Is Your Child’s Love Tank Full?
Joey & Carla Link
April 29, 2020
No amount of discipline will be effective if a child’s emotional needs are not being met. Are you having trouble discerning your child’s love language needs? The following are some examples of how a youngchild would demonstrate his/her love.
- Is she always telling you she loves you, how nice you look, how good dinner is, etc? Consider ‘words of encouragement’.
- Does he bring you pictures he has drawn/colored, or rocks he found in the yard? Consider ‘giving gifts’.
- Does she follow you around asking what she can do for you? Is she helpful? Consider ‘acts of service’.
- Can he not walk by you without giving you a hug, or climbing in your lap? Consider ‘physical touch and closeness.’
- Is she always asking you to read her a book, or color with her? Consider ‘quality time’.
How can you really know what your child’s love language is? Ask him! Ask your child what it is that you do that makes him feel special or loved by you. Pay close attention to his answer. It will fall into one of the above five categories. We cannot tell you how many times, when we found ourselves frustrated with the attitude of one of our children, the culprit has not been the discipline we had used, but rather that their emotional ‘tank’ wasn’t full.
Before our son Michael got his driver’s license, I drove him to band every day, about a ten minute drive, and picked him up when that period was over. (He was homeschooled the rest of the day.) Since our office is in our home and Joey was usually home during that time, I often left the girls at home when I made this drive. I didn’t realize how often, until an incident that happened one time when I had the girls with me. I needed to take them shopping for new shoes and decided to pick up Michael and take them all at one time. As soon as he saw us in the van waiting for him, it was apparent he was upset. I asked him what was wrong, and after pressing him repeatedly, he finally blurted out, “What are the girls doing in the van? This is my time with you!” I was surprised at the anger in his tone. I took him home and then took the girls shopping, during which time I thought about how to deal with the matter. I had not put the same value on that time as he had. Michael’s primary love language is ‘quality time’ and having those few minutes with me each day was a way that he was getting it filled. When I got home, I shared with him that I would try to honor that time for just us. However, in return, should I on occasion need to have the girls with me, I expected a better response from him in the future.
If you are uncertain as to what your child’s primary love language is, take steps to figure it
. Remember, they give what they need. So look closely at what they are giving you. It is often difficult to tell with little ones as they need your undivided attention, cuddling and encouraging words in large doses to get through their day.
In review – there are 3 good ways to find out your child’s love language.
- Look to see what he/she gives you.
- Ask him what you do that makes him feel special.
- Take 15 minutes a day, every day for a week and work on one of them. At the end of the week sit down with your spouse and give your child a grade on how responsive he/she was to your effort. Trust us, there will be one that stands out.
Keeping your child’s love tank filled is just as important as keeping your car’s gas tank filled for it to run at all. Think about that.