Do your kids know you love them?
The question isn’t do you love your child (of course you do!!!), it’s more does your child feel loved.
According to Gary Chapman, author of the Love Language series, there are 5 universal ways people express and interpret love. He believes everyone has a primary and secondary “love language” and that they tend to give love in the way they prefer to receive love.
The 5 love languages are physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, and acts of service. And each of your kids might have a different primary need. I’ve learned each of my 3 kids has a different primary love language – and, they’re all different than mine!
I think this is so important to consider because when we speak our kids’ language we have stronger relationships. For example, one of my sons has the primary love language “words of affirmation” so if I was always showering him with rewards and gifts to show my love he wouldn’t feel it as deeply as when I give him praise and appreciation with my words. And on the flip-side, I’m especially aware of how I talk to him when we need to resolve a problem!
Here are some clues to what love language may be your child’s favorite:
Kids who love hugs, high fives, being carried and cuddled.
You can help them feel loved by holding hands, playing active games and snuggling.
Words of affirmation
Kids who love to hear how special they are and that they’re doing a good job.
You can give them compliments, use warm and gentle words and say “I love you” often.
Kids who love to do things with you, ask you to watch them play or sit with them.
You can give them focused attention, plenty of 1 on 1 time and go to events together.
Kids who really love getting a special present or surprise.
You can give them small gifts from nature, make their favorite foods and leave gifts for them to find when you’re away.
Acts of service
Kids who love it when someone does something for them or helps them with homework.
You can let them know you’ll help them do a project, surprise them by doing a chore or making them a snack.
When we’re more aware of what our kids’ unique needs are not only can we meet those needs more easily, but we’ll also understand our kids’ behaviors better.
For instance, my daughter’s primary love language is “quality time” and when she’s not getting enough time one-on-one with me she’ll constantly interrupt what I’m doing to ask me a question. Typically she asks a question that she doesn’t really need me to answer or she might even “forget” what she was going to ask me, lol. It would be easy to get frustrated and annoyed! But knowing that it’s her way of asking if I love her allows me to respond in a way that fills her emotional need and lets her know she’s important to me!
So I encourage you to ask your child – “How do you know you’re loved?”
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