room

2. Physical Touch

Physical presence and accessibility are what they need here while neglect or abuse is unforgivable and destructive.

  • Hug them daily
  • Show them that you also enjoy cuddle time (no matter their age)
  • Snuggle up to read together
  • Hold their hand while walking in the mall or wherever
  • Sit close to your children especially when talking to them
  • Avoid corporal punishment
  • Avoid threats

3. Acts of Service

Children love to know their mommy or daddy is with them and can help them when need be.

  • Do chores together
  • Work on a school project together
  • Teach them something new like riding a bike or gardening
  • Volunteer together. This also teaches them how to serve others
  • Make them their favorite meals and snacks
  • Tuck them in bed at night
  • Do not forget your promises
  • Avoid an overcomitment on tasks

4. Gifts

Do not mistake this love language for materialism. The receiver of gifts thrives on the thoughtfulness, love, and effort behind the gift.

  • Get a small inexpensive gift when you do your monthly supermarket shopping
  • Leave them gifts when you are out of town
  • Get them their favourite flowers (my dad would do this on a weekly basis for many years)
  • Shop with them for a gift
  • Give rewards for good behaviour
  • Suprise candy in their lunch bag
  • Avoid forgetting special occassions

5. Quality Time

Nothing says ‘I love you’ than full, undivided attention. Distractions, the faliure to listen or postponed dates can be especially hurtful.

  • Run errand together
  • Make eye contact
  • Plan special dates or trips together
  • Have a bedtime routine (even for older ones)
  • Cook together. Ride a bike together. Go on walks.
  • Watch a movie together
  • Pay attention to the details

As you can see, there is an adult version as well. The whole point is that all people(including children) love and need love differently. Typically, we each have a primary love language and one or two secondary love languages.

It makes sense to consider your spouse’s love language but I urge you to consider the parent-child relationship.

If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.

ABIGAIL VAN BUREN

Our children pick up a great deal from how we embrace them each morning, how we react when they break our favorite vase, how we handle ourselves in a traffic accident, how we sit and talk to them, whether we really look at what they show us, and whether we take an interest in what they say.

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