As we embrace the holidays, many of us choose to focus on gratitude, and we work to help our children do the same.
If you are familiar with the Five Love Languages (www.5lovelanguages.com), you know that each of us has a preferred way to receive expressions of love. I’d take that a step further and say that gratitude is a way of expressing our love and care for someone. When you are looking for gifts this year, keep your child’s love language in mind. Check the website for information on how to tell what love language someone has.
If one person prefers physical touch as their love language, they might like to be held, have their head stroked, or receive gifts that are touch-oriented, like a soft pillow, blanket or sweater.
Have someone whose preference is words of affirmation? Give the gift of a handwritten letter or poem, saying what you love about them and why you are proud of them.
What if gifts is your child’s love language? Remember this isn’t about materialism—it’s about the thought behind the gift. Perhaps give the gift of a special dessert or dinner they can choose. Wrap a simple gift with special paper and bows. Give small, inexpensive gifts as a reward for doing something positive.
If quality time is the language your child prefers, give them the gift of time one on one with you, such as a special dinner, or outing to a play or movie. If you go to a play or movie, be sure to go out afterward to discuss it, so you can look the child in the eye while you are discussing it.
Finally, if your child loves acts of service, give him or her a coupon to make their lunch, clean their room or do other chores for them.
This holiday season, spreading the love will go farther if you choose to speak your loved one’s language with your gifts.