Creative Child

Speak Your Child’s Love Language and Communicate Love More Effectively

by Deborah Song

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Acts of service

In the early stages of life, all children needs acts of service because they aren’t independent enough to do much for themselves. But as they get older, kids who seek to be loved through acts of service want your help mending their broken Lego not merely for the sake of restoring order, but because your sacrifice in helping them is their primary love language. If your child’s love language is acts of service, this does not mean that you have to be at their beck and call. But you should be sensitive to how you respond to their request. Even if you can’t attend to their request at that moment, a thoughtful, loving response can go a long way.

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Gifts 

Every child loves receiving gifts. But for some, receiving gifts can be the way to his heart. These kids treasure gifts as a tangible token of affection. Unfortunately, because the purveying of tangible goods can be interpreted as spoiling your child, a child whose love language is receiving gifts can be shortchanged. But the important thing to remember is that your gifts don’t need to be expensive, and they don’t need to be given with radical frequency. But recognizing that a child prefers to be rewarded with yummy pastry than a hug is an important step in building communication.

Quality time

Children who speak this love language seek undivided attention. For a child whose love language is quality time, you may often hear the request, “Can you put your phone down?” It’s easy to mistaken time spent together as quality time. But there is no fooling a child who gets his love bucket filled with quality time. Quality time is about focus. It can be had through conversations, sharing a meal together, or engaging in the same activity side by side, even when words are scarce. Quality time requires that you are either focused on the child, or on the same thing the child is focused on. For a child with siblings, some shuffling may be required to find one-on-one time with either mom or dad.

Physical touch

A child whose love language is physical touch will continue to cherish hugs, kisses, a touch on the arm, a pat on the back, wants to literally feel their love. There are many ways to speak this language. You can read them a story while the child sits on your lap, hold his hand while walking, or even by spinning him around in the air.

Though children receive love best from one dominant love language, that’s not to say they won’t need the other expressions of love. A child who feels love most deeply through a gift, can and most probably will appreciate encouraging words or a hug. But your efforts to communicate love will be more effective by focusing on his main love language.

Deborah Song is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master's in journalism from New York University. She is the founder of worklifeparent.com, and is passionate about helping parents find better work-life balance and proper support through community.

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