“Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
Do you find this saying true?
Well, I think it is somewhat true…to an extent.
This was something I heard growing up all the time.
Generally, the quote does make sense.
If you want others to treat you nicely, you must treat others nicely too.
BUT, this quote can become problematic
when we are speaking about each person’s preferred love language.
For example, my preferred love language is words of affirmation, while my husband’s is quality time. If I only offered him words of affirmation, because that is how I would like to be treated (since words of affirmation is my love language) then my husband would not feel fulfilled in his “love” tank and vice versa (if he treated me with only quality time).
However, I do believe that
we should express ALL FIVE Love Languages
to our loved ones, including our children, but it is important to notice and take note on which love language(s) they prefer.
What are the 5 Love Languages?
The five love languages is famously coined by the popular book, “The Five Love Languages,” by Gary Chapman. He states that every person has a preferred love language that “fills up” their love tank. Below are the five different love languages.
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
I highly recommend you reading and taking the quiz from Chapman’s book, “The Five Love Languages” or on his website. This is especially helpful for you and your significant other to both take the quiz to improve your relationship. It has helped my husband and I tremendously!
For example, my preferred love language is Words of Affirmation, while my husband’s is Quality Time. With this knowledge, I understand that quality time means the most to my husband, while he understands that positive words of affirmation means the most to me when showing love.
This too can be applied to your children.
& it is very important to your children.
Why are Love Languages Important?
Understanding one’s love language will allow you to better communicate, understand, and love others. It helps you build healthy relationships. This is very important between parents and their children.
healthy relationships = healthy families
Understanding your child’s love language will not only create a positive and healthy relationship with them, but your child will also know what a healthy relationship looks like with others.
From an Elementary Teacher’s Perspective:
I once spoke to an elementary teacher, and she stated that it is very important for kids to have their love tanks fulfilled at home. These kids enter the classroom ready to learn.
Children who lack fulfilled love tanks come to school needing to be loved in their special way (their preferred love language). These students typically look for attention from peers and teachers, which can distract them and others from learning. Once it is fulfilled, if it is fulfilled at school, then they are ready to learn.
It is important for parents to meet their child’s need for love.
Studies have shown that a well-loved child by their preferred love language are:
▷ Emotionally healthy and stable.
▷ Have healthy relationships at home and school.
▷ Have less behavioral issues.
▷ Are not as influenced by peer pressure (as they are not seeking for other’s attention.)
Children need to be well-loved to grow. This goes for everyone, including adults!
What is My Child’s
Finding your child’s love language may not be as easy to figure out because they are still developing their emotions and trying to make sense of it all. Some kids show their preferred love languages quickly, and some don’t, which is completely fine!
As parents, our job is to introduce and show our kids ALL five love languages and see which they respond the most to. Whichever they respond to the most is their preferred love language.
For example, my daughter is always asking for hugs and wanting to sit on our laps, her preferred love language is physical touch. This is how she shows her love and how she likes to receive love from others.
NOTE: Your’s and your child’s preferred love language can change over time. It’s normal as we continue to grow.
Below, I have listed some examples of how you can express each love language to your child.
1) Physical Touch
They thrive on physical proximity and activities.
Hug often, piggy back rides, cuddling, holding hands, high-fives, friendly wrestling, fly them like an airplane!
Being too rough.
Disregarding boundaries and personal space when they need it.
2) Words of Affirmation
They thrive on kind words and compliments that are encouraging.
Praise them, but be specific, instead of saying, “You’re a good girl!” Say, “You washed your hands before dinner, good job! You’re a good girl!”
Tell them you are proud of them often.
Only focusing on their accomplishments and achievements, focus on their individuality and their character.
Avoid harsh tones of voice.
Avoid harmful words, instead, use loving and guiding words that will help them more than yelling.
3) Quality Time
One-on-One time. They thrive on moments together with no interruptions.
Doing activities together that will involve both your child AND you to bond, such as cooking, reading, playing a game, go on a picnic, hiking, puzzles, etc.
When engaging with your child, ask for their response and engage back.
▶ Do not look at your phone or anything that distracts you.
▶ If this is hard for you (especially, if you work from home) schedule a time in your calendar for one-on-time with your child.
▶ Not engaging with them in activities.
Simple gifts of their interest/meaningful.
They thrive on reward systems (think chore charts, potty training charts, etc.)
Make their favorite meals.
▶ Do not use gifts as a replacement for love, it is the thought behind the gifts not the actual gifts.
▶ Gifts do not need to be from a store, it can be pinecones, leaves, or flowers from your walk to the park, or seashells from the beach, etc.
They appreciate your helping hand, and doing things together.
Help them by lightening up the workload, like cleaning their room, help with homework or chores.
Teaching them something new, like a DIY activity!
Have them be involved in your daily routine and tasks, preparing meals, doing laundry, etc.
Show that you support their efforts.
Do not stand on the sideline when they are struggling on a task.
Do not create more work for them.
Think of these service acts as you being a role model for your child. Once they see your actions, they will develop independence and will know how to serve themselves and others.
Don’t be stuck in doing everything for them. The key is to assist them, and make it known to them that you are helping them and their responsibilities.