If you have heard of the book, The Five Love Languages, you may know that Dr. Gary Chapman also wrote a book called The Five Love Languages of Children. His work and research into filling the ‘love tanks’ of our children by utilizing five specific and intentional methods have helped many parents reach the hearts of their children and connect with them in beautiful ways.
Ask any parent, “do you want to connect with your child so that they feel more loved?”, and most parents would answer with a resounding YES! But sometimes we lack the know-how or vision for how to effectively bond with our children for strong and enjoyable relationships.
Dr. Chapman’s book identifies five key strategies to ensure your child feels loved:
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
Some children have higher needs in one or more of these areas, but most children thrive with additional quality time with a parent.
Quality Time as a Love Language
Quality time means giving your child the gift of your undivided attention. It tells children that they are important, and that you like being with them. The most important component of spending quality time with your child isn’t the activity itself, but that you are doing something together.
And what does that look like? Making positive eye contact, sharing thoughts and feelings, even just being together are what make up intentional efforts to spend quality time with your children. Mealtimes and special family events are important, and so is one-on-one time with each child if you have more than one.
But how do you squeeze any more time out of your week? Most of us feel like we don’t have enough time for our priorities already. Giving quality time to our children as they grow does require real sacrifice on our part. However, it doesn’t have to be labor-intensive, just lovingly intentional.
Making Room for Quality Time
Surveying more than three dozen homeschooling families with children, we asked the children what their favorite thing is to do with their parents. These were their answers that came up most frequently:
- Riding bikes
- Playing catch
- Playing at the park
- Playing with chalk
- Jumping on the trampoline
- Working in the garden
- Playing basketball
- Snowball fights
- Building a snowman
- Sitting on the swings and talking
- Washing the vehicles
- Walking and talking
- Building sandcastles
- Working together
- Blowing bubbles
- Listening to music
Lots of simple, fun ideas, and most of these activities just require you showing up; no extra equipment needed. Did you also notice how many of these were outdoors?
If you are interested in more hands-on outdoor activities you can do with your children, head on over to the Nature Matters Academy for inspiring ideas to connect with your children and nurture their love for nature and science as well.
So in this season of love and candy hearts, let’s be intentional about spending quality time with our children, so they grow up feeling loved exceptionally well.
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