Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The 5 Love Languages of Children

Click HERE to read my original post about The 5 Love Languages.

The 5 Love Languages aren't just for couples - They apply to everyone you interact with.  As a mom of three boys, I found this information very helpful in my parenting since I spend so much of my life focusing on my children (and my spouse).  We all know that each child is unique and that they each need different things from us.  After learning about the Love Languages, I feel that my parenting skills have improved.  (Too bad I didn't read it 19 years ago!)

Here are descriptions of The 5 Love Languages in regards to children:

1. Physical Touch. Hugs and kisses are the most common way of speaking this love language, but there are other ways, too. A dad tosses his year-old son in the air. He spins his seven-year-old daughter round and round, and she laughs wildly. A mom reads a story with her three-year-old on her lap. For children who understand this love language, physical touch will communicate love more deeply than will the words, “I love you,” or giving a present, fixing a bicycle, or spending time with them. Of course, they receive love in all the languages, but for them the one with the clearest and loudest voice is physical touch. Without hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and other physical expressions of love, their love tanks will remain less than full.

2. Words of Affirmation. In communicating love, words are powerful. Words of affection and endearment, words of praise and encouragement, words that give positive guidance all say, “I care about you.” Such words are like a gentle, warm rain falling on the soul; they nurture the child’s inner sense of worth and security. Even though such words are quickly said, they are not soon forgotten. A child reaps the benefits of affirming words for a lifetime.

3. Quality Time. Quality time is focused attention. It means giving a child your undivided attention. Quality time is a parent’s gift presence to a child. It conveys this message: “You are important. I like being with you.” It makes the child feel that he is the most important person in the world to the parent. He feels truly loved because he has his parent all to himself. When you spend quality time with children, you need to go to their physical/emotional level of development. The most important factor in quality time is not the event itself but that you are doing something together, being together. If quality time is your child’s primary love language, you can be sure of this: Without a sufficient supply of quality time and focused attention, your child will experience a gnawing uneasiness that his parents do not really love him.

4. Gifts. The giving and receiving of gifts can be a powerful expression of love, at the time they are given and often extending into later years. The most meaningful gifts become symbols of love, and those that truly convey love are part of a love language. Most children respond positively to gifts, but for some, receiving gifts is their primary love language. You might be inclined to think that this is so for all children, judging from the way they beg for things. It is true that all children— and adults—want to have more and more. But those whose language of love is receiving gifts will respond differently when they get their gift. Remember, for them this is love’s loudest voice. They see the gift as an extension of you and your love.

5. Acts of Service. Some people speak acts of service as their primary love language. If service is your child’s primary love language, your acts of service will communicate most deeply that you love Johnny or Julie. When that child asks you to fix a bicycle or mend a doll’s dress, he or she does not merely want to get a task done; your child is crying for emotional love. If your child’s primary love language is acts of service, this does not mean that you must jump at every request. It does mean that you should be extremely sensitive to those requests and recognize that your response will either help fill the child’s love tank or else puncture the tank. Each request calls for a thoughtful, loving response. (From The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman)

Here's a link to a great article entitled "50 Ways to Love Your Child."  I copied the information below for your convenience.

- Take your child on a date.  
- Use car time for conversation (not gaming).
- Have each of your children spend one evening helping you cook.
- Play Games Together.
- Read a Book Just For Her/Him.
- Sit Together Outside and Just Talk.
Enter Your Child’s World.  Find the play your child enjoys most and engage with them.
- Share a Picnic.
Window Shop.
- Take One Child With You On Errands.
- Private Notes.
- Thank God for him in your prayers.
- I’m Proud of you for…
- Notice What She Does Right.
- Say it.  Say I Love You out loud to each and every child.  
Spin It Positive.
- Apologize and Ask for Forgiveness.
- Forgive.
- Tone of Voice Matters.
- Make it Public.
Put Away His Laundry.
Do Her Chores Once in a While.
- Make His Favorite Meal.
- Clean Up Her Mess.
- Help Personalize Her Space.
- Making Real Breakfast.
- Fixing Clothes or Toys.
Make Something Together.
- Let Him Help!
- Teach.
- Share.
- Cuddle When You Read Aloud.
Hug often.  Side hug for teens.
- Pat on the back or back rub.
- Kisses.  Regular kisses, eskimo kisses, butterfly kisses, foreheads, ouchies, etc.
- A hand on the shoulder.
- Shoulder slugs. 
A Slap on the knee.
- The Side-Shoulder Bump.
- Wrestling or Rough-Housing.
- Contact Sports.
- Make Something.
- Let Your Child Keep Mementos.
- Wrap It Pretty.
- Don’t Get Rid of It.
- Make her a box to keep her special stuff in.
- Gather gifts from nature.
- Frame a picture.
- Make a scrapbook.
- Send it through the mail.
- Look for little things and keep little gifts on hand.

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