You go to hug your kid and they shrug you off and walk away. You know there must be love somewhere in there—so why do they act so cold?
Having trouble figuring out your child? Feel like they’re playing soccer and you’re still at t-ball? You may actually be speaking two different languages – two different sets of love languages.
According to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are 5 different languages of love. They are:
Words of affirmation
Acts of service
For some kids, nothing makes them happier than hugs and kisses. They enjoy touch. Give them frequent hugs, affectionate squeezes on the arm and pecks on the cheek. They will feel loved.
Some kids, however, prefer you to say it out loud. Words of affirmations, like ‘your hair looks fantastic’ or ‘you are such a cool kid’ will brighten their day. They prefer audible affection.
Sometimes kids want more proof of your love. They like it when you do things for them— random acts of kindness. You can help them with their homework, make their favorite lunch for school, take them out for a one-on-one treat.
Gifts and tangible proof of love work for some kids too. But don’t feel compelled to break the bank. A rock or seashell that caught your eye, a flower you picked will do, with a: “I saw this and thought of you.” Meaningful little presents move them to feel more connected with you.
Undivided attention is important for kids and some of them require even more. These kids want you and your time—quality time, so put down that phone and focus solely on them to make them feel loved. Color together, go for a walk and talk. Teach them to ride a bike. Every moment with you is precious to them.
The problem is, when your dominant love language is acts of service, while you kid’s one is words of affirmation…So as you do a lot for him hoping that he is well taken care of and would feel loved, he just wonders why you can’t simply praise him once in a while. Both of you do love each other and want to feel loved, but the ways you express it are different.
To fix this, first you need to check if your dominant love languages are different from your kid’s ones. There’s a free online test that only takes around 15 minutes. Then you can adjust accordingly and you’ll find that things are not that hard as imagined!
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