By Daja Gombojav, Contributing Writer
Love Has Many Languages
Did you know that when it comes to love, we all speak a different language? It’s true! What speaks love to one person may not translate to another. Have you ever done or said something with the truest intention of love only to have the other person respond with less enthusiasm than you had hoped? It’s likely not because the other person is trying to be rude or is rejecting your gesture. They just may not have heard it the way you spoke it!
There Are Five Basic Love Languages- as outlined in Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages.
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
Each person usually primarily identifies with one or two love languages. My love languages are Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. My husband’s are Quality Time and Acts of Service. Learning how the other person best receives love enables us to speak their language better!
This is true for children also. Some children need tons of hugs and back rubs and snuggles. Some children may need a lot of verbal encouragement and to hear the words “I love you” over and over again. Take some time to observe and listen to your kids. How do they show affection? It’s likely the same way they want to receive it back.
Become Fluent In Another Love Language!
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
This language uses words to affirm other people.
- At dinner go around the table and speak words of encouragement to each person. Let every person receive and every person give words of encouragement. Have a little theme such as, “Let’s tell each person one great thing they did today!” or “Let’s all say one thing we love about your brother!”
- Praise your children in front of your friends. So often we find ourselves complaining about our children to our peers. ”Today was a rough day with the kids,” “He just won’t obey,” “She’s so moody lately,” etc. Let’s change our default settings to blessings! Talk about how responsible, helpful, kind, creative, and spirited your child is!
- Use dry erase markers to write notes on their bathroom mirror.
- Let your first words every day and your last words every night be “I love you so much!”
ACTS OF SERVICE
For these people, actions speak louder than words.
- We all give our kids chores and expect them to get them done. But how about, just for a surprise, you do one of their chores for them? No guilt trip. No keeping score. Just do it before they can.
- Make them their favorite food, something you perhaps don’t usually do because it is labor intensive. I have a son who just feels so loved it I make crepes.
- How about a day off from school or getting to sleep in?
For some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift.
This does not have to be pricey to speak love. As the saying goes, it’s the thought that counts!
- A little treat tucked into the lunch box
- New school supplies when it’s not September. Just because!
- A little gift for their half-birthday, saint’s day or Tuesday.
- A handmade something that you work on while they are sleeping.
This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.
- Turn off cell phones, TV, etc. and play a board game.
- Use car time running errands to have meaningful conversation.
- Read a book aloud.
- Take a walk outside together.
- Do some sort of hobby together (scrapbooking, tennis, sewing, stamp collecting). Anything just to be in one another’s company.
To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch.
- Snuggle, snuggle, snuggle. Even the ones who are “too old” for it!
- High-fives and fist pumps for even small accomplishments.
- Big ol’ hugs. Hold it. Let your child break the hug first!
- Make up a secret handshake.
- Wrestle and roughhouse. It’s OK! Move the breakables and let the pillow wars and tickle fights begin!
Take the time to learn your child’s love language. It may be a stretch for you if their receiving language is different from your most comfortable speaking language. But, press on, Mama! You get to model for them how to love well!
What Is Your Child’s Love Language and How Do You Speak it Fluently?
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