LEARNING TO SPEAK YOUR CHILD’S LOVE LANGUAGE; Lessons from Gary Chapman’s Bestseller book the Five Love Languages

First published here….http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/family-parenting/Learning-to-speak-your-childs-love-language/-/1954198/2154352/-/3q489x/-/index.html

How easy is it to communicate with someone who speaks an entirely different language from you?

‘If we are to communicate effectively across lines, then we must learn to speak the language of those with whom we wish to communicate’ Says Gary Chapman, relationship expert and author of the book The Five Love Languages.

Your emotional language and that of your child maybe as different as Chinese is from English. If your child spoke only Chinese and you English alone, you would never understand each other. This is because you each will be speaking in a ‘foreign’ language. However you cannot rely on your native language if your child doesn’t understand it. As a caring parent, you must therefore express yourself in the child’s primary love language if you want them to understand your love.

Every human being is born with a deep need for love. Without love, one can spend a lifetime in search of significance, self worth and security. Love isn’t everything but it creates a climate of security in which we can seek answers to whatever it is that bothers us.

It is therefore every parent’s duty to learn the primary love language of their child. However, given the uniqueness of each of us, we identify with love from different dimensions.

Giving a gift to a person whose love language is receiving gifts will work wonders; however, giving the same gift to another person whose love language is quality time will not work well as the latter appreciates meaningful time spent together much more than a gift.

A good lover must therefore, strive to understand and speak the love language of their loved one.
This is nonetheless, not different with children.

Every child has a unique primary love language though, when they are little, they do not know their love language and so all the five love languages must be poured out to them. If a parent is keen, they are likely to observe the child’s primary love language early.
A child who rushes to you, jumps on your lap and plays with your hair probably has physical touch as their primary language.

If you observe him always trying to help a younger brother or sister, his could be acts of service,
If however, a child wants you to go to his room to see something and often calls you, then there is likelihood that his language is quality time.

How then, can a parent learn to speak their child’s love language?

Below are the five love languages and how you can single out your child’s

1. Words of Affirmation
A child who keeps telling you how good you look and what a good job you do has words of affirmation as their primary love language.
It is therefore important for the parent to always use words to build up this child. Words of appreciation and verbal compliments are powerful communicator of love in this case. However, one should be careful to steer off flattery as a way of getting the child to do something.
Unfortunately, most of us speak well to the child when they are young but as they grow up, we tend to condemn them for their failures rather than commend them for their success .To a child whose love language is words of affirmation, our negative critical demeaning words tear away at their psyche and esteem.

2. QUALITY TIME.
This simply means giving the child your undivided attention. It includes sitting on the floor and rolling the ball with them, playing with the car and doll for the small kids and playing ball with the older child or sitting with them as they learn to play the guitar.

3. RECEIVING GIFTS.
This can be noticed in a child who is often making presents for you, wrapping them up and giving them to the parent in special glee. That he gives you gifts could simply imply that he would like to receive them too.
Unless it is a child’s primary love language, it could mean very little to him emotionally. Especially if he quickly lays it aside, doesn’t care for it and seldom says thank you
A child, who shows it to others, cares for it and keeps it polished and plays with it often could be indicating that this is indeed their primary language.

4. ACTS OF SERVICE
This is the primary love language of a child that expresses appreciation for ordinary acts of service because it means that they are important t to him,
The parent in this case should help the child with their homework or projects as a way of expressing love.

5. PHYSICAL TOUCH
A baby who is held and hugged ends up developing a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long without physical contact.
A tender hug is a big communicator of love to a child whose primary love language is physical touch

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