Do you ever wonder why you seem to have a better understanding with some children and not others? With one child, you can see they feel loved and supported, and you then feel like you are being a successful parent. But with another child, no matter what you do for them or with them, they are constantly either silently (or in their more angry moments actually yelling at you) acting as if you didn’t really love them. It could be that the way you are expressing love to your child does not match the way they feel loved or supported. When a child feels loved in their unique way, they are storing up “love points” that will help them when things aren’t going well for them.

5 Ways a Person Can Feel Loved

  1. Words and Affirmations – The first way is through using words and affirmations to let the child know they are special to you. Things like sending positive little notes, “I know you will do well on that test. You studied hard, we are proud of your good work.” It could be exclaiming over their acts of achievement with verbal praise, “You are such a caring person. You helped your grandmother feel so much better.”
  2. Giving Physical Affection and Support – The second way is by giving physical affection and support. Hugs, pats on the head, pulling them into your lap, or rubbing their shoulders would be in this category.
  3. Spending Time With Them – The third way is by spending special time with them. Even if it is only a few minutes a day, carving out one special thing that the two of you can do together is what will make this child feel cared for. Playing cards, taking a walk, reading a book, having cookies and milk and talking are some ways that make a child who values special time feel loved.
  4. Doing Things For Them – The fourth way is doing things for them. Folding their laundry and putting it away, cooking their favorite meal, driving them to see their friend when it’s a busy time for you.
  5. Giving Them Special Things – The fifth way is by giving them special things. Sometimes this might be a big thing, but it could just as easily be a pair of socks they ask for, a game, or a cool rock. The point isn’t what it is, but that it is something they value.

Everyone has their own way of feeling loved. If a child isn’t getting love in the way they need, the child may often behave badly, as well as frustrate the parent. The parent too has a “love language’ which may or may not match the child. The important thing is that the parent is aware of the child’s needs and responds accordingly.

These ideas are from an excellent source, “The Five Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, M.D . This entire concept and a way to measure your child is available in their book. If you also want to find out what your own “love language” is, then there is also a book for adults available by the same authors.

Whether you read the book or not, remember that just because something makes you feel loved isn’t necessarily true for the person or people you love. If you explore and find what makes that important person in your life feel they are valued by you, then you can discover a whole new way to get closer to them. You will discover that you can have a much more satisfactory relationship with your children as well as others in your life.

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Gina Crozier, the director of Sonoma Family Counseling has been working with families and children for over thirty years. Her style of counseling is positive, solution-focused with the idea that within everyone there is the ability to solve their problems.