5 Parenting Love Languages

Based on “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman

There are a 5 different ways that people communicate their love and need to feel their love.  Everyone is different, and I am sure that people can have more than one with one main love language.  I think it is essential for parents to understand what kind of love language they speak compared to their spouse and kids to have a harmonious household where everyone is getting the kind of love and affection they understand and need.

The five different love languages are:

1) Quality Time

Quality time is about being with your loved one and really only being with each other.

People who need quality time crave alone time with their loved one, want to catch up with them by having time alone where they can talk and bond.

You need alone time if you find yourself constantly desiring to be with someone and not just hear from them or write to them.  You do not feel satisfied or happy until you can be with the person or people you love.

2) Physical Touch

Physical touch is showing love through hugging, cuddling, sexual relations or simply putting a caring hand on someone’s shoulder.

People who need physical touch want you to hug them, they want cuddle time and always show “PDA” or public displays of affection to feel that you love them and to demonstrate their love for those they care about.

You need physical touch if you feel lonely and lost if you have not been physically near a loved one.  You constantly crave to be close to those you care about and demonstrate your love for them with hugs, massages and even sitting close to others.

3) Gifts

The love language gifts does not have to be large or extravagantly expensive gifts, it can be notes, CD’s, flowers or leaving a pastry.  These small gifts are tokens of love to the giver or receiver.

People who need gifts feel validated when you spend money and/or time picking something out for them.  Often times, the saying, ‘it is the thought that counts’ really applies here.

You need gifts if you think or wait anxiously for holidays or birthdays to see what your loved ones might get you.  Gifts are usually a big test in relationships for people who speak the gift love language.

4) Acts of Service

Acts of service are acts of love when someone does an action for the other.  This can be cleaning, cooking, driving or even doing an errand.  By doing that act of service the other person feels love or is showing their love.

People who need acts of service will sometimes ask their loved ones for favors or errands not because it is easier, but rather because they need the affirmation of the other person’s love.

You need acts of service if you feel unwanted or unimportant if someone does not follow through on a promise or do something that you ask.

5) Words of Affirmation

Words of affirmation are verbal clues for others to express how much they love and care about someone.  Words of affirmation can also be compliments and reassurances that confirm inner love in an outer way.

People who need words of affirmation need to hear from the people they love frequently and need to hear, out loud what the other person is thinking to feel loved.

You need words of affirmation if you find yourself constantly needing to hear from your loved one to get reassurance from them.  People who want words of affirmation might also fish for compliments because this is the way they feel most loved.

I challenge you to sit down with your family, perhaps at a radical family meeting and talk about what kind of love language everyone is.  Typically, people tend to give what they are. Think about if you are giving what you need to receive more of and if your kids are asking for more love in their language…which might not necessarily be yours.

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