Getting to know your child’s love language can be one of the most important and useful tools when parenting. The more you understand your child, the more you are able to guide them and help them grow.
If you are a bit confused about what a love language is, don’t worry. It is a relatively new idea. It is the theory or belief that people have different ways of showing love. These different forms of affection are all defined by an individual’s personality, and show very early on in childhood. Each person will have an individual and self-defined way of expressing love to those around them, and these expressions are called a love language.
A love language is how you express your love to someone else, and how you understand expressions of love from others. This idea was born with Dr Gary Chapman’s book: The Five Languages of Love: The Secret to Love That Lasts. This book was aimed at refreshing love between adults in relationships and helping them understand their relationship better. He later wrote a book aimed at children: The 5 Love Languages of Children.
There are 5 defined love languages in which a child may express his or her feelings:
- Gifts – These can be symbols of love such as drawings or flowers.
- Physical touch – Hugging, kissing or cuddling are all part of the physical touch love language.
- Quality time – Spending one on one quality time together.
- Service – Helping clean or making a cup of tea, any service performed is a show of love.
- Words of affirmation – Your child may express his or her love through telling you how much they love you, or having sweet nicknames for you.
Once you understand the type of love language that your child uses, you are able to guide them through different situations as well as getting them to understand their emotions better. A child who is in touch with their emotions has a great upper hand in life. So often tantrums and bad decisions are brought on by a flare or overdrive of emotions. Helping your child accept and deal with these can create rational and down-to-earth thinkers. Having your child understand the different love languages will also help them read others expressions of love. This will be really important for their social interactions throughout life.
There are several ways in which you can figure out which love language your child uses. It is very individual to each child and the way in which they show this language differs greatly, but all will fall within the 5 languages of love.
Simply taking the time to sit back and observe your child’s behavior can be the best way to determine your child’s preferred love language. In their natural environment, their behavior will show you exactly how they best express love. This doesn’t even have to be with you, it could be their interactions with other family, friends or even animals and toys. You will soon pick up whether they offer loving words, give lots of cuddles or enjoy some quality time alone with that someone special.
If you like what we do please support our website by signing up for our weekly newsletter.
Another more modern way to get to know your child’s love language is by taking one of the countless love language tests online. Many experts have created quizzes that you take online which help you determine your child’s love language. While these are usually done by professionals, nothing can be more accurate than actually observing your child in everyday situations. The quiz may just give you the direction and signs you need to look out for with your child.
While knowing your child’s love language is really important, you won’t get very far without figuring out your own first. Luckily, you should know yourself pretty well and would be able to figure this out fairly quickly. Just look back on how you show your love to your partner or children, and there you have it!
Once you know both your own and your child’s love language, it is important to explore them together. Don’t rely wholly on one form of love language, rather express and experience them all with your child. The more ways they are able to express love and emotion, the more comfortable they will feel with these emotions growing up.