Some of you might not even know what a love language is. So before I dive down deep into my kids and the way they speak to us through these “languages”, I’ll briefly summarise what they are.
There’s an author by the name of Gary Chapman that has a book that has the fundamental break down of the 5. It’s extremely enlightening because if you get to read it before you go into a relationship and especially marriage-it helps to understand your significant other a whole lot more. So, Tim and I had read the book and did the basic test to see where we gauge. The languages are as follows:
1. Physical Touch – this is a bit of a no brainer to most. These people enjoy hugs, cuddles, holding hands, hair playing, feet rubbing etc. once a person who speaks this language the most has any of these-they are completely tanked up and feel loved to the moon and back.
2. Words of affirmation – these people get tanked up when they’re told they’re doing a good job. That they look fantastic, that who they are or what they’re doing is amazing. Even for something as small as making a sandwich. Thank you’s go a long way with compliments for this person.
3. Receiving/giving of gifts – this person appreciates any form of thought in a gift. It can be a paper plane with their name on it, and they’re pumped up. Little trinkets are treasured and are acts of love for this person. They don’t have to be expensive but the fact that they were thought of and it was given to them, tanks them up quickly.
4. Acts of service – these people love having things done for them. This person loves it if you make their bed for them, make them a sandwich, lay out clothes, wash their car, do their dishes, clean up their toys etc.
5. Quality time – this person just likes to be with you. You can be doing literally nothing but sitting together and that’s he world to them. Talking to each other, engaging about the day, exchanging thoughts, playing together etc make this person feel loved and valued.
Well, those are the basic outlines of the languages. So what’s amazing in human nature is that you naturally give the language that you like to receive. That’s why often many people feel they’re giving so much of themselves and don’t feel loved or valued because they’re not receiving the love language they speak.
For example, Tim is a high level “Physical Touch” speaker and I’ve got it as one of my lowest. I can go for days without a hug or act of affection, but the dude needs to be hugged, cuddled, kissed etc as often as is possible. And what’s my language? I hear you ask – I’m a “Words of Affirmation” girl.
So I so easily get irritated if he hugs me all the time and wants to play with my hair. I literally would swat at him like a fly – because it’s not my language but his. Then you have me telling him that he’s amazing and the best husband in the world and how much I appreciate the guy…….. he’ll literally blank stare at me and walk away feeling nothing.
I hope you’re getting the picture. So, now that I understand myself and him, we have to purposefully speak each other’s language. It’s a lot hard because we have to think about it, but it really helps to make sure we are showing each other that we love each other.
So, our kids. It’s really interesting to see how these languages work with our kids. And once you figure them out, it really helps to shower them with that language to show them that we love them. It’s around the age of 2 that you can see which language they speak. (The physical toucher’s are easier to spot than the others)
So, my troop are a treasure trove of language and we suddenly realized Jude’s language yesterday.
Aislyn is our “Quality Time” / “words of Affirmation” kind of girl. Telling her she’s done a good job, just seems to spur her on to do more and be more. She also really enjoys just chatting one on one and having individual time. We’ve come to realize this because she always says how much she enjoyed the conversation or time together.
Iraina is an extremely high “physical touch” girl. With “acts of service” on the side. We noticed this with her when she was really little. She would hug, kiss, cuddle with any one and everyone. We came to realize that we needed to make sure her cuddle tank was always full so that she didn’t climb into a complete strangers arms. (From as young as 8months) and what’s amazing with this child, is that she feels more love when it’s her Dad more than anyone else. It’s amazing. I noticed this when he went away on a trip for about a week and started to disengage with me and wouldn’t talk to him on FaceTime. She literally became a bit of a brat-then the moment he came back-it was like a switch flipped and she was as right as rain again. It’s mainly because of her that Tim can’t take a trip longer than 10 days or else I have hell to pay at home.
So Jude. We’ve just realized his are both of the girls combined. But he seems to be bigger as a “Quality time” guy. So the more games we play with him, the more books we read together and the more the puzzles we do together the better he behaves and listens to us. He also loves to be in our laps, hugging and kissing as much as he likes. So if we’ve understood him correctly-we are going to need to start speaking his language too.
Anyway, I thought I’d share that as a nugget of parenting wisdom we’ve come to learn about over the years. Take the time to observe your child and see what makes them light up and also what they seem to try and give you in their little language. You’ll be amazed at how much better they’ll respond to you if you speak In their language.
Let me know if you’ve noticed anything cool and if it’s hard work for you or not? I know that it’s really hard work for me to remember to hug my kids, because it’s not my language. If you want to know you language, take this little brief test (it’s great even if you’re not in a relationship and there’s one for kids as well) and it’ll help you see where you sit. Respond to the answers quickly and don’t over think them. Those give the best results.