How to use love languages to deepen your connection with your children
If you are familiar with the concept of Love Languages, you will realize that though they were initially applied to marriage relationships, the idea of Love Languages can be applied to every relationship.
Today we will be continuing the Mother's Day 5-Day Challenge, and we will be focusing on children's love language of Quality Time.
As a refresher for those who may not be familiar with the concept of Love Languages, here is a short summary. Gary Chapman, after many years of research and observation as a marriage therapist, wrote the book 5 Love Languages. It's a bestseller, and it's not hard to see why: this book is full of truth and it's practical truth. It helps categorize people into five different categories by how they perceive love. This is the main way they feel love and the main way they will show love.
I have two boys, who, though interested in many of the same things, are as different as night and day. The oldest's love language is Words of Affirmation, and the youngest's love language is Quality Time. My love language is Quality Time, too.
We love to do things together: play games, read books, tell each other our favorite things. He will come to me several times each day and tell me what he's learned in school, or what games he's playing and his progress so far, or some funny joke he heard. He wants to spend time with the people he loves. He absolutely hates it when everyone is too busy to listen to him. That's his love language. That's not to say that he doesn't like me to give him a hug or a gift or a word of praise or a drink. But he absolutely loves it when I spend time with him.
Do you have a child who loves to spend time doing things with you and just being with you? Do they hate being ignored? Then chances are, their love language is also Quality Time. (There is a test on Dr. Chapman's website that you can take to give you an idea, also, though I would have your child fill it out on their own, if possible.)
Here are a few practical ideas for carving out some time with your Quality Time child:
If they go off to school, as soon as you pick them up or they get off the bus, make a special “debriefing” time where they can tell you about their day.
If they are homeschooled, use mealtimes to ask what they've been learning or are doing during their breaks.
Whenever you go somewhere as a family, use driving time as special bonding time. Invent games to play on the way there, like “I'm thinking of a superhero...” or “I'm thinking of a video game character...” or whatever they're into.
Whenever you go somewhere as a family or pick them up from an event, ask them to tell you about what they did or what part they liked best.
Start planting the seed about talking with Jesus themselves. The way they will love Jesus best is to spend time listening to Him through deep Bible study and talking to Him in personal prayer. Show them how and encourage them to begin doing these by themselves.
Spend time teaching a new skill or a hobby or a game.
Try to set time in your schedule for one “Family Night” every week. Take turns tailoring the night's activities to each member of the family. Let them choose.
Make bedtime a special time. Read a story together. Pray together. We like to make “Quick Goodnight” a game where each person has to tell the best part of their day, or each person in the family gets to ask one question and everyone else has to answer it. We rotate who goes first and who ends in prayer.
These are just a handful of ways you can spend time with your Quality Time child. Feel free to add ideas in the comments below!
Here is the lineup of all the blog posts for the Challenge:
The introductory post at http://inspiredbyfamilymag.com/2018/04/14/discover-childs-love-language/ also has an assessment you can take to find out your child's language.
- Love language #1 - 16th - Physical touch- Rebekah
- Love language #2 - 17th Words of Affirmation - Alynda http://alyndalong.com
- Love Language #3 - 18th Quality Time - Lila www.liladiller.com
- Love language #4 - 19th Gifts - Lia http://www.sipmom.com
- Love Language #5 - 20th Acts of Service - Trista http://adrivenwife.com
If you are interested in learning more about the concept of the love languages, I recommend buying either the 5 Love Languages and/or the 5 Love Languages of Children.(These are Amazon affiliate links.)
How to Join!
- Go to our Facebook page post and write--Count me in the #MothersDay5DayChallenge
- Go to your local library and get The 5 Love Languages of Children book or buy it HERE!
- Download the FREE Love Languages Assessment and go over it with your child together if they are young or have them do it on their own if they are old enough.