Confidence and the 5 Love Languages
Question: How do I build my child’s confidence?
Answer: Using the 5 Love Languages.
- Calling them by name — which gives value to their sense of being.
- Playing with them — whatever game they choose.
- Listening to them attentively when they have something to say.
- Trusting them to do things on their own — from choosing their own outfits to important jobs around the house.
- Encouraging them to do things they’ve never done, and sharing in the first steps when they’re nervous or scared.
- Giving them the tools to self-advocate.
What Are the 5 Love Languages?
- Quality Time – spending time together and giving the other person your complete attention
- Physical Touch – holding hands or a touch on the arm; this language is about appropriate touch
- Receiving Gifts – it’s usually the thought and time that went into the gift that is as loving (or more) as the gift itself
- Acts of Service – remember the old adage actions speak louder than words
- Words of Affirmation – using words to affirm others
How Do I Use the Love Languages?
First and foremost, take the quiz. Understand the 5 love languages through your own lenses. Reflect on the results of the quiz and what it tells you about how you best receive love. What examples can you think of that illustrate this point?
This self-understanding is key because it creates greater awareness to begin seeing how you tend to give love and to better recognize how others in your life better receive love. Most of us automatically give love to others (partner, children, siblings, parents, etc) the way we would most like to receive love in return. But your child, for example, won’t receive your love too well if his/her love language is different than yours — and that is pretty frustrating. Not feeling appreciated for what we try to offer others, frankly, just doesn’t feel too good. Beyond that, it makes communication harder too.
What does this have to do with building your child’s confidence? Well, the greater a child’s belief is that s/he are truly loved and understood, the more they’ll feel safe to explore who they really are. There’s not a shadow of a doubt in my mind that you love your child to the moon and back – you wouldn’t be reading this article if you didn’t! And I’m willing to bet your child knows they are loved too. That doesn’t mean s/he always feels understood. When you can actively love your kids in the way they best perceive it as love, the more they feel loved from their point of view – not yours. That type of understanding is what the love languages offer.
Take time to learn your child’s love language; there is a children’s quiz too. Each day, intentionally choose one way to actively love your child within his/her love language. Notice how s/he responds and what happens over time. Once you know the love languages, you can’t un-know them. And as your child feels more and more understood and loved, you’ll watch their confidence grow!