Ever feel like you’re putting your love out there but your partner isn’t feeling it? Maybe it’s the other way around. I’m guessing by now you’ve heard of love languages. But if you haven’t let me break it down, this is an incredible relationship building tool!
In his book The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman explains there are certain ways that we express our love for one another. They are: acts of service, gift giving, quality time, physical touch and words of affirmation.
So picture this…hubby has been away for work all week, you miss him and can’t wait to snuggle on the couch and watch a movie. When he gets home he washes your car and does laundry. There is no time for a movie but tomorrow you plan to go on a hike and then watch that movie. The next day hubby says he needs to mow the lawn before the hike and then it rains so no hike. You’re feeling frustrated and you lash out at him for not spending time with you – in your mind he’s neglecting you. Of course he can’t understand why you’re upset because in his mind, he is showing you how much he loves you.
Here’s what went wrong: your love language is quality time and you planned activities to spend time with your partner to show him how much you love him. BUT, hubby’s love language is acts of service and because he’s been away all week, he’s now working a little extra to show you how much he loves you. Oops! You’re missing one another’s love language.
So how does this work with your kiddos? Pretty much the same so it’s important to learn your child’s love language. It’s easier than you think. You can go to 5 Love Languages.com and have your child take the quiz. The quiz will rank each of the 5 love languages with a score. Sometimes there is a clear cut “winner.” Some people don’t have a dominate love language but rather two languages that score fairly equal.
- if your child is young, you can ask the questions
- you may need to simplify the verbiage but don’t alter the point
- kids may change as they grow and understand more so don’t pigeon hole them – have them take the test once a year
- while a love language may stay the same, it will be expressed and accepted differently at various ages (age 4 and 14 will want to receive physical touch in different ways)
- share your love language with them so they can learn to understand how we show love differently
Understanding love languages is one more tool to meeting your child where he is and building your relationship.
What’s your love language?