As parents, we shower our kids with unconditional love, gifts, words of praise, time and affection. It’s pretty impossible to find a parent out there that doesn’t want their child to know just how amazing, special and loved they really are.
Sometimes, our efforts to show our love may not be received by our kids because our love languages differ. If you have heard of Dr. Chapman’s 5 Love Languages quiz for couples, maybe you aren’t as familiar with the fact that he has also developed Love Languages for kids!
Here is the breakdown of the 5 Love Languages:
1. Physical Touch- Feel loved when they are hugged, kissed, embraced
2. Words of Affirmation- Feel loved when they are acknowledged, and told how special they are
3. Quality Time- Feel loved when people do things with them (play a game/sport)
4. Acts of Service- Feel loved when people do nice things for them life help with chores/responsibilities
5. Gifts - Feel loved when they get a gift or a special surprise that shows them you thought about them
As a therapist, I often witness how love gets lost in translation with children. “My mom always wants to be around me! I just need some space!” This is an excellent example of how mom’s love language is probably quality time and she expresses that to her kids (assuming their primary love language is the same). To a teen whose love language is words of affirmation, this can feel like intrusion and like a barrier to their independence. This is why knowing more about how your child gives and receives love can be such a tool in connecting with them and having a strong bond!
I’ve found this to be an amazing tool for couples and families I work with.