Your Child’s Love Language
I specialize in working with couples, parents, and children, so Love Languages often come up in therapeutic conversations. Many of my couples come into session already knowing what their love language is and hoping to discuss it. We often make goals of intentionally trying to show love through their partner’s love language. It had me thinking, though, do children have a preference on how love is expressed? Alternatively, does their parent’s love language impact their preferences in the future. From my experience, both of these theories are likely true.
I witness daily in the counseling room how powerful our early relationships are and how they impact future relationships. Secure attachment between parents and child can impact the person’s future relationships. Showing love that speaks your child’s language is so important for them to feel securely attached, cared for, and loved. Read more about ways to show love in all the languages and try out a new one for your child. You might be surprised what your child responds to!
1. Words of Affirmation: Telling your child that you love them and that you are proud of them goes a long way for children with this love language. They seek out words to show that they are loved and accepted. Try to praise their efforts, character, and things that you enjoy about them. Let them know they are valued in many ways and not just when they perform at a certain level or based on their appearance. For instance, instead of “You were the best player on the team with the most goals,” change to “I saw an incredible amount of effort and drive on the field. I’m so proud of how much your hard-work is paying off.”
2. Acts of Service: As a counselor, I have a hard time with this one! I feel like children are already having endless acts of service. However, this can be balanced. It is important to teach your child independence and responsibility, but it can also be nice to show love at times through act of service. An example would be, “I wanted you to know, I went ahead and folded your laundry this week because I saw how stressed you were with school.” Doing an act of service to show love and respect for your child can go a long way.
3. Giving gifts can be a treasure for many children. It can be as simple as picking up a souvenir when traveling, an extra toy for having a great week at school, or bringing home your child’s favorite dessert after a long day of work/school. It isn’t what you give your child, but that you are recognizing your love for your child by taking the time to share something with them.
4. Quality Time: A child who values quality time really needs for a parent to be fully present for the special moments. Making a point to be there for school plays, tennis matches, and other important moments shows your child that you love them.
5. Physical Touch: Physical touch is one of the earliest needs your child will have. Hugs, back rubs, high fives, and tucking them into bed, allow your child to feel secure and loved.
Take a moment to reflect what your love language is as a parent. Think about if you are communicating in the language your child needs, or if you could add more. Be intentional this week in trying a new love language and see how your child responds!
Written by Amy Rollo, M.A., LSSP, LPC-S
Amy Rollo is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and owner of Heights Family Counseling. Amy has been practicing counseling and diagnostic evaluations for fifteen years. She has doctoral level training in the areas of child and adolescent counseling, evaluations, marriage and family therapy, and adult counseling. Amy Rollo provides counseling and evaluation services in the Houston Heights and surrounding areas. Amy’s goal in counseling is to journey with her clients in order to foster positive changes and growth in their lives. Read more about Amy's counseling style by visiting www.heightsfamilycounseling.com and read more about her services http://heightsfamilycounseling.com/services-1/