The six hour drive loomed before me. It was the very first time I would drive through multiple states by myself, and the trip was a big one. I was going to meet his kids. When you are dating a widow, there is so much more involved then just meeting the parents – often, there are children’s hearts to win as well. I was ready to go with a cup of Starbucks, my cell phone charger, and one particular audio book – The Five Love Languages for Children.
I listened to the whole book on that six hour car ride. I wanted to be sure that I would be able to spot the love languages that each child had – so that I might be able to win their love from the start. The next day, when I met the children, I was ready to go with all my new knowledge.
Except it takes a lot more than a few days to know your kids love language. More than a few years. Why? Well, the answer is simple.
Your child is growing. Changing. Being molded.
However, children do have a love language they respond to best. It is up to us as parents to be sure that we are being present in their lives to know when the language needs to change, be adjusted, or showed more.
So, how do you know which love language is your child’s?
The best way to do this is to experiment – which requires “work” (it is fun!) and requires you to be present and observant. The expirement is simple. Choose one child, and one love language. Shower that child with the specific love language you choose for one whole week. The next week, choose a different way – and keep a journal. Watch the way your children respond to the different love languages. Watch their moods – and pay attention to what they ask for more of.
What are the five love languages of children? Well, they are same as adults- but they look a little different.
- Physical Touch
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Acts of Service
I have three children in my home- with three different primary love languages.
My oldest is 13- almost 14. Her primary love language is acts of service. For example, the other day she had an orthodontist appointment. Her mouth was hurting really badly. To show her I loved her, I took her to get a frozen drink from her favorite place. The icy treat helped her teeth feel better, and she told me it made her day better. Had I told her I was sorry that her teeth hurt – and that she would have a beautiful smile, or tried to cuddle her, (words of affirmation or physical touch) – she probably would have gotten more frustrated.
My next child is a boy who is 11. His primary love language is physical touch. He loves to sit in the chair with me each night and watch his favorite tv show. He doesn’t pay attention as much to small gifts or kind things- but his world isn’t right if he doesn’t get snuggle time each night. I treasure these moments with my boy.
Our youngest is 7, and she is a quality time girl (just like her Mama!). She requires lots of one on one time, and needs to feel like we have time for her. I know I have been working too much when she sits down with her laptop beside me to play blogger!
Your child’s primary love language will shift – and children really need all five in order to grow and mature. However, it is so important that we love our children in a way that they need to be loved.