My brother Gary was excited when his now, 3-year-old boy, Jay, was born. But this excitement quickly turned into anxiety when he realized he didn’t know how to build a strong relationship with his Jay. I suggested that he could try to understand the love language of his child. So he went home, and, over the course of a week, expressed love in each of the 5 different ways. At the end of the week, he asked Jay, “How do you know that daddy loves you?” And my nephew responded with, “Daddy played soccer with me.” Turns out, his love language was quality time. Thought I would share these love languages with you. Can you identify your child’s love language?
1. Words of affirmation
“You are smart, you are kind, you are important”. One way to express love is to use words that build them up.
For those who prefer this love language, hearing words like “I love you” and “Well done” are what they value the most. So, if this is your child, make sure to encourage them at school activities e.g. soccer games.
2. Quality time
This love language is about giving your child your undivided attention. Listening to them and being there for them is crucial. It sends the message that “You are important.” If your child prefers you to spend quality time with them, start by making family dinners an integral part of the day, with no distractions like cellphones, and everyone talks about their day.
3. Receiving gifts
Experts say that for some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a tangible gift. A meaningful or thoughtful present is what makes them feel most appreciated. Pay attention to, for example they shows they enjoy on TV, to get meaningful gift inspirations.
4. Acts of service
If this is your child’s love language each request should be met with a thoughtful, loving response. So if your child asks you to fix their bike, or mend a doll’s dress they are not simply asking you to get a task done but they are crying out for emotional love. And remember to do these acts with a positive spirit.
5. Physical touch
It takes only a moment, but makes a world of a difference. This love language does not just include hugs and kisses, but also, tossing your child in the air or spinning your daughter round and round, while she laughs loudly, for example. In fact, studies show that babies who are held, stroked and kissed develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact.