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Love Languages and Children

Children express and receive love in different ways. Some through words or touch, and others through acts of service. The way a child chooses to express and receive love is representative of their “love language.” By understanding the five love languages, you can open yourself up to a deeper connection with your child. 

 

 

Words of Affirmation. Compliments and praise can go a long way for a child. Even simply observing: “that was a very kind thing you did,” can help a child thrive throughout their day. Use words of affirmation to compliment their personality, achievements, or as positive reinforcement. Affirming positive aspects of your child’s life and behavior will help drive confidence and independence. 

Acts of Service. When children are young, we do everything for them! We do this because they cannot do these things themselves. As your child grows older, express your love by showing them how to do things themselves (positive affirmation works great with this). If your child responds to this love language, find out what’s important to them. Do they feel fulfilled if you help them with their homework? Once you uncover what makes them feel the most loved, perform that act of service for them. 

Gifts. Children that use this love language have a tangible need for affection. Sometimes they may perceive a lack of gifts as a lack of love. While this is not true, try to engage your child with small gifts to show love. They don’t need to be expensive — even a small treat or a trip to the ice cream shop would suffice.

Quality Time. This love language centers around undivided attention. When children are young, we play with them. As they grow older, the time spent is less about the actual activity and more about the time spent together. For families with multiple children, try to carve out one-on-one time with each of them individually.

Physical Touch. Physical touch is powerful. From birth, children are held and touched constantly. As children grow up, there is still a longing for physical touch, just in a different capacity. It can be something simple like a pat on the back or a quick hug that will show your child you’re there, you see them, and that you want to give them your love and affection.  

Understanding your child’s love language is a crucial and special way of connecting with them in a meaningful and lasting way. Everyone is different; understanding how your child perceives and receives love is key to a powerful, loving, and authentic relationship. 

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