Five Love Languages: How To Make Every Child Feel Loved
How do you want to be loved?
We all have different answers when asked this question. After all, we have unique love languages. In Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages, he listed five ways people express and experience love.
According to him, love can be shown and received in the following ways:
•Words of Affirmation
•Acts of Service
While these love languages more commonly apply to romantic love, these can also be noticed in love between family members. Scroll down to read our thoughts on how parents can make their children feel loved through the five love languages.
Words of Affirmation
From time to time, children need to be reminded that they are loved. And one easy way to clearly send this message is to express it through words of praise and appreciation.
Nanay Ditty of SOS Children’s Village Cebu can attest to this. In the 30 years that she had been an SOS mother, Nanay Ditty noticed the impact of saying “Thank you, ‘nak!” and “Love you, ‘nak!” to her children.
Nanay Ditty’s (second row, second to the right) children organized a party to celebrate her 60th birthday last January 2020.
The children whom Nanay raised were either abandoned or neglected by their biological families. Used to being left on their own, they have forgotten how being cared for nor belonging to a family felt like. However, Nanay knew that deep inside, they longed to feel loved. Because they were constantly reminded that Nanay loves and appreciates them, Nanay Ditty was able to win these children’s hearts.
Children appreciate it when they are given undivided attention. It helps make them feel important and valued. And while we think that being around them most of the time is already enough, the truth is the quality of attention matters a lot too. Watching your children play while working on an office report or household chore is not the same as actually playing with them.
Mama Adelle of SOS Children’s Village Manila believes that spending quality time with her children is essential in building a healthy family relationship. Mama and her children bond over sharing stories while eating. Whenever time and budget permits, Mama takes her children out for lunch or snacks.
Mama Adelle (second row, center) together with her children and Auntie Anabelle.
When volunteers, donors, and supporters visit the children in our villages, we also encourage them to spend quality time with our SOS families. As honorary uncles and aunties to these children, we value the benefits of them having personal interaction with the children. These uncles and aunties may help in preparing meals, tutor the children, or play games with them. Through this, they can get to know the children they are supporting and see the impact of their help in person.
Auntie Marcelina (first photo, second to the left) and uncles and aunties from Pfizer Philippines (second photo) prepared meals for the family they visited in the village.
Acts of Service
Remember the last time your child’s face lit up after having a bite of his favorite meal? Children are that easy to please. Doing something special for children when they deserve to be rewarded is like hitting two birds with one stone. In addition to being able to express your love for them, you are training them to always choose to do good.
This is how Mama Anabelle of SOS Children’s Village Manila shows her love for her children. The children didn’t know how to read and write when Mama Anabelle first met them. And between studying and playing, they’d always choose the latter option. Not wanting her children to fall behind their peers, Mama motivated her children to study by preparing their favorite snacks after every study session. After three months, Mama Anabelle’s children can now recite the alphabet and write their own names.
Mama Anabelle’s children being tutored by their ates and kuyas from SOS Children’s Village Lipa.
A good-morning hug, high five, or a pat on the back can make the day of a child appreciates physical touch. These small but significant acts remind children that they are cherished.
Mama Baby and her children posing for a photo.
You’ll know who Mama Baby’s children are in the village if you carefully observe who loves to give hugs. When Mama’s college kids come home after a week of staying at their boarding house, Mama welcomes them with a hug and sometimes a kiss on the cheek. Lined up after Mama Baby are their younger SOS siblings who are equally excited to hug their ates and kuyas. Their hugs are so sweet, airport hug scenes in movies can’t compare.
Time and distance may hinder us from exercising the four love languages mentioned above. Thankfully, sending in a gift can also show how much you care. When doing this, it is important to consider what gift the child will appreciate. And as always, the child’s needs should come first before the wants.
You, our SOS friends who continuously extend your help to children, are the perfect example of this love language. Your support provided a loving family to abandoned, orphaned, and neglected children. At our children’s villages, they receive quality care from our dedicated SOS mothers. Thank you for giving these children the gift they deserve most – the gift of family.
Share this article and let other parents know how they can make their children feel loved through the five love languages. Know of another love language not mentioned in this list? Write it in the comment box below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!