Researchers have identified five distinct ways we humans receive and express love. Although your child will understand all five at some level, s/he will "speak" one more clearly than the others. (The same is true for you, by the way!) Learning to identify your child's primary love language (especially if it differs from yours) will take your parenting to a new level.
The first love language has been at the forefront in the past weeks: Gifts. Those who speak this language are especially delighted by a well-thought-out gift, and will be deeply touched by the generosity of the giver. They are also likely to be gift-givers themselves (although a young child may lack the awareness to make the gift something you appreciate)!
In contrast to the first language, some children speak the love language of Quality Time. Presents are less important than time spent with significant others. This is the child who loves to sit with you as you listen to the Musikgarten CD together! Over the holidays it may have felt like this child was following you around, unaware of your busyness, just asking to be with you.
A third language is Physical Touch, where love is given and received through hugs, snuggles and other forms of physical contact. Boys with this love language may express it by wrestling or being excessively physical, but they are conveying a need for physical touch.
There are two more love languages: Words of Affirmation are a powerful factor for the child whose primary love language seeks (and gives) positive, affirming statements. Reflect for a moment on your own child(ren): is there one who visibly flourishes when you say "Well done!" or "I love this about you..."? Likely Words of Affirmation is a high language in that child's make-up.
And fifthly, but by no means least, is Acts of Service! This love language values doing for others, as well as service received. I recall one of our sons who loved to tidy the house for me, and who still loves to help others in tangible ways (not just physical tasks; also in cognitive tasks such as editing or strategizing). The key identifying factor is the foundational motivation: "I'm doing this for you." When a child expresses love this way, it is important to remember that they also receive love most easily through what is done for them. So saying "I love you" or hugging them may be less effective for communicating love to this child. Musikgarten students who speak Acts of Service often enjoy helping with the instruments after each activity as well as participation in the class itself!
And our curriculum takes care to address each love language in ways that your child will feel the love in Musikgarten, even if they don't realize the education that comes along with the fun!
Here's to a Happy, Musical New Year!