You have a hard time understanding your child?
You don’t think they love you or your confused by their response to your efforts to love them?
Often when children are asked why they love their parent’s or how they know their mom or dads love them, their answer will key you into their language of love!
“I love my mom because she hugs me.”
“I love my dad because she takes me to b-ball practice.”
“I know my grandma loves me because she tells me.”
Can you hear the Language of Love in each of the above responses?
There are Five Love Languages defined by these terms:
1. Physical Touch and Closeness – Physical touch often speaks louder than words
You know. The child that would let you hold them all day. Or asks you to hold them all day. They love it when you rub their forehead, their back, or hold their hand on every walk, into the grocery store and while you are working on their school work. This child smiles at you when you are sitting close to them at the table, or their hugs mean more to them and to you then a bowl of ice cream. Yep. More than words can even say.
2. Words of Encouragement or Affirmation – And in reverse, the impact negative harsh and cutting words will have on this child are to be considered.
The child that will light up like a sun beam when told that their cursive is awesome, that their bed was made the best, or that they will do great at the play auditions. The child that needs to know you love him with your words and not your time, your touch or your gifts. None of those things will mean the smallest thing to a child that is yearning for your words of encouragement, gratitude and positive conversation.
3. Quality Time – Focused Attention
Time spent together doing any thing will define this child. It could be sitting on the couch in a conversation, in the same room as the family, even if everyone is doing something different. As long as you are together. Making eye contact with them, and making an effort to give them time. Your time. Washing dishes together, going for a walk, family game night or reading them a book. All a means of time spent together that isn’t for the sake of fitting it in. Focusing.
4. Gift Giving – Generosity giving and loving to receive the simplest of gifts will define this child.
The child that would give you his favorite stuffed animal, or the teen that would give his last $50 and a whole rotisserie chicken to the guy on the corner with a sign in his hand. The child that buys gifts for every single person in the home and stretches their dollars to make it work. And the reaction of love when you give them a simple gesture of a gift will blow you away. It is not one of reference or pickiness. It could be a note in the mail, a stick of gum or a special drink from the store. Gift giver’s are easy to spot. And they are generous and appreciative.
5. Acts of Service
We all know that acts of service can be emotionally and physically exhausting. A word of caution with this love language – Be careful not to use this as a way to manipulate your children. Beginning with helping and doing things that they cannot do for themselves. Moving into creating an independent person, showing them how to serve others or when they need help. Not forcing extreme independence on them.
This child will run errands for you, be the first to step into a needed role, and volunteer for the smallest details that you may not want to ask for help with. They are generous with their time to serve others and usually do so with a joyful spirit. They will love to serve with you. And this is the best opportunity to show them Christ’s love in action. They are the next world changers – the feet and hands.
Learn your child’s love language, and watch them respond and give back in love.
And when there is a conflict? Speak to them. In love. The way that they hear you.
It’s there. You may have to mine for it.
Like striking gold. Richer love than you could imagine.
Finding your children’s strengths and love language is like mining for gold. And while you are panning and sifting to find their gifts, talents, and help them grow, you discover the way to their heart.