In The Five Love Languages of Children we’ve been learning how to fully communicate our love for our children in a language they will best understand.
Click HERE to review the 5 Love Languages.
Click HERE for the introduction to this series.
Today’s question is “How can parents discover their child(ren)’s preferred Love Language?
The answer is simple, but complicated.
It takes lots of time and thoughtful observation.
These ideas might help.
Starting around the age of five or six make a conscious study of your child. Observe and record the following information over a period of a few months. Then compare your answers to the 5 Love Languages.
1. Observe how each child consistently expresses love to you. Do they bring you little gifts? Do they want to help you often? Do they give you words of encouragement or sympathy? Do they drown you in hugs and kisses? Do they playfully punch or tap, or tickle you? Do they play with your hair?
2. Observe how each child expresses love to others. Be sure to keep notes.
3. Listen to what each child requests from you most often. Are they constantly hinting for gifts? Do they want you to play with them? Do they want you to go places or do things with them? Do they do things hoping you’ll praise their efforts? Do they do things (positive or negative) to get (or force) your attention? Do they want to snuggle or touch you all the time?
4. Notice what each child complains about most often. You may have to read between the lines, so be prepared to decode what they are saying. Do you frequently hear:
“You never have time for me.”
“We never go to the park anymore.”
“You’re always taking care of the baby/grandma/sibling.”
“I need your help. I can’t do it by myself.”
“I don’t know how!”
“But everybody has one of these!”
“I want a new____.”
“Why can’t I help you-____”
5. For a few weeks try giving your child some specific options. Record their choices, then compare to each of the 5 Love Languages. For example:
“I’m off work this Saturday. Would you rather we go fishing, or that I take you to the mall to pick out some basketball shoes?”
“I have some free time tonight. Would you rather I hem your new skirt, or that we bake some cookies together?”
“You did so well on your grades. Would you rather we go out for ice cream, or that we snuggle on the couch and watch a movie?”
Simple. But not easy. Great parenting never is.
Like I said. It takes lots of time and thoughtful observation.
I pray this information has been helpful to you in better understanding the children God gave you.