Children need love. Every parent says, ‘I love my child’—yet so many children grow up with a void. Maybe the parent didn’t realize what they should’ve done or what is considered love.
Let me share the five languages of love from the author Dr. Gary Chapman.
Hugs, Kisses, holding the hand and walking, cuddling together while watching something on TV – these are deep joys for young children. I still remember rolling and playing a wrestling and tickling game on the bed that brought immense joy and fulfillment to my kids and is still remembered as our cuddling game.
Words of affirmation
In our desire to see our kids get better and better, often parents tend to be more critical and corrective. But love is expressed though appreciation: “Well done, my son.” “You look so pretty, my daughter.” These are received as words of love. Children flourish under encouragement.
Someone has said love is spelled T-I-M-E. If you love them you will be with them. Kids love parents to be with them, chat with them, share stories, and listen to them. In the busyness of life this is often forgotten. I know the number of times I have fallen short, but I know that there is no substitute for time. If you have more than one kid, take each one out separately for a special date. They will cherish that.
And as they grow older, get involved in their areas of interest. Love is seen in you being happy and involved in their world.
Children love receiving gifts. Have you noticed how excited they get about their birthdays? The party is secondary; the real joy is in unwrapping the gifts. Without moving towards materialism, we should see that they know we love them as we gift them with things they can enjoy.
When they experience service and care, they know you love them. Whether it’s the hot coffee during their long hours with books, dropping them to their best friend’s home, or getting their favourite dish ready—service is interpreted as love.
Children at different stages will appreciate one language more than the other. For example a toddler would appreciate love expressed through hugs and kisses more than receiving gifts, while an older teen would consider it extremely thoughtful and loving if he received a gift rather than a kiss.
Whatever works for you and your kid, express love. And if you are a kid reading this blog, go ahead and appreciate your parents as they do their best to love you.