The Five Love Languages for Toddlers
It’s February and everywhere we look there are hearts and cupids and all sorts of lovey-dovy stuff! I actually adore Valentine’s Day and it’s surrounding month since it reminds me to be intentional about loving on the people who are nearest and dearest to me. I’m one who loves celebrating Valentine’s Day with my whole family and, in doing so, I also think about how I can love on ALL my men! I’m a HUGE fan of the Love Languages and, as Caleb is getting older, I’m realizing that love languages are for toddlers as much as for all us grownup type people.
Do you know what love language (or love languages) speaks to your toddler’s heart? As I really studied what filled Caleb up, I learned that I can lavish all the praises on him and, honestly, he couldn’t care less but when I shower him with hugs and kisses or, even better, wrestle with him, his little face lights up and his love tank overflows!
Love Languages for Toddlers
Some little ones, like Caleb, crave to be touched. They are the ones that you’re most likely to have to tell to be gentle or long to pry off your lap at times. They’re often the rough and tumble kids but, sometimes, they’re also the soft and cuddly ones. They’re the kids you have to teach boundaries to (not everyone should be hugged…) but also the ones you are thrilled to snuggle with all day, every day! It’s important to shower these kiddos with appropriate physical attention and to teach them how to give out appropriate physical tough too.
Words of Affirmation
These are the kids who long to be praised. Phrases like “I’m proud of you,” “You’re so smart,” or “You’re such a big kid” go a long way with toddlers who crave words of affirmation. You’ll notice that these kids light up when positive words are spoken to them and they seek out ways to receive more of these positive words! Make sure you’re focusing on attributes rather than physical appearance (such as saying “You’re so good at putting together outfits” rather than “You’re such a cutie”) more often – yes, there’s a place for physical appearance affirmation too! – because worrying about appearance can start young and no one wants that!
These are the kiddos who want to be with you ALL THE TIME! It’s a good thing a lot of the time but it can also get overbearing at times. Keep your focus on the fact that this is the way your toddler feels loved when she wants to join you in the bathroom or insists that you stay in his bed until he falls asleep. Talk with him, read to her, play games… Just enjoy one another!
Acts of Service
There are some little ones who feel loved when you do things for them. This doesn’t mean you need to wait on your toddler hand and foot but going alongside them and helping out with things makes their hearts soar. Consider helping her while she’s cleaning up, getting him a fork when he could easily get one himself, or building the lego castle she just can’t figure out how to build. These kids feel deeply cared for by even the littlest amount of service! Once you know which acts of service touches your child’s heart the most, do it a ton!
It may seem so, but a child who’s love language is gifts isn’t necessarily selfish and greedy. He simply feels loved knowing that someone thought of him enough to get him something. Maybe dad comes home from work with a piece of candy – that fills up that love space in the child’s heart. These kids, unfortunately, view a lack of gifts as a lack of love so make sure stickers and hot wheels, play dough and coloring books are abounding! Sometimes even consider what large gift you can give your child!
What is your toddler’s love language?
How are you going to affirm your toddler’s love language today?
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