This article will talk about the meaning of love languages, and how you as a parent can use this concept to build meaningful relationships with your children.
Children get hungry when their “food tank” is empty. Likewise, there is a “love tank” in them which needs to be filled with love, care and attention. They will feel neglected when their "love tanks” runs low on love.
Similar to how a hungry person does not have enough energy to focus and work efficiently, a child who is hungry for love will have difficulty trying to learn and comply with rules and boundaries. Hence, before you can impart values or try to discipline your children, you first need to ensure that their "love tanks" are filled.
Everyone needs to be loved, and people who can fill these “love tanks” are usually our significant others. For children, you – their parents – are the ones who can fill these “love tanks”.
How Do We Fill These “Love Tanks”?
According to Gary Chapman, one can fill up the “love tanks” of another person through any of the 5 different methods:
2) Words of Affirmation
3) Quality Time
4) Acts of Service
5) Physical Touch
These categories are known as the 5 Love Languages.
How we show our children we love them usually falls into one of these 5 categories. Conversely, our children have their own preferred ways in which they hope to receive love.
The Importance of Knowing The 5 Love Languages
Over the past decade working with youth and children as a counsellor, I have seen many cases where the parents and their children cannot relate to each other due to the miscommunication of “love”. Most parents assume that they are feeding “love” by offering what they assume the child wants, and some compensate the lack of time with their child through other means. Without much choice, the children accept what their parents have offered to them, despite how it does not actually fill up their “love tanks” properly. As time goes by, when left unattended to, this mismatch of showing love will gradually snowball into undesirable expectations of each other.
Here at LoveTalks, we aim to help parents discover the effectiveness of using the 5 Love Languages to build effective communication and meaningful relationships with their children.
In the next few articles, I will be sharing with you more about the 5 Love Languages and tips on how they can be incorporated into your daily interactions. Not only will you gain insights into your own unique way of communicating to your children, you will also be filling their “love tanks” more efficiently.