Do you ever feel like you are constantly giving, Giving, GIVING love to your kids, and for the life of you they are not getting it?! Of course, it could be because they are having a bad day, struggling with a specific challenge, or just growing like a week. BUT another reason could be because you are not speaking your teen’s love language.
What is a “love language”?
I first heard the term love language from the author, Gary Chapman. He defines it as “the way people speak and understand emotional love.”
One of the best things you can do for your ENTIRE FAMILY is learn all your love languages.
You would think that being around each other all the time would make it obvious what love language we each are. In fact, I assumed that. I thought that whatever way I gave and received love was how EVERYONE received love… spoiler alert: I was TOTALLY WRONG!
There are actually FIVE love languages:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
Think you *know* the specific love language of each of your family members? Go ahead and guess. Write it down – maybe make a game and everyone guess what love language they are… then do yourself a favor and take the free quiz –you might be surprised!
A Guide to the 5 Love Languages
Let’s go through the different love types and ideas on how you can show love to that type.
Words of Affirmation: An ENCOURAGING WORD does wonders for this person.
- Write this person a note with words of encouragement or a Bible verse
- Leave a voicemail full of affirmations -keep them sincere!
- Send sweet texts
- Give a shout out to them on social media
- Leave a post it note on their desk or in the book they are reading with a fun note of encouragement
Acts of Service: DOING SOMETHING is super meaningful for this person.
- Bake this person’s favorite cookies
- Laugh at their joke
- Offer to bring them soup in bed when they are sick.
- Wash and clear their car
- Clean their room for them
Receiving Gifts: RECEIVING AND GIVING GIFTS brings joy to this person.
- Consider starting a collection for this teen, like postcards or mugs from your travels
- Bring a sweet treat home every time you visit this certain store
- Start a charm bracelet that you add to on special occasions
- Subscription boxes are like regular gifts that you receive in the mail; there are so many fun ones from food to grooming to interests
- Gift cards from a favorite store
Quality Time: Giving this person YOUR FULL ATTENTION means everything
- Take road trips together.
- Tell them you have 30 minutes and you want to spend it with them. Then ask them what they want to do. The answer may surprise you.
- Have a lull in the middle of the day? Play a board game.
- Plan a regular coffee or breakfast date
- Plan an experience that you do together when you have long week-end; canoeing, going to the zoo, reading a book out loud, etc.
Physical Touch: This person knows you love them by how much they can FEEL your love.
- A good shoulder massage after a stressful day
- A strong mama bear hug when the world feels against them.
- A playful hip bump as you walk by
- Put your arm around them when they are standing next to you
- Hold hands when you are walking together, or even sitting next to each other
It is interesting to me how we homeschool moms often are quick to say, “Learn your teen’s learning style,” which I totally agree with. However, I would argue that just as important as learning your kiddos’ love language!
Not only will your kiddo be able to learn well (by leaning into their learning style), but they will also be able to receive your love well (by sharing it in their language). And let’s face it – being around each other 24/7 and NOT showing the “right kind” of love to your family can cause unnecessary friction as much as teaching them with the wrong learning style.
So, make it a Family Night.
As a family, take the quiz and then compare notes.
For your tweens and teens, helping them learn their love language is similar to them learning their personality type and leadership style. They are all pieces to the puzzle that makes them who they are. And it’s always a good thing to know more about yourself so that you can lean into your natural abilities as well as develop areas that don’t come naturally.
Take it further
- As you celebrate throughout the year, offer gifts to each other that are particularly meaningful based on each other’s Love Languages.
- For Birthday’s, create meaningful gifts for the Birthday Person, making sure you give a gift that expresses each of the 5 Love Languages.
While love languages might seem simplistic, it’s another tool in our toolbox of parenting and home education that can help inspire and motivate our family members. More importantly, it allows us to communicate our love and respect for each other in ways that celebrate the unique art in each other.
Check out our Orienteering Class. It covers learning styles, personality, interests, skills, and abilities and helps students hone in on vocational interests and training that will save both of you time and money. This is a class EVERY student should take!