The Five Love Languages Kids addition
The 5 Love Languages is so valuable. Not only is it valuable to know the love language that fills your spouses love tank, it is also useful to parenting your kids when you know their love language. Gary Chapman has penned a book for loving your spouse better and a book for loving your children better. Here are the five different love languages he talks about and some action steps that can help you become a better spouse and a better parent.
ACTS OF SERVICE
Communicate: Use action phrases like “I will help.....” They want to know you’re working along side them. Ask, “how can I help?”.
Action steps: Do chores together or make them something. Help alleviate their daily workload. For kids, help them with homework, and follow through with the help you offer.
Communicate: non-verbal, use body language and touch to emphasize love Action steps: For your children-Hugs, kisses, hand holding and snuggling
For your spouse-same as above plus making intimacy a thoughtful priority.
Communicate: Thoughtfulness, make your spouse or child a priority, speak purposefully.
Action steps: give thoughtful gifts and gestures. Small things matter in a big way. Express gratitude when receiving gifts.
Communicate: uninterrupted and focused conversations. One-on-one time is critical Action steps: Create special moments together, take walks and do small things with
your spouse or child. Weekend getaways are huge with your spouse, while a trip to the beach or the ballfields or tennis court, or reading a bedtime story would be amazing with your child.
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
Communicate: Encourage, affirm, appreciate, empathize, and listen actively.
Action steps: Send an unexpected note of love or encouragement. Compliment their
efforts and show appreciation for the way they are filling your love tank.
Here are a few examples of my families love languages:
Steve’s love language is acts of service, and his love tank gets filled when Thomas helps him with winterizing the 4-wheeler and his motorcycle. He also feels loved when someone gets his coffee ready for the morning and when I have dinner ready for him when he gets home from a long day at work. He is amazingly committed to speaking in the Quality time love language to our kids and me by making us a priority over work when we have special events. He has rarely
missed any of the kids’ games. He takes every Friday off throughout the summer so that we can trek to the cabin Thursday night, to have 3 full days together as a family. I find that to be one of the most impressive commitments to love language I have ever witnessed! Think about that one. Would you be willing to give up a day of work a week for 12 weeks while owning your own business, knowing you will have to work extra hard on the other four days that week? Interestingly enough, when I evaluate the situation, I realize the huge boundary that Steve drew for his family. It was an incredible boundary of love and commitment! It was a risk to take in his profession as a lawyer. Everybody knows that lawyers are known to work crazy hours. But here is the deal, he did it with all the right intentions. It was for his family time. For the opportunity to be face to face or shoulder to shoulder with his kids and wife. He did not try to explain away why to the all important, time sucking, stress-filled line of cohorts (i.e. other lawyers and judges) he dealt with on a day to day basis. He simply drew the line in the sand and said, Friday won’t work for me. The legal community started to understand his boundaries and soon enough started to respect and support them. Now that I think about it, my dad was a big quality time kind of dad, so I find it not surprising in the least that my love tank gets filled up when Steve speaks quality time to me (insert heart emoji!).
My kids are all different when it comes to their love language. Maybe it is what Maria, 21, has experienced along the way, but I notice her being chosen as a leader quite often in all that she does. She’s captain of the college hockey team she’s on, and she leads in the classroom with projects. She seems to find and take on that role quite easily. Maybe it’s an oldest child thing, leading the charge on how to deal with parents, lol. I always noticed as a child, she was super motivated by words of affirmation. When she knew that her dad and I were proud of her, her love tank was filled. I think that is the kind of leader she is, as well. A leader who uses words of affirmation to lift up her team. Now that she has lived away at college for four years I feel like she might appreciate quality time and may need it to fill her love tank. In a fast paced world of college classes, working and playing on the hockey team, she enjoys and is rejuvenated by quality time with those she loves the most.
Nadia is so different. She is my snuggle-bug. So physical touch, like hugging her in her desperate times fills her love tank. It revitalizes her! Do you ever see in one of your kids something that stands out? Forever, we have noticed that Nadia is very sensitive to people’s emotional needs. She has always reached out to the broken hearted. She has always figured out just what others need. I consider one of Nadia’s God given gifts to be speaking people’s love language right when they need it! She is deliberate in her actions as a friend, sister, daughter, niece, and granddaughter. She may not speak words of love, but her actions speak of love. In the Bible in 1John 3:18 it says, “let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” Amen! Her name, Nadia, means hope and I believe that she brings a lot of hope to people through expressing the appropriate love language so timely!
Thomas has his own version of what fills his love tank. Video games. Oh wait, that is not a love language! Or is it? He speaks Acts of service to us by doing his chores, and he thinks we speak video game in return. Funny thing is, it works. And so does giving him time to go play tennis, hockey and golf. Here’s the thing, I grew up with one sister, and no brothers. Right now, my teenage boy has me all confused! And he knows it! But somehow, through much determination, I am learning the ways of boys. I am emotional and so are my daughters. I speak emotions, I live emotionally (much to my dismay, sometimes) and I can read others emotions....except for my teenage son’s emotions. So what have I done to survive? Am I surviving???? For real, people! I DON’T KNOW!!!! In all seriousness now, he is not a hugger, nor does he snuggle. Physical touch is not his love language. I think that words of affirmation is his number one love language right now. He is in the top ten in his class where his grades are concerned and the pressure, oh the pressure he puts on himself can be
daunting, and then he throws his hands up in the air and wants to give up caring about being top ten. He knows it could produce scholarship money for college. Steve and I are pushing him and the moments of truth under pressure are presenting themselves. Can he handle the pressure? I notice a sense of calm come over him when we give words of affirmation that he is enough, even if he isn’t top ten. Our language matters. Our love matters. Our love language matters and is shaping our kids every day!
Take action today! Evaluate your child’s love language, then speak it out and you’ll see a positive shift in your relationship with that child!