My only daughter is a socialbutterfly and an athlete. One son is a video gamer who would rather pull out his toenails than watch any sporting event. My young teenager still loves animated movies and has a great sense of humor.
Recognizing my kids' differences makes me marvel that God created each person as a distinct individual. Each child has a unique personality, and each child feels a mother and father's love best individually.
The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman, P.h.D., and Ross Campbell, M.D. has made a mark on families by teaching parents strategies for rearing their children in God's love and grace. The two collaborated to explain to parents the difference in loving their children and being sure their children feel their love. The book details the love languages and guides parents on how to implement one or more for each child.
Discover Your Child's Primary Language
To discover which language best communicates love to your child:
- Observe how your child expresses love to you. A child who says, "Mommy, you're pretty" may desire to hear words of affirmation.
- Observe how your child expresses love to others. A child who wants to take presents to his teacher may appreciate gifts.
- Listen to what your child requests most often. A child who asks, "How did I do at my game?" is asking for words of affirmation.
- Notice what your child most frequently complains about. A child who says, "You're always busy" likely needs more quality time.
Love Your Child on His Terms
Unconditional love is the foundation for making sure your child knows how you feel about him. Loving your child on his terms will enhance your relationship and enable your child to grow up accepting God's love and knowing how to show love to others.
You're Speaking My Language
Try a new idea for expressing your child's love language.
- Physical Touch: Occasionally yell out a "group hug" for your entire family.
- Quality Time: Stop what you are doing to make eye contact with your child as he tells you something important.
- Gifts: Keep a "gift bag" of small, inexpensive gifts your child can choose from as a reward for doing something positive.
- Acts of Service: Set up your child's favorite toys while she is taking a nap or is at school so she may immediately play with them (and you).
- Words of Affirmation: Create a special name of affection for your child that is only used between the two of you.
This article is courtesy of ParentLife Magazine.