Babies cry to communicate, but what is the preferred channel of communication for a student once a growing vocabulary, cultural traditions and family roles begin to shape their personalities?
Learning which of the five love languages applies to your child can be helpful in communicating with them about their school day, homework, and their educational challenges and successes. If you have a “toucher,” they may need to be held in your arms in order to feel secure enough to let go of a bad day and tell you what made it so rotten.
Do you know which of these five love languages is your student’s language?
- Touch – Pats, hugs, light touches on the face or arm –all these are signs of affection to a person who feels love when they are touched. Withholding physical contact can make this person feel vulnerable and unloved.
- Words – Positive words of affirmation, love notes tucked in a lunch, explanations about why you love them, and unexpected compliments create euphoria in a person whose love language is words. Insults will devastate them and hurting words are not likely to be forgotten.
- Quality Time – Watching TV together doesn’t count for a person who feels loved only when they receive quality time. Stop what you are doing, face this person, and really listen to what they have to say. A little undivided attention can go along way; find brief intervals of “me-you” time for this person each day. Permitting distractions to interrupt “me-you” time and postponing quality time can make this person feel unappreciated and unwanted.
- Acts of Service – Taking out the trash, doing laundry, making the bed, filling up the car, helping prepare meals — these are all acts of service that demonstrate love to a person who feels the heavy burden of responsibilities. Creating more work for them (like tracking mud over the floor or leaving dirty dishes piled up by the sink), laziness, and breaking promises to complete tasks or chores creates the perception that their feelings and the time they spend “taking care of everything” are under-valued or worse, unimportant.
- Gifts – Inexpensive gifts and hand made items or cards are just as valuable as high-cost presents to a person who feels love when they given a surprise. The person who feels love through gifts is not necessarily materialistic. Instead, they see the thoughtfulness and time that went into selecting, shopping, or making their gift as personal sacrifices. “I am more important to you than whatever you gave up in order to buy or make my gift,” is one way of interpreting why gifts are important to these people. Forgotten special dates and hasty, thoughtless gifts will hurt their feelings, so plan ahead!
Take the test to discover your love language and the love language your student wants to hear.