Last week I posted The Five Love Languages of Children Part 1.
Today let’s look at those Five Love Languages.
LOVE LANGUAGE #1 – PHYSICAL TOUCH
This pretty much covers any form of touching that is relaxed, affirming, playful or loving. For instance:
Hugging, kissing, tweaking noses, pinching cheeks, touching foreheads, fist-bumps
Mussing the child’s hair, brushing and fixing hair,
Bath time, tucking into bed, holding, snuggling
Scratching their backs, tickling, love-punching, wrestling, bear-hugging
I’ll bet you’ve already figured out that some of these activities can be combined with other Love Languages.
CAUTION: Unloving, out of control, angry or insulting physical contact communicates the opposite of love.
LOVE LANGUAGE #2 – WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
Children understand two different types of affirmation. Words of AFFECTION are based on the child’s very existence, their being, their presence.
Words of PRAISE are based on things the child does, says or accomplishes. One of my favorite quotes for parents is:
Praise character, not talent.
Remember that too much praise too often becomes artificial and ineffective. Be sure your affection and compliments are sincere and deserved.
CAUTION: Words of criticism and negativity crush a child’s spirit. Control your volume and facial expressions. Look pleasant.
LOVE LANGUAGE #3 – QUALITY TIME
This means time spent one-on-one with each of your child. But, good news! It’s not the activity you do that counts—it’s the fact that it is one-on-one that matters. SOMETIMES even doing chores together counts as that quality time.
Be sure to focus on that one child. Not your cell phone or work project.
Maintain pleasant eye contact while talking with that child.
Prepare yourself emotionally for that one-on-one time. Mentally put aside work, home responsibilities, volunteer work, etc.
Quality Time can result in your getting to know each child in a whole new way. It can also result in truly meaningful conversations.
CAUTION: You’re busy, busy! But without some regularly scheduled Quality Time your child isn’t going to know beyond doubt that you truly love them.
LOVE LANGUAGE #4 – GIFTS
The price tag doesn’t matter. Gifts you get on clearance or at a yard sale, or that are off-brand, or that you make yourself give your child a thrill. Concentrating on buying “the best” gifts will nurture materialism in your child. That is NOT what you want for them.
I remember out daughter would get giddy when her Dad would bring home her favorite chocolate bar for her! A gift that cost less than $1. Children with this Primary Love Language do that. They think every little gift is a party just for them.
Be sure to help your child experience the great joy of GIVING gifts, too.
CAUTION: Focusing on giving your child gifts above every other expression of love will teach them to be self-centered and selfish.
LOVE LANGUAGE #5 – ACTS OF SERVICE
Parents are constantly doing the things necessary to provide for your children physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and socially.
We need to provide everything for our babies and toddlers, maybe preschoolers and special needs children. Everything a child can’t do for themselves.
But somewhere between five and ten years of age we need to start backing off. Letting go and letting them (aka requiring them) to do more and more for themselves, and for others.
Our teens should be handling most of their own home and school responsibilities for themselves.
Just as with giving Gifts, we need to gradually involve our kids more and more in serving other people.
We also need to help them learn that, in a family, we all serve one another.
Next week I’ll share some ways to figure out what your child’s Primary Love Language is.
Please share these posts with friends and family. Thanks.