Thursday, September 29, 2011

Identifying Primary Love Language

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The 5 Love Languages of Children includes a section on identifying your child's primary love language. Remember that a child's primary love language cannot be identified until the child is at least five. The authors also point out that a love language is not set in stone (page 108), and will often change during times like adolescence. There are five steps to identifying (starting on page 109)

1. See how child expresses love to you
Your child will likely express love in the way he wants to receive love.  This is especially true for the 5-8 year old crowd. If you have read my previous posts on this, you will know that my suspicion for Brayden's primary love language has always been words of affirmation. He definitely fits into that on how he expresses himself. You have never heard a more grateful child when I do his laundry, make his food, drive him somewhere--he is the most thankful boy ever :) I don't think it is just good manners--though I would love to claim it as such ;). I think it is his love language. 

2. See how child expresses love to others
What does your child do for others? When he has a teacher he likes, how does he want to show it? What about siblings? This can be obvious if the child is into gifts as signs of love. If it is words of affirmation, however, you won't know what he is saying to a teacher unless she tells you about it. 

3. Notice what your child requests from you
Does your child ask for more time? Does he ask for compliments? He will most likely ask for most what he desires most. 

4. Take note of what your child complains about most
Your child might have a theme of complaint--time spent with him, never saying anything nice, etc. This is a clue as to what he is needing more of.

5. Give a choice
If you are unsure still, you can offer two choices of activities that would indicate a preference of love with one or another. Do this every so often over the course of several weeks and take note of the answers. It should give you a clue into the hierarchy. 

Examples given in the book are:
  • bake you a pie (service) or go to park together (time)
  • wrestle (physical) or read story (quality--though I must say if you cuddle during story time, it could be physical)
Conclusion
This is a quick summary of the five steps in the book. The book has more details. These steps can help you identify the primary love language of your child. Remember, you want to be multi-lingual, but having an idea for the love language of your child helps you make sure you give extra focus to that language so it doesn't get neglected. It also helps in time of distress--when your child needs comforting. The primary love language will speak the loudest to him at those times. It also helps you to avoid using that love language negatively.

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