The Five Love Languages of Children

Written by Eve Bandusena | Parents Avenue’s Editorial Assistant

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As Gary Chapman was navigating through his sessions as a counselor, he realized that many relationships such as couples or even children and teens face key problems in which their partners and parents weren’t effectively communicating their love to each other. Simply, an individual didn’t feel loved by their loved ones as they’ve been misinterpreting the signs of endearment showed to them.

What exactly is love language?

As parents, we want to ensure that our children’s emotional needs are being met and according to Dr. Chapman who’s the author of “5 Love Languages” our children communicate their love in 5 different ways and it ranges from physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of service. 

Within 5 of these languages, one of them is the language of your child. However, this doesn’t mean to focus only in one language, but to provide your child with large amounts of their primary love language with lesser extents of the other four. 

How do I know my child’s love language?

So, how does a parent begin to assess their child’s love language? Simple! Besides taking a 5 Love Languages for children quiz for free on www.5lovelanguages.com, you can reflect on how your child will typically express love, for example… Do they enjoy receiving gifts? Do they say appreciative words? Do they give hugs? Next, try to be more aware of what your child says. Notice them. 

Does your son ask for a back rub? This represents physical touch. Or does your daughter need your opinion on a school project? This stands for words of affirmation. Or, does your son complain about how you don’t take him to the beach anymore? This calls for more quality time.

Lastly, you can assess your child’s love language by giving your child a choice between choosing two kinds of love. For example, would your child find it preferable if you to plant flowers in the garden with her (Quality time) or for her to hang out with her friends at the mall? (Acts of service). For a quick recap of finding your child’s love language, this is what you should be paying attention to:

•    How your child expresses love to you

•    How your child expresses love to others

•    Listen to what your child requests most often

•    Notice what your child most frequently complains about

•    Give your child a choice between two options, and see what they most frequently choose

 

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Love languages for children explained
  
•    Physical Touch
 
Although kisses and embraces are usually the more popular means of speaking this language, there are different ways of going about it too. It could be a dad pushing his daughter on a swing, or a mother reading a book to her son with his head on her lap. 
 
For children who comprehend this certain love language, physical touch will communicate love more deeply than words will. Surely, they openly receive all love in the 5 languages but the one that speaks the most clearly and loudly for them is physical touch. 
 
•    Words of Affirmation
 
For children who are more inclined to words, parents need to understand that words have great power and strength in influencing children. Words of praise and support, words that express love and warmth, words that guide and nurture will foster a child’s worth, dignity, and security. Positive affirmations such as “I love you”, “I care about you” and “You are enough” will go a long way with your child. Words may be said quickly and sometimes, dismissively, but not forgotten.
 
In similar cases, try asking a child how they are loved, a child with this inherent love language will say things along the line of “Because my parents tell me how proud they are of me and how hard I work”, or, “Because they cheer me on during sports day at school”. 
 
•    Quality Time
 
Quality time means telling your child, “I like spending time with you” and “You’re important, I like being with you”. It means giving your child your undivided attention. Our time the most special gift we could endow our children with. Your child might feel very special and loved as he has the parent all to themselves. Spending quality with your children also means you’re tending to the physical and emotional development. 
 
It’s seen that many childhood behaviors are the result of attempts to spend more time with their parents. Sometimes, it reaches the point where a child will seek negative attention to get a hold of their parents. Examples of quality attention include: having quality conversations and showing direct eye contact. This could involve activities such as cooking, having lunch together and so forth.
 
•    Gifts
 
Expressions of love can be displayed in several ways, one of which is, the giving and receiving of gifts. Meaning gifts we present to others become symbols of love, and it helps us to show love as a part of this love language.
 
Most children respond to gifts rather well, however, for some, receiving gifts is their primary language. But, don’t all children love gifts? They certainly beg for it all the time. However, for children who’s love language gifts, they will respond to it differently. The gift of giving for them is the loudest and most clear voice, this gift is an extension of their love. It’s not about the size, or, cost of the gift, that makes the gift special. 
 
And remember, the gift must be genuinely from the love of the parents, not because it’s a payment for something the child did, if it’s about this then it no longer meets the criteria for the love language of gifts.
 
•    Acts of Service
 
In the context of acts of services, it conveys that when a child asks you to help with a drawing, or, fix a toy their actually not merely want you to just get these tasks done, your acts of service will communicate to them that you love them deeply. 
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The takeaway from love languages for children
 
“Nothing works well if a child’s love needs are not met. Only the child who feels genuinely loved and cared for can do her best. You may truly love your child, but unless she feels it—unless you speak the love language that communicates to her your love—she will not feel loved,” aptly said the founder of 5 love languages for children, Gary Chapman. Learning to decipher your children’s love language may have the possibility of transforming your relationship with your children significantly and be beneficial for both parents and children. For parents who are intrigued, let’s not delay and try it out through the website as mentioned above (for those who want to know quicker) and other methods as listed above.
 
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