Gary Chapman wrote a wonderful book called The 5 Love Languages. The premise of the book is explaining to couples that sometimes their partner is showing them love and they are not noticing it or feeling it because it is not in the language they hear or prefer. It’s like your sending love on the FM frequency but they only pick up AM frequency signals. So how do you learn the love language of your partner so you give and receive the love you need? You can read the book or you can take his online quiz!
Of course our children are the same! They too experience parental love in different ways, so he adapted his book for parents and children too! It can be a fun way of parents and children getting to know one another better. Guess each others and take the online test to see if you were right.
Does your child prefer to experience you love by:
- Quality Time – they want to play with your and spend time with you. An outing together with out the siblings, a long tuck in.
- Physical Touch – they want back rubs, and hugs. They like sitting on your lap or laying beside you on the couch when you watch TV.
- Acts of Service – they like when you drive them somewhere, help braid their hair, make their lunch or assist them with homework.
- Words of Affection – They like hearing they are special or great. They want to hear that you love them and miss them.
- Receiving Gifts – They love little surprises of gifts that show they are special and that you were thinking of them when you saw that little gift and picked it up for them.
So now that you have this information, what should you do with it?
DO: Use it! Your child has just given you insight to how you can show them how much you love them in a way that is meaningful to them. When you think they might be having a bad day or are feeling stressed about upcoming exams or managing peer relationships, you can use this language of love to show your support.
DON’T: Use it against them. When upset or angry sometimes we are quick to hold back on the things we know our loved ones appreciate the most. It’s a passive aggressive approach to screaming “I’ll show you!” When it comes to healthy relationships, with our spouses and children alike, please don’t ever stoop to the level of withholding love. It is at those times that we need to show our unwavering support and love for each other to help us get on the other side of the disagreement.