In Part 1, we identified the four main personality types, discussed how to determine your child’s type, and considered how this may impact your parenting. In Part 2, we’ll delve deeper into your child’s love languages. Love languages describe how a person gives and receives love. Your child may be speaking any one of five love languages. Knowing how to communicate the type of love your child responds to can bring you and your child closer.
The Five Languages of Love
The first step in discovering your child’s love language is learning what the five main languages are. They range from kids who need physical touch to those who respond better to gifts. Identifying your children’s love languages can lead to major breakthroughs in why they aren’t doing well in school, struggle with self-expression, or resist ways you’ve tried to reward them in the past. Here’s a breakdown of the five love languages:
- Physical touch. Hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and stroking the hair tell these kids that you love and appreciate them more than words can.
- Words of affirmation. Kids with this love language want to hear through words of affection and praise that you love and care about them, rather than receive a hug or pat.
- Quality time. This love language requires giving undivided attention to your child. Spending quality time with these kids is important for emotional development.
- Gifts. Some children respond best to love and praise in the form of gifts or rewards. They see gifts as an extension of your love.
- Acts of service. Emotional love in the form of services may manifest in your child asking for your help with homework or asking you to fix a bicycle.
Most children exhibit signs of enjoying more than one love language. Find the one that speaks loudest for your child to help tailor your parenting strategy. If you aren’t sure which one sounds the most like your child, take a quiz (have your child do it, if possible) to find out. Once you’ve identified your child’s primary love language, you can take steps toward improving how you communicate.
Using Love Languages to Become a Better Parent
Oftentimes, your love language may be different from your child’s. This can create tension, discord, and miscommunication if you don’t understand the problem. Speaking the wrong language could cause children to feel unheard, or worse – unloved. Knowing your children’s love languages is the first step toward improving understanding and communication. Use the love language your children respond to best to tell them you love them, you’re there for them, they’re doing great, and you need them.
Express your child’s love language often. Build your child up in a way that works for him or her, even if it’s different from your love language or a sibling’s. Individualizing how you give affection and praise can make all the difference in how well your child receives your love.