Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Speak your child's love language

Valentine's day is a celebration of love. As parents, we love our children and want them to feel loved. How do you best show love to your children? Just as we must be mindful of the love language of our spouse, we need to consider that each of our children may have a different primary love language that is best for communicating our love to them.
Gary Chapman has written about the five love languages for many years now. The five love languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Physical Touch, Acts of Service. You can find help in assessing your child's main love language here.
 The Five Love Languages of Children
 Here are some simple ideas for gifts for your children for Valentines' based on love languages.
Words of Affirmation: Traditional homemade valentines. Write a letter or card that expresses your love. Use candy hearts to spell out a special message!

Quality Time: Set up a parent-child date doing a fun activity together. Give a coupon booklet full of activity ideas to do together. Set up a special game playing time or ask them to bake cookies  with you or some other activity they enjoy.

Receiving Gifts:  Create! Homemade cards, jewelry, food items, crafts, pictures - the important thing is showing an understanding of what your child likes and is interested in. They may enjoy creating with you!
Physical Touch: Hugs! Make extra time for cuddle time while reading a book or watching a movie with your child. Give a coupon booklet good for hugs to your child. Offer a foot or hand massage.
Acts of Service: A certificate to have chores done for them by you. Finally  repair their ripped pants, or paint their bedroom pink like they keep asking. Think of something you can offer your child that is above and beyond normal parenting. 

Remember as you receive gifts this Valentine's day that they may not be in your primary love language or the type of gift you expected. As parents we teach our children how to give and receive gifts, by giving and also by receiving graciously.

Malina is lucky to have a family full of people who so far all speak the same primary love language. Read more about their adventures here.
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