How do I love on my kiddos? How do they know that they are loved? These are things that really got me thinking one day. I remembered a book title that I have heard thrown around in conversations many times. I decided it was time for me to dig in and get to the bottom of my questions.
The Five Love Languages of Children is a piggyback book of the very popular Five Love Languages books written by Gary Chapman. In essence, the languages are quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, work, and physical touch. While many children have a combination of these and a portion of “quality time” is a need in everyone’s life, most people have one area that lights up their life.
The author encourages you to not try and peg the love language of a child under five years of age. As I read my focus was on Bubs and Sweet Pea. I wanted to know, am I speaking their language.
Approximately halfway through the book, I decided to do a little experiment. During some girl time, I asked Sweet Pea what Mommy did to show her I loved her. She immediately responded that I hug her; kiss and hold her. Hmmm…this really took me back. But as I read through the chapter on physical touch it became so clear. When Sweet Pea is disciplined she immediately wants to receive assurance of love through a hug or me holding her. With this information, I have been very intentional to hold her when she asks me to.
Next I presented the same question to Bubs. How do you know that Mommy loves you? Immediately he responded, “Because you do things with me.” Not a big surprise here. Quality time is what fills his love bank. I thought about some of the discipline and focus issues that we have been having. With three siblings, alone time with Mommy or Daddy is more difficult. I started wondering if maybe his love bank was needing deposits. So, I started being more intentional about doing things with Bubs alone.
Further, I began thinking about my marriage. What is my husband’s love language? This lead to a conversation where we talked about the needs that we have. While mine is words of affirmation, my husband needs quality time.
Think of it this way. Imagine that you have five children who all speak different languages – English, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, and German. Thankfully you speak English and your husband speaks Italian. What a blessing to those children who also speak your language. Horrific for those who don’t. It is the same way in how we express love. Putting time, energy, and money into the wrong language is like spinning your wheels – exhausting and gets you nowhere.
Now I understand why I hear so much about this set of books. I highly encourage purchasing this book and adding it to your parenting library. As your child grows and changes, make sure you are making them feel loved in a language they understand.