Everyone feels alone and unloved sometimes. Kids are no exception. Sometimes they lash out in anger, sometimes they throw horrible tantrums, sometimes they break things, sometimes they fall into depression or anxiety when they don’t feel loved.
But there’s a surefire way to ensure your kids feel loved and safe in your family, and today I’m going to share some guaranteed ways to make your kids feel loved. Not only will they feel loved, but you’ll be raising happy kids too!
Why kids need to feel loved
When kids feel loved they feel safe. They feel protected. They feel like someone’s got their back if something scary happens. Feeling loved helps alleviate depression and anxiety because kids aren’t spending time worried or sad about their lives or what might happen tomorrow.
When kids feel loved, they feel secure. They know that even if things change, mom and dad will still love them, and they know that the love won’t change. They have confidence because they are loved, and that security makes them brave. Feeling loved makes kids feel less alone and less afraid.
When kids feel loved, they can trust other people. They can trust mom and dad to take care of them because they know they are loved. Feeling loved allows them to share their thoughts and feelings and to trust others with those deeply personal pieces of themselves.
When kids feel loved, they are happy! Aren’t newlyweds the happiest people on the planet since they’re in that “new love” stage? What if your kids could be happy instead of being angry? When kids feel loved, they feel happy.
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How to Make Kids Feel Loved
We took some time to learn the 5 Love Languages for Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. There are basically five different ways of “speaking” love, and when you “speak” these love languages to your kids, their “love bank” fills up and starts overflowing. When a child’s “love bank” is full, they feel loved and safe and secure, and they are able to trust others more easily.
What Are the 5 Love Languages for Children
Acts of Service
Kids whose love language is acts of service appreciate you doing things for them, like making them breakfast, helping them brush their teeth, or picking out their clothes for them. Kids who “speak” acts of service appreciate when you “love” them by performing acts that help them through their day.
Kids whose love language is gifts appreciate receiving gifts. The gift itself isn’t what brings the child joy, although giving something they want is always a good idea! A person who “speaks” gifts as their love language appreciates that you thought of them while you were away from them, and a thoughtful gift is a huge way to fill up a child’s love bank who “speaks” the love language of gifts.
A child whose love language is physical touch loves to cuddle. They like hugs and kisses and snuggling with their favorite people. They might also like tickling or wrestling since those are other ways to receive physical touch.
A child whose love language is quality time wants your attention. They want to do things with you. They want to run errands with you. When you spend time with a child who “speaks” quality time, you are communicating to them they are important enough to spend time with.
Words of Affirmation
A child whose love language is words of affirmation craves kind words that encourage them to be who they are. They appreciate it when you notice they’ve done a good job on something, and they value sincere compliments and encouragement about becoming themselves.
How to Love Your Child Using the 5 Love Languages
1. Identify Your Child’s Love Language
What ways does your child “speak” love? Typically, a child gives love in the way they want to receive love. Watch to see if your child tends to perform acts of service, to give gifts, to seek out quality time or physical touch or words of affirmation.
2. Brainstorm some ways to love your child in their love language
Make a list of things you can do that would “speak” your child’s love language to them.
3. Do something from the list
To make a child feel loved, love them in the way they receive love. Give your child a gift. Speak encouraging words to them. Spend time playing a game together. Wrestle or cuddle while you watch TV. Help your child pick out their clothes. “Speak” your child’s love language every day.
4. Be consistent
When you are consistent, you build trust. Speak your child’s love language consistently, and you will fill up their “love bank.” They will start to feel loved, and in turn, you’ll see their behavior changing as they grow more safe, secure and trusting.
Want Some Help Using the 5 Love Languages?
You’re in luck! I’ve designed a free workbook that will help you identify your child’s love languages and brainstorm ways to “speak” their love language. The workbook includes an overview of the love languages, a quiz to help determine the child’s love language, and space to list ways to love your child using their love language. Just fill out the form below and download your Easy Guide to Raising Happy Kids!