Did you know that each child—each person really—has their own method of communicating love? According to Gary Chapman Ph.D. (founder of the 5 Love Languages) it’s important to understand how we receive love and also how we give love.
Knowing more about this side of ourselves can strengthen all of our relationships by fostering communication, care, and appreciation.
In this article we will explore the 5 love languages for kids (these are also the same love languages that adults have or use), and how parents can take advantage of journaling to engage with their children.
Words of Affirmation
Words of encouragement, support, or compliments (as expressions of love) show your child that you are their biggest cheerleader in life.
● Cheer your child on at their sports came
● Hide a sweet note of encouragement in their lunch box
● Express your appreciation for them when they help around the house or when they show kindness towards you or others
Acts of Service
Offering help with tasks (as an expression of love) lets your child know they are not alone and can depend on you.
● Offer to help your child with their homework or a school project
● Do chores together with your child
● Make them breakfast in bed
Spending time with your child (as an expression of love) is another approach for communicating your care. Quality time lets your child know that you appreciate them just for being who they are, and teaches them that future relationships should value their presence as well.
● Plan an adventure and explore a new place with them
● Play a sport with your child
● Dance around the house and take turns putting on your favorite songs
Physical touch plays a huge role in the development of your child. When you hug or hold your child it releases oxytocin (the love hormone) that enables emotional bonding.
In particular, infants have been found to experience many benefits from skin-to-skin contact such as: temperature regulation, improved weight gain, less crying, fewer breathing issues, and strong immune responses.*
● Hold your child’s hand
● Give your child a massage, helping them let go of any life tension through your physical embrace
● Set aside some time to cuddle on the couch and take a nap together
The act of giving a gift (as an expression of love) can communicate the idea “I see you, I understand you.” Giving gifts doesn’t have to revolve around spending lots of money, rather it is a kind gesture of thought and appreciation.
● Make a special card or drawing that you can give to your child
● Give your child something that helps them foster their talents (i.e. a crafting kit, jewelry making supplies, etc)
● Gift your child a fund experience for the two of you to take part in, such as going to an amusement park or other outing
As parents, it’s important to remember that your child needs to receive love in a form they can recognize. The principle of conscious parenting means you're focusing on allowing your kids to meditate and self-reflect and it involves making them feel loved and heard.
You can use journaling time to sit down with your child and talk about the 5 love languages, letting them know that love can take on many shapes and forms.
Rather than giving your child the type of love you wish to receive as a parent, ask them what they value most and make an effort to express love in their language.
While Journali can be used as a mindfulness journal for kids, it also invites parents and children to bond through the act of writing. Let this daily gratitude journal encourage you and your child to see the love that is already in your lives!
Wanna learn more? Take the 5 Love Languages quiz here, and start spreading the love within your family.