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Published on July 25th, 2018 | by Perrin


Discovering Love Language

By Mum and Fegans’ Volunteer Tracy Nicholson

When I discovered that each of my children has their own way of receiving love from another person, known as their “Love Language” it changed the way I interacted with them.

The Love Languages (established by Dr Gary Chapman) are Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time and Gifts. My daughter’s dominant language at the time was Physical Touch so when she came home from school we would sit down and have cuddles and tickles and I would stroke her legs and arms. There would also be some bonus quality time as it is hard to do anything else when giving your child that attention. The idea is that this fills your child’s ‘love tank’ to carry them through tricky times and emotions.

My son’s love language, I then discovered, was Gifts. He loved receiving a gift from me, although this isn’t necessarily a bought gift. If I bring back a sweet from a restaurant, the free toiletries from a hotel, or a special pebble or shell or some treasure found in a charity shop, his face would light up and he would find somewhere special to keep it in his room. By thinking of him and bringing him something it reassured him of my love for him and made him feel secure and safe.

This is how you show each of the five Love Languages:

  • Physical Touch: Hugs, tickles, holding hands when you go for a walk.
  • Words of Affirmation: Telling your child how great they are, and how much you appreciate them (these children can take negative comments very hard)
  • Quality Time: Stopping what you are doing and giving your child your undivided attention will suit these children. If you are not fully present with them they will crave time with you.
  • Gifts: Children whose love language is gifts will feel noticed, appreciated and important when you take the time to think of little trinkets and gifts that will speak to them
  • Acts of Service: By doing things for your children such as making their bed or brushing their hair, they will feel treasured by you, even if you know they are able to do these things themselves, it is an important way of showing them you love them.

Why not take the time over the summer holidays to discover you own children’s love languages?

Tracy’s full article on discovering love languages is included in the free Summer Survival Pack now available from Fegans. Created in collaboration with Fegans’ professional counsellors and parent support workers, the pack is full of parenting tips such as adapting a bedtime routine when away from home, and ideas for entertaining children on a budget – including 101 responses to the dreaded complaint “I’m bored!” Handy worksheets and craft ideas which children and parents can complete together are also included. As well as being fun to do, the activities have been especially designed to open-up discussions about feelings and emotions and encourage gadget-free, one-on-one time over the holidays.

Fegans’ Summer Survival Guide can be accessed free of charge (or with an optional donation to the charity) from www.fegans.org.uk/summer-survival

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