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Inside: Have you ever wondered what is the best way to unlock your child’s heart and build a strong connection? Discovering the 5 love languages of children can make a huge difference for both you and your child.
As parents, we know how important it is to show love to our kids every single day. We want them to know how loved they are and make them happy.
But sometimes there are things that make it hard for us to connect with our kids as much as we would like. The busy schedules, the long list of household tasks, the everyday challenges.
I always try to make connection a priority because I know how much it matters. I want to build a strong relationship with my son and making time for connection every day creates a wonderful foundation for our relationship.
One of these moments that I spent connecting with my son brought one unexpected life lesson for me. It changed our relationship and helped me unlock his heart more than ever before.
My son was playing on the floor with two stuffed animals: a dinosaur and a pink bear. I sat next to him and gave him a big hug. He smiled and told me that I should show love to the stuffed animals as well because they want to play with me.
So I took the green dinosaur and gave him a hug.
“You need to tell him how you love him, not just hug him!”, my son told me as I was preparing to put it back down.
It felt a little bit strange to talk about my love for the dinosaur but I entered the game and played along. But a short “I love you” wasn’t enough. My son came up with additional instructions.
“You need to tell him something nice”, he said. “Do you want me to show you?”
I nodded. He took the dinosaur and started talking with him.
“You’re such a nice dinosaur! I love playing with you!”, he said with a big smile on his face.
Then he handed it to me and invited me to say something nice to him as well.
We kept playing this game with the dinosaur. Then the moved on to the pink bear. My son told me that the bear doesn’t want hugs. As you probably already guessed, the bear wanted to hear some nice words from us.
The game that my son invented that day made me think about the way he perceives love. I remembered the book “The five love languages of children” and I kept thinking about the different ways we feel other people’s love.
I realized that in the relationship with my son I showed him love the way I like people to show love to me because this is how I naturally express my feelings. But what he really needed was for me to express my love the way he enjoys most.
That night at bedtime I talked with him more about what makes him feel loved. And I discovered things that he never told me before! Little gestures that matter for him, words that make him happy, activities that made him feel special.
What are the 5 love languages of children
Learning the love language of your child can have a big impact on your relationship. It was a lesson that was very precious to me and I’m sure that it can make a big difference for you too!
The concept of love languages was introduced by Gary Chapman and Dr. Ross Campbell. They explained that people have different ways to express and receive love. It’s very important for any relationship to be able to “speak” the love language of the partner.
This applies to couple relationships but also to the parent-child relationships and any other close relationships in our lives. But I’ll focus here only on how this applies to the way we show love to our kids.
The 5 love languages of children are physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, and quality time.
Discovering your child’s love language and using it every day can play a huge role for both of you!
1. Physical touch
Kids who have physical touch as their primary love language enjoy receiving hugs and kisses. They like to cuddle and they also love physical games like racing or wrestling.
2. Words of affirmation
Kids who have words of affirmation as their primary love language enjoy hearing praise about specific things they did. They like to show you what they did and hear your opinion.
Words of encouragement make them feel loved and confident. They are also very sensitive to criticism and it’s very important to avoid telling them harsh words that can hurt them.
3. Quality time
Kids who have quality time as their primary love language enjoy doing activities with you (like watching movies or playing board games).
They ask for your time and attention and they love to see you spending time with them.
Kids who have quality time as their primary love language enjoy receiving special gifts and surprises.
You don’t need to offer them expensive things but be thoughtful and offer them small gifts that will bring them joy.
5. Acts of service
Kids who have acts of service as their primary love language enjoy when people do nice things for them. They love to see you involved in their activities and projects.
Also, doing special things for them (like preparing their favorite meals or doing one chore they would normally do) makes them feel happy.
How to use the love languages to unlock your child’s heart
First, you need to discover your child’s love language. Here are some easy ways to do this:
- aks your child what makes them feel loved
- try to use the 5 love languages one by one and notice how your child reacts to each of them
- for young children use role play using stuffed animals to find out how your child sees love
- notice how your child expresses their love for you (it might offer you good clues on how they want to receive love).
People usually have one primary love language and one secondary love language so don’t be surprised if you discover characteristics from two or more categories.
After you discover your child’s love language try to use it every single day to make your child happy. You’ll see that once you discover what really unlocks your child’s heart it will be a lot easier to build a strong connection. It will be easier to make your child happy and this will bring a lot of joy to you as well.
Kids need our love every day. As parents, we have an endless love for them. We just need to get to their heart and make them feel absolutely loved.
More from Playful Notes
- 5 powerful positive parenting tools that will make a big difference in your life
- How to let go of mom guilt and why you need to do this
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photo credit: Evgeny Atamanenko / shutterstock.com