My husband and I have read The Five Love Languages, and he read the version that applies to kids, and after discussing, it seemed clear what our older boys’ love languages are. They express it so clearly to us.
Our oldest often asks to do things and go places alone with Daddy or Mommy, and when he does he transforms into a very happy, compliant, calm child. Sometimes he comes home from these outings, overflowing with love and affection for the brother he is normally angry with. Seems safe to say the love is coming out because he tank got filled, right?
As a baby, I remember our younger son was once crying in his car seat on a long car ride, and I stroked his cheeks and he went from screaming to stone silent. I mean he wasn’t even moving anymore. I rubbed his ears and his eyes drooped. Ding ding ding! We have a winner. I tried baby massage with him and he loved it. Now that he’s older, he asks for a massage when he’s tired. Along the way, we’ve also noticed he is more apt to say “I love you” out of the blue, and give hugs for no reason. Seems pretty clear, yeah?
Well, our oldest son just always seems to have an empty tank. Quality time is probably the most difficult thing to give, with our schedules and energy levels, but when we do get to do it, it doesn’t seem lasting. We’ve realized his love language might be something else entirely, and he’s just not getting enough of it.
We definitely need to show love in all five ways, but especially with kids, we need to be sure not to neglect any of them. In our case, we will have to hit each one hard until we find THE ONE that will fill him up faster and last longer.