So I am all about the food, but it's not all about the food. Have I confused you on the first sentence??
Let me explain myself. I believe with ALL my being that there is absolutely no substitute for eating a wholefood diet, NOTHING. To me, its job done, non negotiable and so I ask what is next to live a vibrant extraordinary life ?
To be truly healthy as described in this blog, you need the balance of both physical & emotional/mental health, so it’s equally important to be emotionally intelligent and physically healthy. This couldn’t be truer for our children today who are living in such a fast paced technology driven world who are experiencing unacceptable levels of anxiety.
In my humblest opinion, it’s our job as parents to make our children feel loved, secured, confident and empowered and we primarily do this by filling up their love tank in a language they understand. After all, to feel loved is a primary human emotional need.
So let me introduce you to the concept of the 5 Love Languages.
I first became aware of this concept a number years ago when I started to take an interest in personal development. It was ONE of the BEST books I have ever read and believe that EVERY couple should receive a copy of this at pre-marriage counselling. Anyways, that is a topic for another day :-)
So the 5 love languages are different ways that people or children need to be communicated to in order to feel loved. There are 5 of these love languages and you would typically have 2 dominant ones that you need, a primary and secondary.
Let me tell you from personal experience in relationships with my husband, children and immediate family that this is GOLDEN. When you understand what their love language is and you communicate to them in the way that they WANT you to, you form the most beautiful bond and your relationship just goes to another level.
The Five Love Languages
1. Words of Affirmation:
This refers to verbal compliments or words of appreciation. These are best expressed in simple sentences and obviously need to be sincere. Here are some examples:
- I love the effort you put into you that project
- I love you
- I really appreciate you helping me fold the washing
- You are so good at colouring in between the lines
- I love that you made a good judgment in X situation
- I love your smile
2. Quality time:
This is quite self explanatory and literally means to give someone your undivided time and attention for a period of time. This all about being present and even better if you can initiate the time spent together
3. Receiving Gifts:
A gift is something you hold in your hand and say “here I was thinking of you” It doesn’t have to cost anything. Gifts are just visual symbols of love. Examples of insignificant gifts are:
- Reading books
- Colouring in
- Their favourite game
- A T-shirt with their favourite character
- Stationary with their favourite characters
4. Acts of Service:
This is all about having things done for them, not because they are lazy or can’t be bothered doing it themselves, but because they enjoy being looked after. Obviously you know when the mick is being taken :-). Examples are:
- Cooking their favourite food
- Filling up their water bottle for them when they could have done it themselves
- Putting the toothpaste on their toothbrush before they ask
5. Physical Touch:
In the world of psychology, touch is known as a form of expressing emotional love. That may just mean things such as:
- Touching them whilst talking to them
- Giving them a back rub
- Random Hugs
- Offer to massage
Putting this into practice, I’ll give you examples of my two munchkins:
He has 2 predominant love languages, that is Quality time and Gifts. This was very evident since he was a toddler. He just always wanted to be belly to belly, eyeball to eyeball He just loves spending time together doing exactly what HE wants. We could spend all day together at an outing or event, but within minutes of being home, if his needs were not satisfied, he would request to play a game such as uno, chess, lego etc. That's him expressing that he has not received enough 1:1 time. Sometimes that need is as little as 10 minutes to fill up the tank, it's all about the quality, not quantity...most of the time :-)
He also LOVES receiving gifts. This was and still is an easy one to use in a reward based system.
If I was to shower him with hugs (physical touch), he would get really annoyed, so I learned very quickly not to take this personally.
Her 2 dominant love languages are Physical Touch and Acts of service. As a baby, toddler and even now, she absolutely loved being held and cuddled. In fact, when she did something wrong, coming to give you a hug was the first thing she wanted to do, it was also her way of saying sorry. She adores being stroked and sitting on the couch having a cuddle watching her favourite show together.
She also really enjoys things being done for her such as, in the morning helping her put her gown or slippers on and will actually get quite upset if I forget. She is fiercely independent but loves to have little things done for her of HER choice.
How to do it?
Step 1 – Observe their spoken words and actions to determine their primary and secondary love language. You could even take a quiz here to help you identify their dominant love language.
Step 2 – Communicate to them in their desired love language, not yours. Be careful of this trap.
Step 3 – Watch them thrive emotionally
Step 4 – Repeat. As our needs and desires as adults change overtime, theirs will too, so it’s all about staying observant, flexible and adaptable.
I hope that gives a little insight into the 5 love language. I cannot encourage you enough to identify your loved ones love language and just watch them soar and thrive emotionally.
Chantal is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach that specialises in helping stressed and overwhelmed mums heal their children with wholefoods using a personalised wholistic step by step approach.