Mental Health Blog

Your Child’s Love Language, Words of Affirmation

Posted by Alan Godfrey on

 

As a continuation of the series on your child’s love language, have you thought about how to give them words of affirmation? It is more than saying “I love you” as much as you can. Although saying those three words are essential, there are many ways children feel loved through your words. Words can build up children, or tear them down. If you find yourself with harsh words, sincere words (and actions) of apology can be very restorative.

Here are a few ways your child may need to hear your love for them:

  • Letting them know when they’ve done a kind act, good job, or worked hard. Even when children lose or fall short, there’s always a positive to point out like their inner good intentions
  • Telling them you’re happy to see them.
  • Post-it notes in their lunchbox with encouragement for the day.
  • Sending a text about how much your child means to you, especially when you travel out of town.
  • Speaking to the admiration you have for a drawing they made, or something they worked on.
  • Making it a habit to say “I love you” when you send them off to school or say goodnight.

As a gentle reminder, children can almost always tell when words of affirmation are not sincere, so no need to go overboard about every typical thing they do. Words of affirmation also mean different things from different parents. If you don’t normally show your love through your words, try out small phrases and things you’re proud of that they have as characteristics, such as their kindness, empathy, or ability to listen. Any words of affirmation only tied to achievement may give them a performance based mindset, so when it’s not tied to performance or followed by the word “but” it makes an even bigger difference. I hope you have a great day and that this can help you or someone else.

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