"You are your child's emotional coach. It's up to you to help kids to talk about their feelings, label them & feel understood." ~ John Gottman
Over the past twelve years, I have created learning programs for thousands of kids from over forty-four countries. Like many educators, I sought to teach but realized that the biggest part of teaching is actually being a student yourself.
Children all over the world taught me and I tried my best to prepare myself to always give them the best experiences possible. I studied love languages. I devoured child psychology. But, the students themselves, in every country, showed me themselves that what they needed most was to connect.
Educators ask me, "How do I get them to trust me?" and parents often ask, "How can I help them be more confident and resilient?" The answer is the same, it's time to learn their connection language with them and to empower them with knowledge of their own "why?"
"Why did I react this way?"
"Why do I feel alone right now?"
"Why do I feel like no one understands me?"
Imagine if you didn't have to wait until you were thirty, forty, or fifty years old to learn personal growth methods? Understanding your emotional needs is a tremendous step toward healing, self-love, and empowerment.
Children also need to learn to understand their own needs and that they aren't simply born with bad behaviors. We all react to thoughts, situations, and feelings. We have to teach them to identify what they need (or what helps them to feel happy and loved).
The connection languages do just that in a very kid-focused manner as well.
The CONNECTION Languages focus on the FEELINGS that each person desires most at that stage in their life.
As a global educator, I meet children and teenagers and can often detect their connection language, which also helps me to connect with them and help them to become more confident by helping them to meet their emotional needs.
Connection Languages are powerful.
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I like to mimic you! Some may call me the “teacher’s pet.” When you teach me new things that others don’t know...I feel amazing. I ask you loads of “Why” questions. I also love eye contact, traditions, routine, and taking up space! I love affection: Whether it is comfort, encouragement, support, everyday affection or even correction; most times you don’t have to say a word. Just Hold my hand, pat me on the back, give me hugs and kisses, cuddle with me, touch my shoulder when you guide or re-direct me, rub my hair, spin me around or let’s walk arm-in-arm. I feel Loved when I feel Connected to You. When I love you, I try to help you to shine! I compliment you! I hug you and give you loads of affection!
“Pleeeeeeease, can I go with you???” I say that a lot. That is because I feel connected and adored when I received focused attention. Let’s spend one-on-one time together!
I like to have you to myself sometimes and I need to know that I am distinctively important, especially if I have other siblings. Tell me what is special about me. Know the things that I am uniquely capable of. I love when you have lunch at school with me and when we go places and do things that I get to choose.
I really love when we have special jokes just between me and you. Let’s make up our own super-secret handshake! If I am grumpy or when I make bad decisions, spending some special time with you is the best kind of guidance.
I show you love with lots and lots of compliments! I show you what I need! I also love to tell you stories. I can go on and on and on. Words really matter to me.
Tell me that I look nice today and tell me that you are proud of me. Leave a special note in my lunch bag and verbally recognize when I am trying really hard.
We can talk about problem solving together. I feel connected when I know that I am HEARD by You.
I love to know when you notice my efforts and creations. Although I like my space, I love when I hear you brag to your friends about my artwork, new creations, or actions.
Placing my drawings on the refrigerator or out for others to see makes me so happy. In fact, sometimes I may leave things I have created out for you to see. I hope that you notice them and compliment them without my noticing. When you see and acknowledge what I do, create, or even say, I feel so loved and connected!
I show you love by allowing you into my world. What I create or practice feels very sacred to me. I show you that I am connected by sharing those things with you.
I like you to know that I SEE you, too!
I am your right-hand guy or girl!
I always want to help.
I love when you are there for me and when I can be there for you. I love to volunteer around the house and sometimes I will do things before you even ask, just to make you proud. It is important to me to know that I am a valuable part of our family team and that you need my help to do things.
Keeping me busy with meaningful work is the best way to keep me on track. I feel Loved when I know that I am Needed by You.
Right now, there’s a child in you who may be triggered based off of what was not received years ago. But, things will be different for your child. Your child has the ability to be taught not only what they deserve, but to also know what it looks like when they are and are not receiving the love they need.