Dr. Gary Chapman identified the five languages of love: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Basically, he says that we all need these five things to feel loved but that everyone has one or two that they feel more keenly show love. For example, I feel by doing something such as cleaning the kitchen, I am showing my family I love them so my “dominant” love language is Acts of Service. My husband, on the other hand, feels sitting down to play a game together shows love so his would be Quality Time.
Our dominant love languages are somewhat opposite of each other therefore, we need to make sure we are speaking the other person’s love language. I could spend a whole day cleaning the house till it sparkles but that does not communicate love to my husband. I need to make sure there is time for him in order to communicate love. He could spend a whole day with me but if I come home and one of his chores is not done, I can be really bothered and upset. In recognizing each other’s dominant love languages, we have been able to work on speaking the others more often and having a better understanding of how we are expressing love.
You can figure out your love language at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/
Children and teens have a dominant love language too. Although they need to have all love languages spoken to them more than adults do. I highly recommend The Five Love Languages for Children book that explains it really well.
I want to give an example of how I work to use all the love languages even though they do not all come naturally to me. My kids are cuddlers, snugglers, and huggers. They LOVE positive physical touch. I did not grow up in a household with much positive touch. Even hugging seems somewhat foreign to me. I recognize, though, that my kids really need this. (Note I said need, not want). So, I push through some of my discomfort and hug, snuggle, and cuddle frequently. In fact, as I’m typing this, my youngest is practically on my lap snuggling. Sometimes I do tell my kids I need a break but usually just a short one. In the long run, it will make my kids feel loved and I know one day they won't want to touch so much.
Check out this website where you can help you kid figure out his love language http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/children/
Stefanie F. Pisarkiewicz, LPC
Experience and information from a counselor and mother- sharing her two cents on children and teens.