Does one of your kids draw back when you wish he'd hug you? Is another one always giving you little things like flowers or special drawings? Does one of your kids need you to do things for her a lot of the time? By identifying your child's love language (as in the bestselling The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts) by Gary Chapman, you can connect with him in a more meaningful way, deepening your understanding of him and making your parenting more intimate. Most children are a combination of the five love languages, although one of the languages will usually dominate the way your child expresses and receives love. First, know the love languages.
The 5 Love Languages
PHYSICAL TOUCH This child loves hugs, kisses and basically doing anything that brings him in contact with you. If you ask him, "How do you know you are loved?" he may say, "Because my parents give me lots of hugs and kisses."
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION This child responds to the positive things you say to him. If you ask him, "How do you know you are loved?" he may say, "Because my Mom tells me when I've done a good job." He loves it when you cheer for him at a soccer game. He loves it when you talk about him to others.
QUALITY TIME This child repeatedly seeks you out for time. If you watch a movie together on Friday night, he's the one who cuddles up next to you. He just loves your undivided attention.
GIFTS This child appreciates the little things you can do for him like preparing his favorite dinner or purchasing drinking straws for him because you know he loves to drink out of straws! Don't just lavish your child with gifts though. If you feel this is your child's love language, know that your gifts must come from the heart and show that you really know who your child is each time you gift him.
ACTS OF SERVICE When a child asks you for help with something, anything, like with fixing a bike or in preparing macaroni and cheese from a box although he can do it himself, his love language just may be "service." This child wants you to do things for him but he will also do things for you. His love language is all about doing.
Identifying His Love Language
Everyday you can discover clues to your child's primary love language. Consider these points:
• How he expresses love to you
• How he 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 he chooses most frequently
You can also take a quiz to determine your child's love language. As you parent your child, by identifying his love language, you can modify the way you do things in order to reach him "where he's at." If you've ever wondered how to meet your child's needs, his love language may just be where it's at!