In communicating, many people think that the only way to do it is verbally. However, this is not true. According to Gary Chapman, Ph.D., a marriage counselor, he theorized that there are 5 ways of love language that a person can experience, and this is also true for kids. Dr. Chapman says that if parents could decode their children’s love language, it would make a big difference in their relationship.
For that reason, this time we will give some tips to decode a child’s love language down below.
1. Quality time
Some kids’ feel that they are valued the most when their parents choose to spend time with them. Usually, children with this type of love language would say things like “Dad, see this!” or “Mom, come to my room!”
If your kids are the type to do this, the best way to express your love to them is by giving them your undivided attention. It is okay for that time to be short, but you need to let your kids choose the activity. It doesn’t have to be a play, sometimes it can be as simple as wanting you to read books for them.
If this is the language of love your child prefer, never punish them by isolating them in your room, because that would make them feel really unwanted.
2. Physical touch
There are some children that prefer the love language of physical touch as a way to get affection from you. It’s not hard to identify this type of children because they would usually be in your space or play with your hand, body, or legs. That is a signal that they want you to hug them or pat their head more.
For this type of kids, you can express your love by asking whether or not your child wants to sit on your lap, or offer them to hold hands when you walk together. Another good idea is to play wrestle. You can also express it by simply giving them kisses.
However, you need to be careful not to slap or spank children with this type of love language because they will find it really devastating.
Children with gifts as their primary love language would really appreciate being given presents when they don’t ask for it. While everyone loves to be given presents, children with this language of love will act differently. For them, gifts are an extension of their parents and their parents’ love.
However, Dr. Chapman also notes that parents need to be careful with gifts so they won’t overdoing the gift giving. It is important to remember that parents need to give their children gifts that will be helpful for them, not only what their child wants.
4. Acts of service
This language of love are sometimes mistaken as a selfish request. Children that speak this language of love usually really appreciate thoughtful gestures such as cooking them their favourite meal, or they might ask their parents to fix tie their shoes.
Dr. Chapman says that parents don’t have to exactly fulfill every request made by their child. This is because sometimes when parents tend to go overboard, it might make the children becoming too reliant on them.
5. Loving words
If your child loves to give you sweet feedback and praises, it might be because this is their love language. Usually, this type of kid will beams when their parents give praises.
A good way to surprise this type of child with your love is to give them little notes on their lunch, encouraging text, and the most important thing is to verbally express how much you love them.
However, be mindful of how you phrase your love. Make sure you say your love without exception (“I love you, but only when you…”) because that will imply your love for them is very conditional.
To add, Dr. Chapman believes that these love languages acts like personality traits and will stay with your child for life. It’s not strange to see your child’s preference change from stage to stage, so parents need to really notice how their child behaves.
Here’s the link to a short quiz created by Dr. Chapman to find out what is the love language of your children. Happy loving!