Last entry I mentioned the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. While this book has been a tremendous blessing in my marriage and relationships, it has also helped my understanding of my children. Gary Chapman has also written a book The Five Love Languages of Children to compliment and extend his love language message. There are 5 “Love Languages” that people fit with. These are; Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, and Gifts. I strongly recommend reading the original book to fully understand what these mean and learn which love language speaks to you clearest but also to learn your spouse’s love language and begin speaking it!
My husband and I frequently discuss our love language with each other, make it clear if our needs are being met and how we can improve. A few times a week we ask how our “love tank” is doing and what we can do to fill it up for one another. It sometimes is hard work! For example, my husband’s top 2 love languages are Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. Words of Affirmation don’t come easily to me. It is not always what I am saying but how I am saying it that is not meeting his needs. So I am working on my tone and delivery when talking to him so that he feels loved. The second, Physical Touch, does not just apply to sex but to being near, cuddling, hugs, frequent caresses throughout the day, etc. He physically needs the connection. I am learning to slow down and give him my time. I tend to wake up and hit the ground running, whizzing by him all morning. He needs me to stop, hug and put my head on his shoulder for a few moments. For me, my two top love languages are Quality Time and Acts of Service. I just want to be with the people I love, spending time with them makes me feel loved. And when my husband unloads the dishwasher and puts the laundry away! Phew, my love tank is full:)
When looking at and applying the love languages to our children, it’s a little trickier. While it is important to speak all 5 of the love languages to the ones we love, we tend to speak our own love language to them first. I am busy cleaning the house and doing things to help my husband. I’m thinking I am expressing love to him when he would prefer me to just sit and hug him. So knowing and keeping an eye on which love language we speak, can help clue us in on what love language our kids speak. It also gets easier as they get older. My 3 year old I haven’t quite figured out but my older 7 and 9 year olds I think I have an idea. A little detective work goes into finding our child’s primary love language. For example, my daughter is always asking us to tickle her, eat her, rough house with her. She loves nothing more than a massage with oil and everything! Hers might be physical touch. My son is always in out face wanting to be involved with everything. His is Quality time. Funny how they adopt some of their parents love languages. Could it be genetic?
Finding out your child’s primary love language will take time, even years. Kids are hard to read and they will soak up all of the love languages. This book gives you tools to help you discover which love language is your child’s. Knowing how to speak love to your spouse, friends and children is like an open door to their heart. I want my kids to know more than anything that I love them. I want them to feel it every day. But what tells my oldest I love him might not work with my youngest. I am a sleuth, figuring out how to speak different love languages to those I love. These books have been a blessing in my marriage and also with my children. I highly recommend reading them both!