Love language types can be the key to ongoing communication with your loved ones, but discovering your child’s love language types can enhance that even more. How many of us have bought one or maybe ten parenting books trying to find the best way to connect with our children or ways to help their development? We can all agree that there is nothing more important than a child feeling safe and loved.
One thing that is consistent in all the parenting books is that a parent’s connection with their child is what builds their confidence, and makes them feel safe, accepted, and willing to try new things.
That being said, trying to figure out how best to make that magical connection deepen is hard to do with just one kid, let alone if you have multiple. Every kid is different and just because you are raising them in the same manner does not mean that they will all connect with you the same way. In fact, it is almost a guarantee that they will not. Additionally, each child will have their own love language types that will strengthen your connection with that individual child. Love language types are unique to the individual.
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Once your child is around 3 years old, you may notice you are having more power struggles, or that the words you are saying to them do not seem like they are getting through. This is completely normal, as your child is learning how to show their individuality and trying to be themselves, they are also trying to communicate with you.
Decoding your child’s love language types can help you break down that barrier and start deepening your connection with your child. Physical touch (hugs or hand-holding), words of affirmation, acts of service (like helping with a task), gifts, and quality are all ways that people show and receive love. These love language types are key to deeper, more meaningful communication with your child(ren).
Related Book: The Five Love Languages of Children
Table of Contents
What Are Examples Of The Five Love Language Types?
Acts of Service: This is shown by a person doing something that they know would help someone else. For example, this could look like, helping a child do their hair, making them lunch, a child asking for help learning something new, or helping on a school project. This love language can be a little tricky to figure out because as parents we are already doing many of these things just by being their caretaker.
Gifts: A thoughtful tangible gift given to the child. This can be very small like when I am pulling weeds, I bring in a flower I found that made me think of my daughter. She gets so excited and feels so special, she begins to beam. It could also be something like a new toy as a result of an awesome report card. The key is if “gifts” are one of your child’s love languages, it doesn’t always have to mean you need to spend money.
Physical Touch: Holding hands, rubbing your little ones’ backs, hugs, and kisses. My oldest daughter asks for me to play with her hair while the youngest loves to just cuddle. Some things to look for could be:
- If your child is sad, they may just want to be held versus talk about it right away.
- Does your child ask for hugs frequently?
Quality Time: If this is your child’s love language they crave being the center of your attention. They want one on one time spent with you in their world. Maybe this is getting down on the floor with them, playing Barbies, or perhaps “make-believe.” The key here is they want you distraction-free. This means no phone, computer, TV, etc. Let them make the rules of the game. With multiple kids, this can be tricky to balance, but even 10 minutes a day of “mommy and me time” with each child can make them feel heard and connected.
Words of Affirmation: Children who respond to words of affirmation feel energized by hearing you say things like, “You are so smart,” “I love you,” and “You make me so proud.” It is also important to show them that you are listening. For example, “You worked so hard on cleaning your room, “ or “You’ve been trying so hard in your math class.”
Decode Your Child’s Love Language Types
The first step in decoding is to just watch and observe how your child treats their toys and others around them. Kids do a great job of mimicking things we do as parents, especially the things that stand out to them. These are usually the things that are important to them in both a good and negative way. Do you hear your child talking to their toys in affirmations or see them rubbing their sibling’s back? Do they bring you “gifts of love” like a flower after being outside?
Watch for things that they tend to avoid, pull away from, or dislike. There should even be a pattern among these. For example, “You never play Barbies with me anymore.” This could be a suggestion that they want more quality time with you. Perhaps when you rub their back or stroke their arm they pull away. This does not necessarily mean they’re angry with you, instead, maybe that physical touch is not one of their love language types.
Related Book: Family Time
Give Yourself Some Grace
Whether you have one or multiple kids it is not always easy to decode their love language types. One day it might seem crystal clear but the next day they react totally opposite than the day before. Oftentimes children respond to more than just one way of communicating. You might be feeling confident that you have a handle on their want of physical touch and then tomorrow you find that your child is complaining that you never drop them off at school anymore. They now want some quality time. It might feel like the ever-changing weather, constantly evolving and in many ways it is.
As kids grow they mature, develop, and learn more about things that excite them and what makes them sad. As their love language types change, the way they need you will also change. What is important is that you never give up on trying to connect deeply with them. A child thrives on simple organic one-on-one time where you are listening to them, no matter what that looks like. Be around your child, be observant, but most of all give yourself grace that you are doing your best and that it will all work out.
Photo Credits: Pexels
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