They say that love is universal, but did you know that different people can have very different “love languages”? According to Gary Chapman Ph.D., author of the bestselling book, The 5 Love Languages, people respond to and show love differently, and the more we understand which type resonates with us (take the quiz here if you don’t know!), the stronger our relationships - including the ones with our families. So this Valentine’s, we’re diving into how your love language might influence your parenting style.
If Your Love Language is — Words of Affirmation:
Does it make you feel warm and fuzzy when someone thanks you for that small, unnoticeable deed? If so, your love language is words of affirmation, and nothing makes you happier than hearing “you are my favorite mommy / daddy”. You might show your child love by, in turn, giving praise for a chore well done, leaving sweet notes in his or her lunch box, and telling your child you love them (often and frequently!).
Pro-tip: This Valentine’s Day, have everyone in the family make homemade cards for each person and read them all aloud together - spreading the love verbally and making it a fun family tradition!
If Your Love Language is — Physical Touch:
XOXOXO is your motto! Holding hands and hugging is the way to your heart. This means that you probably love to give your child some smooches on their way out the door for the day, or you always love to snuggle up for bedtime stories before it’s lights out.
Pro-Tip: This Valentine’s Day, build a fort in the living room with everyone’s bedsheets and pile together to snuggle and watch a favorite movie. If you want some cute V-Day intermission snacks, make Foodstirs’ themed Movie NIght Cupcakes Kit beforehand. It’s super easy, and you don’t have to worry, there are no chemicals, yucky dyes, or added sugar here – just wholesome, high-quality ingredients you can pronounce.
Pro-Tip Evereden Style: If you love showing your affection through physical touch, get hands on with our Soothing Baby Massage Oil, and show your little all the love with this all-natural skin soother.
If Your Love Language is — Quality Time:
It’s not about the physical stuff for you. You show commitment and affection by spending time with your loved ones. With your child, you are probably adamant about being present with them and turning your phones off in the evenings. You ensure that you devote undivided attention to your child - even if it’s only for a short period of time every day.
Pro-Tip: This Valentine’s Day, pencil in a formal affair. The whole family gets all dressed up (don’t be afraid to go black tie!) and heads to a favorite casual restaurant (think Chinese, a diner) for a fun statement-making tradition, super-early of course.
If Your Love Language is — Acts of Service
You feel the love when you come home, and the table is set, dinner is made, and the best part - you didn’t have to ask. What does this mean for how you show love to your child? You are probably the parent who makes extra involved snacks for their after-school activities, or the one who dedicates time to take them to all of their practices and activities.
Pro-tip: This Valentine’s Day, get the whole family together to volunteer at your favorite local nonprofit to help spread love to those in need! For a little extra TLC, have the kids make handmade Valentine’s cards to give out when volunteering!
If Your Love Language is — Gifts:
A tangible gift symbolizes caring and forethought for you. As a parent, this love language will translate into you wanting to reward your children for their milestones with that toy that they’ve been eyeing or with an experience they’ve been craving. You are most likely the parent who comes home from a trip with lots of presents for everyone.
Pro-tip: This Valentine’s Day, create a fun, new tradition of hand making gifts for each other. As a family, ransack your arts bin and start by making creative homemade crafts for each person in the family.
So, while unwavering love may truly be universal for all, the ways we express and interpret it vary. Whatever your love language may be, it’s also important to understand what your child’s is, so that you both can build a healthy, communicative relationship to express your love for one another.