Practicing Love for
Each Love Language
What would we do without the Love Languages Model? What an impactful, useful tool for interpersonal communication and connection!
Here at Kindhood, we love Love Languages. They're great for applying to our relationships with the kids in our lives, too!
Here are some of our favorite ways to foster that love connection with our littles, via the Fab Five:
1. Quality Time
PRESENCE. When you're with your little, it can be hard to zone in and really focus on that make-believe game, to put the phone down (especially if you're taking pictures of them, or working from home!), or to babble along with random thoughts. But man, is it worth it!
As parents, we find it's helpful to set a time limit for ourselves to practice true presence with our kids. They can feel it, and it makes a huge difference.
2. Words of Affirmation
POWERFUL LANGUAGE. We all have different comfort levels when it comes to expressing affection or affirmation with others--and that's ok! When communicating with your kiddos, though, the power of honesty and kindness can't be overestimated. And if you combine the two?? So powerful!
Infusing affirming statements that focus on their inherent natures will do wonders for developing strong bonds with your child. It doesn't always have to be "I Love You.” Also try these:
"You are so special to me!”
"I had so much fun with you today!"
“I am so proud of how kind you are!”
Be creative, and see what resonates with your little person. This practice will help them feel both loved and worthy.
3. Receiving Gifts
TOYS AND MORE. You may have a kiddo that loves getting things--we are not against that (Kindhood poncho towel, anyone??)!
Connect special little gifts or treats with moments of connection for your kid. Maybe it's writing a handwritten note, sharing your orange, or buying that super awesome buildable set they've had their eye on...
The super important thing here is the meaning you're passing to your child. Behind every gift you’re saying, “I know you appreciate this, and I want you to have it because I love you.”
4. Physical Touch
HUGS, BACK RUBS, AND HONORING NO. Don't forget the snuggles! Build in some intentional cuddle time into the day, even if it's just 5 minutes. Make excuses to hold hands, or give back rubs, or massage their little feet.
Something equally important to remember--pay attention to when they really don't want any physical touch. Instilling a sense of respect for another person's body and space is so important, and it can be done now! Show them how much you care via respectful, thoughtful touch.
5. Acts of Service
HELPING YOUR CHILD WITH LITTLE THINGS. With parenting, it can feel like all we do for them is one continuous act of service! A great way to provide distinction around this love language is to teach your kids how to see your intent behind the act. Have them help you with house chores so they know the effort it takes, or you can talk about what you're doing for them as you're doing it.
Then reversely, intend to shower them with just a little extra care--make their bed for them as a surprise, offer to help them with a daunting task, or make them their favorite dinner just because. It's all in the little things.
We hope these suggestions bring more moments of joy and love to your every days. We'd love to hear how you practice showing and teaching love to your littles--comment below, or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS: Equally important: showing yourself love as you practice loving your kids. Remember to practice your love language to yourself, and to vocalize to your partner/friends/community how you need love, too. Keep that tank full, parents!
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