Every kid deserves the chance to grow up happy. What do kids want after all? They want to feel loved; they want to feel safe and secure. They want not to be hungry or thirsty and to have a shelter over their heads. They want to be respected as human beings and their feelings validated.
Unfortunately, not all children are lucky enough to have those things. Some are victims of their economic situation. Some are victims of unbalanced parents. Others are victims of drug use. But some – and this is most surprising – are not getting the love and nurture they deserve because parents don’t understand how to interpret the language of love their children are using.
Love is the foundation to raising responsible, independent and mature adults. We try to keep them loved all the time, and reinforce their feelings of worth. Experts say to use all languages of love with each of your children, but one of them usually connects with the child better than the others. By observing your child’s reaction, you will know which is his or her language.
According to Dr. Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell in their book, The 5 Love Languages of Children, these are the five love languages of children.
The 5 Love Languages of Children
Hugs, kisses and pats on the back…and don’t forget physical closeness that is a little bit more prolonged? Like reading a book while the child sits on your lap, riding piggyback, bear hugs or wrestling. All those are manifestation of physical closeness.
Some kids react best to words. Words of affirmation and confirmation (“Great job!”), words of encouragement and just words of affection like “I love you.” When it’s done from the heart, the words have a deep meaning.
Spending time one-on-one with each of the children, and giving them your undivided attention while you are doing so, is called quality time. It doesn’t have to be long. Despite your busy schedule, a time set aside only for the child or children communicates that the children are important to you. Sometimes quality time is just being together, without having a plan.
This is a debatable subject, but it works. Kids love gifts and learn quickly to expect them. But kids know right away when the gift is given as expression of love or as an attempt to “buy them.” The point that should be expressed is not the value of the gift, but the fact that you were thinking about your child when you are away from him or her.
Acts of Service
Parenting can be called “to protect and to serve,” but it is also an opportunity to show your kids that acts of service for someone else come from a place of love and caring. That doesn’t mean you should do everything for your child. Show them you do things for someone else to make them happy, and expect them to do the same for others.
>> Take the assessment quiz to find your child’s love language.