The Six Love Languages of Children Understand
The greatest love you can give children is to let them know that you love them all the time and that your love for them never changes, no matter what happens. Each of us struggles with accepting ourselves. Children are no exception. Even at an early age they know whether they are loved or not. Our goal as parents should be to assure them that they are precious to us, not because of what they have or how well they perform, but because of whom they are. Children need to feel that they are a part of the family. Though what makes one child feel loved emotionally is not always the thing that makes another child feel loved emotionally, but out of these six "Love Languages of Children," your child must fit into one or more.
It means much to some children when their parents express appreciation for the things they did right. Being gracious and affirming with our speech will help assure our children that we love and respect them. Children are naturally sensitive to the words they hear, especially from their parents. Statements like, “You’re getting on my nerves. Don’t disturb me can’t you see I’m very busy…” should be avoided. “Pleasant words are a honeymoon, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverb 16:24). As we seek to show respect for their ideas and opinions at the appropriate age, they will naturally reciprocate, and growing affection will be the pleasant result.
Seeing the importance of respecting our children is only the first step of showing love. Now let us explore some other practical ways of tangibly expressing this important attitude toward them. Compliment does wonders for one’s self-worth. This notwithstanding, you should detect negative behavior or attitude in your children and quickly reprimand them for it. This is indeed one of your responsibilities as their parent. Acknowledging their positive qualities helps to instill motivation in them to duplicate that behavior for more encouragement. What a better way to let them know how very special they are.
QUALITY TIME AND CAREFUL LISTENING
Have you ever tried talking to someone about an important idea or thought who was obviously not listening? I’m sure you felt unimportant and discouraged. Next time, you hesitate to go to that person again for fear of more rejection. To say we love our children without giving them careful listening is hypocritical. They may sense by our attitude that we are concerned about what they are saying no matter how sensible or insignificant it seems.
Maintaining steady eye contact, leaning forward, touching their hand or shoulder, setting aside the newspaper and magazine, turning off the television while listening to them actually says, “I really care about you.” In the hectic life of busy parents, there will undoubtedly be times when this is impossible, but if we consciously make the required effort, our children will come to appreciate us more and understand when they sometimes have to wait for a better time to convey their opinions.
Giving the children your undivided attention, not talking to them while you read newspaper or watch television but giving them your full attention is a sign of love. Do something with them that they enjoy doing and do it wholeheartedly. Spend time talking with them about their school experiences. Spend #time playing games with them. Go on a picnic with them on Saturday. Take a vacation with the family at least once a year.
We have long known that physical touch is a way of communicating emotional love. Numerous researchers in child development have found out that babies who are held, hugged, and kissed develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods without physical contact. Wise parents always show their children by hugging them especially when either is returning home after being away for sometime. When your child arrives at home, meet him or her and give him/her a big hug.
Have noticed what a tremendous memory your child has when it comes to promises you have made him? They seem to easily forget to do some house chores but are quick to remember that promise to go out for shopping for new clothes. Keeping your promises is another way to show love to your children. Before you glibly make promises to your children, make sure you ask yourself this question: “Do I really intend to carry out this promise no matter what personal sacrifice or inconvenience it may cause? The security that they will have and the example you set will well be worth the effort.
Many times this parental responsibility comes naturally, as when a child falls and scraps his knee or when a teenager experiences rejection from a friend, but at other times our initial reaction is not that of comfort. A loving parent will want to guard a child from being hurt, emotionally as well as physically. How could a parent, any parent, relinquish the parental instinct to comfort and protect his/her child?
So many times we get distracted by the discouraging condition of our society today that we regret to realize the importance of laughter in the family. It is often said that husband sets the place in the home and the wife sets the mood. Children love to laugh and yours are no exception. Hearing them laugh with delight while they wrestle with their father on the living room floor does wonders to the family life. Who can keep a stern face while hearing his child laugh from deep inside? Laughter shows our love by assuring our children we actually enjoy their presence. Knowing they can bring joy to their parents builds their feeling of self-worth.