What is your child’s ‘Love Need’?

Love your child- Parenting resources by ZenParent

My daughter thinks I don’t love her!!! Don’t I love my child? I most certainly do. In fact, I have the deepest of feelings for her. Then why is it that at times, I don’t seem to satisfy her emotionally?

Each child's needs are different

We do every possible thing to make our children feel loved and cared for. It can be so heartrending when they still feel this way!

While these feelings were still lingering, a special day arrived. It was my Birthday! Husband made the day special by making a rare entry into the kitchen and churning out an interesting breakfast. It was special indeed, but somewhere failed to meet my emotional need of feeling loved. That is when it occurred to me that what I need in terms of love is different from what he needs. We each express love in the exact same way that we need it. An act of service is his expression of love, whereas Quality time is my need. I would have loved to spend the day together with him.

So it turns out, we each have different love needs!

Likewise, our child’s love needs could be different from ours. The way we communicate love could be different from the way the child understands it. Serendipity had me stumble upon this book called ‘The Five Love Languages of Children’ written by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, which beautifully sums up this theory. Every child (and every individual) has different love needs! For a child to feel loved, you need to speak his/ her unique ‘Love Language’.

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As per authors, Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, there are five ways in which children express and understand love. While every child understands all five love languages, each child has a primary love language that is most reassuring to him/ her.

Physical Touch- Hugs & Kisses

Some children need physical touch. Nothing is more reassuring than a big bear hug and a peck on the cheek. My daughter incidentally has this immense need to hug, the moment any emotion takes over. She just can’t seem to absorb that emotion before culminating it with a hug.

Words of affirmation

“You can do it”, “I knew you would make it”, “You are so good at this”…an expression of this kind totally works for some children. Nothing can be more motivating and comforting than hearing this from a parent, for this child.

Quality Time

Turns out I belong here. A lot of children require focused, undivided attention from the parent. Often. Hearing something like “I like being with you”, “Let’s play basketball together once every week” would mean the world to him/ her.

Gifts

The pleasure of giving and receiving gifts can be such an intense expression of love. I have come across several children, who have this compelling need to give. A dear friend’s son, always makes it a point to give me something each time I visit him. If there is nothing, he makes sure to make a nice drawing or write a quick poem and ‘gift’ it. This is his expression of love. Love for these children is being showered with gifts. Big or small doesn’t matter.

Acts of Service

As it turns out, Acts of Service is how my husband expresses love. Acts of Service can be an intense expression of love needed by most children. “I fixed your cycle’s flat tyre, while you were away for football practice” can communicate the deepest of your feelings to a child with this primary love need.

Acts of love

But how would you discover your child’s primary love need? A little attention and some thought is all it takes! The Five Love Languages book is a good read. Effective communication and exchange of feelings can make parenting so much more joyful and less frustrating!

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