You love your children. Do they know it?
Valentine's Day is right around the corner, so let's talk about love in this blog post.
Have you heard of the five love languages developed by Gary Chapman, Ph.D.? Here are the five love languages:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of services
Chapman referred to these languages as different ways of expressing and receiving love. Each person has their preferred language(s). Understanding other's love language will help you support each other better.
What does the love language have to do with parenting?
We want our kids to feel loved ❤️
But are we showing them affection in their language?
Or are we showing them love in our love language only?
To understand the relationship between the two, let's look at how the love language is used in the classroom. Imagine the teacher being the parent and all the students being the children.
Before I began teaching, I did the love language tests to help me figure out my preferred language and my blind spots (the lower scoring languages). Learning about my love language is crucial because humans tend to show affection to others in ways they prefer. My highest scored language is Acts of Services, and my lowest scored language is Gifts. That implies a few things for me in the classroom -
I see the work I do for the kids as a form of love to the kids. (even if it is behind the scene and the students can't see)
Since I don't value Gifts as much, I tend to neglect small gifts like a star/stick on paper and prefer using gifts as long-term prizes.
Students who are willing to offer help to me voluntarily make me feel better. If I gravitate towards interacting with those students, that is the time when the "teacher's pet" scenario begins to evolve.
Students who have gifts as the primary love language may feel left out if I don't stick to my reinforcement system.
After taking the test, I implemented different reward systems to show affection and support to my students. I was also aware of how having a preference on some students can negatively impact the classroom dynamic. I frequently reflected on my practice to make sure I was not biased subconsciously.
The same idea applies to parenting.
Identifying your own love language(s) helps you figure out your preference and blind spots. Maybe you have multiple children - some of them match with your love languages, and some don't. Do you know if you are being perceived as fair by the children who don't share the same love language with you?
Maybe you are busy working all the time, and you buy as many gifts as you can to show affection to your child. However, your child's preferred love language is quality time. You are wondering why does your child is still throwing tantrums despite all the toys at home. Perhaps what they need is just fewer toys and more of your time.
Reflecting on your results will give you a lot of self-growth opportunities. You can even turn it into a family activity so that everyone gets to learn more about themselves and each other.
Where can you find the test?
Visit 5lovelanguages.com/quizzes, and you will find different versions of the test. There are specific versions for children, teens, singles, and adults.
I hope you have fun exploring your love languages with your languages. Love is a crucial component of a child's development. Let's work together to give the best to our future generation.