Do you know your love language? Find out so you and your partner can build healthy habits in your children and avoid leaving gaps in their development.
Do you know what your love language is? Surprisingly, what makes you feel most cared for is often not the same way that you express care for others. Our natural tendencies in giving and receiving love make a big impact over time, especially on the development of our children. Parents too reliant on one language tend to neglect others, leaving children lacking a full scope of affection.
So which is your love language? And how can you build healthy habits in your children by embracing each of the five love languages on a regular basis?
1.Gifts-Health-oriented toys and products fulfill this need while helping children with their development.
Parents tending toward this language express and receive love through gifts. A special, personal item says it all. Love through gift giving can nurture children by rewarding them with toys and products that cultivate healthy habit formation. Rather than a video game, a learning game or spelling game may be a better choice. In fact, all children relish toys and the companionship they bring. By embracing this love language, but giving health-forming toys to your children, you can fulfill this need for your little one.
2.Quality Time-Breakfast and evening traditions nurture this language while creating sustainable habits for child and family.
If you and your partner tend to exchange love through time spent giving undivided attention, you can use this language with your children. One of the best ways to is through breakfast. Taking the steps to still the chaos of the morning, like waking up 15 minutes earlier, or preparing the night before, can make the shift from a rushed morning to a warm one. Likewise, taking a break from cells and laptops at night for dinner, a conversation, a board game, or even a show, teach your child that relationship with family and friends should sometimes takes priority.
3.Words of Affirmation-Along with compliments or praise, training positive outlook through words builds long-lasting confidence in your kids.
Parents versed in this language use statements like “I love you,” and “I’m proud of you.” While absolutely necessary for children to hear, going beyond this is also crucial. It’s easy for children to get discouraged,especially as the world becomes more competitive. Life at school may not be as easy as it used to be. Children need to hear that they are okay not based on accomplishments but based on intrinsic qualities like kindness, positivity and perseverance. A statement like, “it makes your parents so happy to see you keep trying,” can make all the difference.
4.Acts of Service-Creating chores and ways to help others teach children healthy,long-lasting habits of service and participation.
Parents who swoon when their partner does something practical for them and eases their burden best understand this love language. Most families have chores for children, and most children drag their feet to complete them. By bringing chores and community service into family rituals,through games and togetherness, you can signal to your kids that whole-hearted participation shows care to others. Likewise, making sure they know that you are helping them with laundry or homework because of your deep love teaches them gratitude and helps prevent them from taking you for granted.
5.Physical Touch-Choosing enjoyable physical activity and getting the family off the couch is crucial for long-term physical and mental health, as well as discipline.
If you and your partner love to hold hands, smooch on the couch, and cuddle, it’s likely you are good at this language and at giving healing touch to your child. Even before a child speaks,they feel the love of their parents through physical touch. Roughhousing and play is very important to fulfill this need. Another great way is choosing sports and activities for the family to engage in together. Getting close on a picnic blanket, cuddling together with hot chocolate in a cabin in the winter, and even having a laugh circle where you lay your heads on each others’ bellies and tell jokes are all great options to fulfill this need.
These languages, developed by Gary Chapman, PhD, in 1995, can enlighten parents and help kids grow up healthy and well rounded. Embrace the scope of these languages to ensure your children develop not only good habits, but also strong connections to many forms and expressions of love.