Love Languages in the Mother-Child Relationship
You’ve probably heard of the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Or perhaps your own life experiences helped you realize that not all people love in the same way.
Each of us expresses affection differently and requires something different in order to feel loved. Love languages have been explored most in the context of couples. However, they’re also fundamental in the relationship between parents and their children.
Generally, we as parents are aware of the importance of love for our children. It’s the main foundation on which their self-esteem and the rest of their future relationships will be based.
However, it’s not enough for us to love them, they must also feel loved. It’s not enough for us to show them love; it’s essential for them to be able to clearly perceive it.
The five love languages
Words of affirmation
This type of language consists of expressing love with praise, words of appreciation, thanks. If your child identifies with this, they’ll need to hear and read how much you love them. To do this, speak to them affectionately. For example, you can say things like “I’m so proud of you”; “you’re so smart”; “I love being your mom”.
These children will also appreciate little gestures, such as a handwritten note in their lunch box wishing them a good day or a card especially dedicated to them. Open your heart to them with words.
Quality time is about giving the other person, in this case, your child, your undivided attention. It’s not just about being in the same physical space, but about really connecting. Children who speak this language need those special moments alone with their parents, especially if they have siblings.
So, to show them your love, organize activities from time to time that you can share and enjoy together, like going for a bike ride, playing their favorite game, going to see a movie… Give them your time and they’ll feel loved.
Gifts as a love language
For children who have this language, it’s important for them to receive gifts in order to feel affection, not for their material value, but for their meaning. Receiving a gift means that mom or dad has thought about them and their likes and dislikes, and they want to please them.
If you’re the mother of one of these children, avoid giving them money for their birthday and try to find something really meaningful and valuable for them. It’s also a good idea to give them spontaneous gifts every now and then, even if it’s not a special day.
Picking them up from school with a sweet gift or a small toy that they collect will make them very happy.
Acts of service
In this case, actions speak louder than words. Your children need you to show your love with concrete actions, not just by telling them you love them. They feel loved when you make small sacrifices for them, such as taking them to their after-school classes, helping them with their homework, taking the time to do their favorite hairstyle, or sewing up that stuffed animal that broke.
Finally, some children need physical displays of affection to feel loved. Not only do they enjoy hugs and kisses, but they also appreciate holding hands on the street or cuddling together in bed while you read a bedtime story.
Learn to manage your child’s love languages
Although we all handle, to a greater or lesser extent, all of these love languages, we tend to have a clear preference for one or two of them.
In the case of children, this predilection starts to become clear by the age of five. However, once you’ve identified your children’s love languages, you may find that they don’t value or use the same ones as you do.
You may find that physical contact isn’t necessary. In fact, you may even find it to be uncomfortable. However, if you detect that this is what your child needs, you’ll need to make an effort.
Likewise, if you’ve never been a big gift giver but your child greatly values spontaneous and heartfelt gestures, you’ll have to try to change this. It’s important to love your children as they need, as this will make a big difference in their lives.