I’ve heard about the five love languages for many years, but it wasn’t until I attended a Mother of Preschooler’s (MOPs) meeting that I really honed in on them and how they not only pertained to my life, but my children’s lives.
The five love languages are summarized as follows:
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Receiving gifts
- Quality time
- Physical touch
In my MOPs group, a majority of us described our love language of acts of service, which makes sense. Most of us are the primary caregiver for our children, complete tasks in and outside the home, and have a to-do list the size of Mount Everest. One thing I hadn’t considered prior to this examination was my children’s love languages.
I have been more intentional about how I act and respond towards my children. My toddler’s love language is still not known, but with my six-year-old twin girls, I’ve been able to identify that they each have a different love language. This has become useful not only in showing them affection but discipline as well.
My one twin has a love language of physical touch. I recognize this because she is the one who usually wants me to cuddle with her or give her hugs and kisses. My love language is not physical touch, but recognizing that it is her’s, I have tried my best to break down my insecurities and show her physical affection when I know she needs it. In the same return, I know a time-out might not be the most effective punishment for her.
My other twin’s love language is words of affirmation. I recognize this because she constantly seeks approval, not necessarily (but sometimes) being better than her sister at a task, and overall, just doing a good job at something. Upon identifying this, I have tried to tell her, without prompting, how well she is doing at a task, school work, or something similar. Her eyes light up anytime she receives praises. In the same turn, she knows she has not done her best at something when I scold her.
Taking time to identify what our individual love languages are has helped our family as a whole. I now intentionally communicate and show love differently to my children, and yes, it takes a bit of work. I don’t know if it will ever come naturally, but that’s OK – the outcome is well worth it. My children have been more affectionate to me in their own ways, too, and in turn, I know that they are emotionally satisfied.