Recognizing Your Teen’s Love Language for Better Connections and Communication
The teen version of Gary Chapman’s best-selling book, The Five Love Languages, encourages parents to discover their teen’s unique way of receiving love and then find effective ways to communicate that love. As a parent, understanding the love language of your daughter helps you to address her emotional needs, promote healthy communication and express love in a manner she will receive and appreciate. These five love languages include quality time, physical touch, encouraging words, gifts and acts of service.
When your daughter’s love language is quality time, she regularly desires your complete attention without the disruption of phone calls, the television or other distractions. Whether you spend precious time together on a planned outing or you sit close on the couch holding a meaningful conversation, staying both physically and emotionally involved with your daughter conveys a strong sense of love to her. When your daughter recognizes your busy lifestyle, and still sees you making her a priority, she feels special.
If your daughter responds best to physical touch, hugging, cuddling, putting an arm around her, holding her hand, and touching her thoughtfully on the arm or face will speak deeply to her. Physical touch loudly and clearly communicates to your teen that she belongs and is loved. When you remain physically present and accessible to your daughter, she feels secure in her relationship with you.
Words of Affirmation
Do kind and positive words make your daughter light up or mean the world to her? A resounding ‘yes’ likely means that her love language is words of affirmation. Supply her with plenty of heart-felt compliments, encouragement and praise through both spoken and written communication. She thrives in a loving, word-filled environment and needs to hear the words, “I love you,” often. She desires to hear what she is doing right, so build her up often, especially in front of others.
Your daughter might especially enjoy gifts and delight in the love, care and effort you put into the presents that you give her. The love language of receiving gifts goes way beyond your daughter seeming materialistic; she considers a gift to her a visual demonstration of the love that you have for her. A thoughtless, last minute gift or the absence of a gift, especially on an important day, would crush your daughter, making her feel unloved and unimportant. A well-chosen gift communicates to her that you listen, that you know what she likes and that you willingly put in the time and effort to please her.
Acts of Service
If your daughter feels most loved when you do things for her, acts of service describes your teen’s love language. Although the words “I love you” hold meaning for your daughter, she needs action from you to back up your words. Always try your best to follow through on what you say you will do for her. If your teen maintains an active schedule, and you surprise her by lifting a burden off her, such as making her lunch for school or doing her laundry, she hears you saying that you see her effort, that you are proud of her and that you love her enough to help her out.
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