Showing our love for our children on their terms.
I sometimes forget the importance to seek moments when I can reach my child’s most inner feelings to learn more about him. Beyond finding out how his day went, it’s important to know how he likes to feel loved. It must have been two years when I read a parenting book that talked about the importance of knowing how children perceive our love for them:
“Nearly all parents deeply love their children, yet not all children feel that unconditional love and care. Why this contradiction? Often, parents assume their kids just “know” they love them, or that saying “I love you,” will be enough. But children are behaviorally motivated. They respond to actions – what you do with them. So to teach them, you must love them on their terms.” – The 5 Love Languages of Children.
Through direct conversations and by directly asking questions, we can learn how to better communicate with our children. I took clues from books like this and I started my own routine in search of that connection with Lucian:
“Lucian, do you like it better when Mom gives you a kiss and a hug or when she buys you an ice-cream?”
“Hugs and kisses,” he’d say.
I was curiuos to find out what Lucian’s love language is, I started asking Lucian what his favorite activity was. Did he prefer that I snuggled with him instead of playing ball with him at the park? The experience of finding out what Lucian’s love langue is was revealing.
Do you know what is the love language of your children?
On Mother’s Day, I’ll be giving my son plenty of hugs and kisses, it will be day to remember the times when I have enjoyed a deeper connection with him. Children crave our love and attention but learning what their love language is not straightforward.
What I learned? The practice of asking, and listening to my child taught me that he preferred: touch to any other form of love.