Teenagers these days are bombarded with messages from their peers, music, movies, electronics and the Internet. As parents, you may wonder if your words mean anything at all. Research shows that the most significant influence on the life of a teenager comes from their parents. Amazing, isn’t it?! Especially when you observe all that eye rolling and deep sighing whenever you talk to them. In a recent survey, teenagers reported that parents have more influence in the following areas: whether to attend college, do homework, attend religious services, to drink and had an impact on job or career plans. Peers had more influence on immediate issues like whether or not to ditch class, what kinds of clothes to wear, hairstyles, and who to date. Because parents greatly influence their teens it is important to learn to effectively meet your teenager’s need for love and lay the foundation for influencing them more effectively in all other areas of life. Just like there are Five Love Languages for Couples here are Love Languages for Teenagers.
The Five Love Languages of Teenagers
1. Words of Affirmations: Asks you what you think; reassures you when you fail or mess up; tells you your the best son/daughter in the world; listens and helps you through problems; leaves you encouraging notes; tells you how proud he/she is of you; says you look good; respects your opinion; notices when you do something good; tells you you’re special or talented; and says he/she is thankful that you are his/her child.
2. Quality Time: Goes to your ball games; watches TV or movies with you; takes time off from work to do things with you; goes out to eat or shops with you; hangs outs; listens without judging you; shows interest in things you’re interested in; listens without judging; takes you on trips; doesn’t interrupt when you talk; and can ride in the car without lecturing you are all examples of quality time as your primary love language.
3. Receiving Gifts: Buys you clothes; gives you money for things you need; give you cool things for your birthday; lets you use his/her stuff; knows your favorite store; pays for you to go on school trips; trust you to be home alone; gives you things you really like; likes the gifts you by for him/her; or picks up things that you need from various stores.
4. Acts of Service: Takes you to the doctors; asks you if you need help; give you space when you’re upset; let’s you sleep in late sometimes; drives you places you need to go; doesn’t invade your privacy; cooks meals for you; allows your friends to hang out at the house; sometimes lets you pick out where you go for family trips; does your laundry; or helps with school projects.
5. Physical Touch: Put their arm around your shoulder; hugs you; kisses you on the cheek; rubs your back; gives you a high five; holds or shakes your hand; sits next to you on the couch; straightens your collar or necklace; touches or rubs your head; pats you on the back or hugs or kisses you at least once every day.
So with some of the above examples you as parents can show your teens just how much they are valued and loved by speaking their primary Love Language. Of course, there can be a combination of all of the above, but usually there is 1 or 2 that stick out more so than the others.
If you want to learn your teen’s Love Language and most importantly, communicate love effectively on an emotional level so they feel it, contact me at (858) 735-1139 or email me at Sarah@CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com. I will walk you through the process on how to identify your teenager’s love language, how to address their unique need for independence and responsibility, and how to manage anger and set up boundaries. If you are a single parent or have a blended family it is imperative to be able to communicate effective love to all members of the family.