The love and affection we have for our children is undeniable, but are we really showing love to our children the way they can receive it? For your kid to feel connected to you, it's important to speak their love language.
Researchers in child psychology believe that for children to be fully healthy, they must have their emotional needs addressed. Emotional needs include the need to be loved and appreciated and the desire to know they belong and are valued. With these, kids are more likely to grow into loving and caring adults.
What are the five love languages?
The Five Love Languages was first published in 1992 by Dr. Gary Chapman, a marital counselor and author, who intended to help people understand what it means to be loved and express it to others.
Gary's theory of the five love languages describes our preferences for receiving and expressing love. The five love languages of physical touch, acts of service, affirmation, quality time, and getting gifts are all present.
Your child's love language might be physical touch if they like snuggling, cuddling, kissing, and other forms of physical contact. It might be difficult for a parent who doesn't express affection via physical contact. As a mother, you may feel "touched out" or just do not like snuggling, and this is perfectly okay! With time, you'll learn to give your children the affection they need while with the boundaries you need. What matters the most is your determination. There are many routes to help your kid, including:
Hugging and kissing them more often
Playfighting or wrestling
Greeting one another with a handshake, a high five, or a fist bump
Assuring your youngster with a soothing massage
Reading them stories while they're seated on your lap
Lulling your kid to sleep with gentle rocking or patting
Enjoying a movie together while snuggled up on the couch
However, please pay attention to what they say and do. For example, while some kids enjoy tickling, others despise it. Hugs are acceptable to some teens as long as it doesn’t embarrass them in the presence of their friends. Respect their boundaries the way you would want someone else to respect them.
It's a lot of fun discovering what each child likes and finding ways to include a few pleasant touches into their daily routines.
Acts of service
As parents, we help our children with tasks they can't do by themselves. As they grow older, we show them how much we care by training them to care for themselves. Kids with this kind of love language need to know which gestures or acts of service are most meaningful to them. Is it a sign of your affection when you assist them with their homework? Or do you want to teach them how to play football or volleyball? When you know what your kid enjoys the most, do it frequently. Some other acts of service they can do with you include:
washing dishes after dinner
sweeping the floor at the end of the day
washing and folding laundry
putting together furniture