The 5 Love Languages—your relationship preferences, tendencies, and best practices for deeper connections—are instrumental in helping you identify yourself (and others) and how you mesh together. They’re also applicable for all ages, from adults to children, and can provide people with a deeper understanding and insight of their romantic, platonic, or familial connections.
In the case of parenting, understanding your child’s love language can help you see the world through their eyes. It can give you valuable (and otherwise unattainable) information about how your children tick, what makes them think, and how spaces they occupy can be intentionally crafted to engage and excite them.
Whether you’re looking to re-imagine your child’s ‘safe space’ or create something for the first time, here are tips to design your child’s room based on their love language.
Words of Affirmation
If your child’s love language is Words of Affirmation, this means that you want to be intentional about words and their purpose within your child’s room or ‘safe haven.’ For example, you have the opportunity to add motivational posters, inspirational quotes, or special spaces that are conducive to creating and/or leaving notes (like a bulletin board, chalkboard, or other writing surface).
For children who are WOA-inclined, open conversation and vulnerability both come naturally and are a priority. That means you’ll also want to consider how socialization is incorporated into your child’s room—shared seating areas, open spaces, and the ability to host multiple people within the room.
Because your child is also inclined to connect with words, you may want to consider including them in the design, and offering praise for how they design. This can help to create positive feelings around the space that lead to pride in ownership and enjoyment around physically being in the bedroom, too.
If your child’s love language is Quality Time, then make sure to engage them in the design process—it isn’t just about making a room, it’s about spending time together. And chances are, designing the room together will become one of their most treasured memories.
As a Quality Time-centered child, any opportunity to be around others in intentional or purposeful ways means so much. It doesn’t matter if you’re painting the walls or dusting the light fixtures—even the seemingly meaningless tasks are valued when your child can spend time with you.
Outside of the planning process, it’s also good to consider how the space will build connections in the long-term. Is there a two-person couch for siblings to do homework together? Is there an open-concept layout that allows for you to poke your head in and stay awhile? Considering ways you can purposefully engage with your child in their space should be your utmost priority.
If your child’s love language is Receiving Gifts, think about how you can make the room designing a gift for them. In other words, could the room design/re-design be a surprise? Could you be intentional about how you present the space or purchase items that fit into it?
Or, if you can’t keep the entire renovation project a surprise, are there smaller items you can incorporate that are gifts? For example, try incorporating a new bedspread of their favorite sports or movie character, or a beautiful lamp or light fixture that adds ambiance, or a new desk that makes remote learning and homework infinitely easier. Anywhere you can incorporate something ‘new’ or ‘special’ will make your child feel valued and even more connected to the room.
If your child’s love language is Physical Touch, then comfort and coziness must be the ultimate priority. This can look like sofa chairs and beanbags, a larger sized bed for family cuddles, or a double-decker bunk bed that’s perfect for sleepovers with friends. It’s also a good idea to think about the coziness of the space, and rather than creating an open-concept feel, consider how you can bring elements of the room closer and more intimate.
Something else to consider is the physical touch that you, as a parent, bring into the space as well. Maybe it’s as simple as creating a hug ritual whenever you pass by your son/daughter’s room, or maybe it’s a bedtime routine that includes kisses or arm squeezes. Whatever it is—big or small—the intent behind the physical touch will fill your child’s cup.
Acts of Service
If your child’s love language is Acts of Service, it’s best to reframe a room design/re-design as an act of love. If your child sees it this way, they will be more inclined to feel appreciated, valued, and seen. You can do this through how you present the room, of course, but also how you make it more about you doing than them doing—the point is for it to not feel like a chore or task on your child’s to-do list.
You can also find little ways to support your child in his or her room, too. For example, bring them a snack during homework time. Even the smallest gestures can make a big difference for your service-inclined child.