Why are our child’s love languages different?
How can we parent our kids well? Finding out their love language and adding the 5 love languages activities to your days is a great place to start!
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I remember having my second daughter and it didn’t take long to realize that these 2 beautiful girls were incredibly different. From their outward appearance to their inner demeaner, they can barely pass as siblings!
Lilia is average height, delicate with light brown hair and hazel eyes. She is quiet, responsible, creative and helpful. She goes out of her way to be kind to others. She has a small handful of friends preferring to spend most of her time with her one best friend. She is the girliest of girls and loves to dress up and wear high heels.
Marissa is very tall, rambuncious, rough and tumble kind of kid with bright blonde hair and blue eyes. She is loud, always smiling and likes to be the centre of attention. She makes friends with everyone and I am going to go broke with the amount of birthday parties she gets invited to. She can’t stand wearing dresses and prefers to live in shorts and athletic wear.
The way they feel most loved is different too.
One of my goals as a mom is to have a deep lasting relationship with my children. I do not want to grow apart from them in the teen years. I want them to know they can always talk to me and that I am always here for them. I hope to minimize the rebellion in those rebellious years. I do all of this by trying to be really intentional with my parenting and with the relationship I have with my children. I read a lot of parenting books and blogs. One of my favorite books is The 5 love languages of children. The secret to loving kids effectively.
For Lilia, the way she feels most loved is quality time and acts of service. When I take her out one on one it her most favorite thing in the world. She is the oldest child and is very responsible. So when I take the time to just do what she wants, it fills her love tank up.
Sure she likes cuddles and gifts and being told how great she is but to really feel loved she just wants quality time with me and for me to do something she really likes. She is so thankful when I organize her doll clothes or make her lunch. She notices these things.
For Marissa it’s physical touch and word’s of affirmation. She is my cuddlebug, she always wants to be on me or near me. If I am out of sight she is always looking for me. She starts every morning with a cuddle on on the couch and always begs for more cuddles when I tell her it is time for breakfast.
She also likes to be told how great she is! She loves to show me her artwork from school or how she can read a book or how fast she is at running. This may change with age because I think many kids around 5 are like this but when I tell her awesome she is, she just beams with pride.
She also loves quality time, gifts and acts of service but those are not the way she connects best to me.
Really determining how to love my children using their main love languages has really helped our connection. If the kids are whining or upset or just being uncooperative with chores I know their tanks are running on empty so I stop what I am doing to make sure to do something so they feel loved. A quick break in the middle of chores for some snuggle time for Marissa, or telling Lilia that I will take her out on mommy daughter date next weekend really helps them.
How do you know what your child’s love language is?
I highly recommend the book to know more but simply asking them “how do you know that mommy loves you?” will reveal a lot. Or when watching a movie with a family in it ask “how do you know that mommy loves their kids?” It will be interesting to see what they reply with.
THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
how to show your kids love in thier love language
words of affirmation
- Great job Lilia
- I love the way you ________
- You are so helpful
- Do you know how great you are?
- Thats wonderful!
- You did such an amazing job!
- Wow, I just can’t believe how good you are at _____________
- That is so creative!
- Wow you are so smart!
acts of service
- Doing their chores with them
- surprising them at school with lunch
- learn a new skill with your child that your child has interest in
- make their favorite snack more often
- volunteer together
- decorate for the holidays together
- essentially do as much as you can together and as much one on one as possible
- schedule regular one on one dates
- cook or bake together
- play sports together
- do crafts together
- make time in your morning and evening routines for specific together times
- exercise together
- Hold hands often
- Lots of cuddles and Snuggles
- Play with their hair when you are waiting in a line
- Carry them as long as your back can handle!
- Reading with your child on your lap rather than just beside you
- High fives or secret handshakes
- Tuck them in tight and give them lots of hugs and kisses
- Tickles and Play wrestling
- add notes in their lunchbox
- give them little toys or treats unexpectedly
- use their allowance to work together to get a toy or item they really want
- Surprise ice cream treat after school
- Make them handmade crafts
- make meals special dinner and a movie, breakfast in bed or picnics – kids who love to receive gifts like to make ordinary things special
I hope these give you some ideas to love your kids well in their specific love language! I highly recommend reading the book.
A note for foster and adoptive parents: It may be a lot harder to figure out your child’s love languages because of the trauma they have experienced in the past. Their may be attachment issues where physical touch actually needs to be minimized in order to teach the child healthy boundaries. Gifts can be a trigger because maybe a neglectful parent would use gifts to make up for poor parenting. Words of affirmation may mean nothing because they have had so many broken promises made to them and they do not trust adults. The best way to start is quality time and as attachment and trauma behaviors ease a little bit, it will be easier to figure out how to love your child well.