Abby Faith is on a youth trip this weekend which gave Cooper and I extra time with Lucy to do whatever she wanted to do. I could have planned the whole day for her without asking her first. Shopping! Naturally. She wanted to go out to lunch at the mall and then hit the clearance racks at the local department store. It’s better than the movies, skating, bowling and ice-cream all on the same day to Lucy. So we piled in the car and headed to the mall. It was a really great day together and we were able to find some really nice things at really great prices. Always a win!
Lucy gives the best hugs. She gets it from her daddy. So after we got home I hugged her and asked her if she knew that I loved her. She said, “Yes, because you buy me things.” That may seem shallow to you, but I know my daughter and I know that her love language is gifts. This weekend I spoke her love language which filled up her love tank to where she felt the most loved by me.
Maybe you are familair with the concept of love languages with your significant other and maybe you speak it well. But each one of us has a love language and it’s important to learn what it is in our relationships so they will flourish. This is true even with our children. It would be a travesty for me to think I was conveying love to my child the entire 18 years she’s under my roof only to learn that she spoke a different language and never understood that I truly love her. So, I’ve honed in and asked questions to determine what language my children speak. Whenever I ask Abby Faith how she knows that I love her, the answer is always the same; “Because you do things with me and take the time to listen to me.” Her’s is quality time. So whenever she comes to me with a middle school issue I make sure to turn off all gadgets and focus only on her. We also schedule dates together just the two of us where she will talk. my. ear. off! That is generally the only time when she’ll open up that way to me. She knows I’m all her’s for a couple hours or so.
How can you figure out your child’s love language? It might be a little difficult to pinpoint. And keep in mind that she may speak more than one. Below is a list of the 5 love languages and ways you can begin to determine which one your child speaks.
Quality Time: If your child is always asking for your attention, wants to show you something or opens up the most when it’s just the two of you she might speak quality time.
- Plan a date at least once a month and don’t let anything else interfere with it. Let your child choose where to go and what to do (within your budget). If your child likes surprises, plan something you think she’ll like and do it! Be flexible with this and have fun! You only get 18 years!
- Spend at least 10 minutes each day alone with your child. Don’t have your phone with you or any other gadget unless she’s showing you the most hilarious YouTube video she’s ever seen over and over and over again. Not that I would know what that’s like!
- Be prepared to drop whatever you are doing when she says, “Mom, can we talk?” Those moments are priceless and rare. But they do happen. Especially if you’ve been intentional with speaking her language in the passed. She’ll know she can come to you and you will listen.
Gifts: Birthdays, Christmas and what she’s getting for Valentine’s day really matter to her. Even more so, she loves to give gifts to others. She is thoughtful about her gift-giving and excited about what others are getting too. Even the smallest things mean a lot if it is heartfelt. It may seem materialistic, but spoken the right way it’s a very loving language.
- Buy something your child has been needing, i.e. a new hairbrush, new jeans or a new pair of shoes and wrap them up for her to find on her bed when she gets home from school.
- Items from the grocery store can be a gift if you announce, “Lucy, I bought Cheerios for you today because I know you love them.” (With cut up bananas! Mmm!)
- Budget for small “I love you” gifts throughout the year. It doesn’t always have to be “no” when shopping at Target. (But it also shouldn’t always be “yes!” More on that in an upcoming post).
Acts of Service: Your child loves to do for others and she’s constantly thinking of ways to help you.
- Do her laundry for her one day while she’s at school or let her out of doing the dishes one night. (Yes, your children should have these regular chores).
- Help her clean her room one Saturday so she can hurry the process and move on to the fun part of the day.
- Set out her breakfast for her so it’s easier for her to make the next day. Help her pack her backpack when you see she’s running late. Ask her where she could use the most help and then do it.
Physical Touch: Your child is always hugging you, kissing you, and needing to be in your lap. She always wants her neck rubbed, back scratched, or just wants to hold your hand. They can’t ever seem to get enough of your touch. This one is easy.
- Hug your kid! Hug your kid a lot! Those 18 years are ticking away.
Words of Affirmation: She is always looking for your approval. Did she do a good job? Do you like it, Mom? What do you think about this or that? And she’s always telling you that she loves you.
- Tell her that you love her. It’s never too many times. I heard a woman at the mall this weekend telling her child in almost every sentence that she loved her. At first I thought it was kinda overkill, but then I thought, maybe that mom is clued in to her kid’s love language. She’d say, “I love you, but we have to go.” And her child would say, “But I love you better!”
- Tell her that she looks beautiful today! Especially when she first wakes up. Tell. Her!
- Even when she’s made you mad, give her a list of reasons why you think she’s fabulous. “I can’t believe you made an ‘F’ in Algebra! But what a good job you did in English!”
Keep in mind that even if your child mainly speaks one language she understands them all and still needs you to speak them all every now and then.
What is your child’s love language and how are some ways you speak it? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.