Do you know your student’s Love Language? Developed by Gary Chapman in 1992, the Love Languages are a way to describe ways that one feels most appreciated or loved. If you aren’t familiar with the 5 languages, you can take the quiz for yourself and then also have your student take it! Learn more and take the quiz today.
The 5 Love Languages are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. After taking the online quiz, you and your student will see a percentage breakdown of each of the five and how they rank in order of importance to your student. After seeing this breakdown, you can decide how your student might feel most supported based on their love language.
Knowing and understanding your student’s love language can be mutually beneficial for you and your student. If you as a parent or family member can know and understand your student’s top love language, you can focus on showing support that will fulfill that need. For example, if your student’s top love language is Acts of Service, your nightly phone calls might not feel as supportive to them as if you ordered them their weekly grocery list and had it delivered to help take one thing off their to-do list. Below we will outline some ideas of support for each of the 5 Love Languages that will give you some ideas during this season of love!
Words of Affirmation: Your student feels supported and appreciated by words.
- Write your student an encouraging note or letter.
- Send your student a supportive text or email. Include a photo of the family pet or of a picture of something that reminds them of home!
- Collect affirming words from family, friends and other relatives on note cards and put them in a jar for your student. Encourage your student to open the jar and read an encouraging note whenever they are feeling down.
- When you are on calls or video chats with your student, remind them with your words that you believe in them and you are proud of them. Your words may mean more to them than you realize! (I still have encouraging emails and cards my parents send me throughout college saved on my computer and in a box).
Acts of Service: Your student feels supported more by actions than words.
- Order your student’s weekly grocery list and have it delivered using Instacart from your favorite grocery store.
- Does your student dread laundry day? Check out the Speed Queen app to help take that off their weekly to-do list.
- Is your student’s room or apartment messy and disorganized? Spend a day helping them get organized by shipping them some organization/cleaning supplies, helping them clean things out to be donated or hire a cleaning service to help them get back on track.
- Does your student have a big test or project coming up? You could help them go over flash cards, allow them to practice a presentation with you, or have your student teach you a concept they learned in class to help test their understanding.
Receiving Gifts: Your student feels the most love when they receive a gift.
- Check out your student’s wish list on Amazon and see if you can send them a surprise!
- Looking for something local? Check out Old Town Fairfax and shop local for something your student will love. You could also send them a gift that reminds them of home, and buy gifts from a local store in your hometown!
- Do they need some Mason Gear? Check out the University Bookstore and get something warm and cozy!
- Sweet treats are ever sweeter this time of year! Order them something from Crumbl Cookies or Insomnia Cookies and have it delivered right to their door!
Quality Time: Your student feels loved when you give them your full attention and time.
- Set up a weekly time that works for both you and your student to video chat or call on a consistent basis. The dedicated time that you both spend catching up and filling each other in on what is going on in your lives will help your student feel supported.
- Buy an outing for your student and a friend to go to the zoo, check out a museum or to do an escape room. Your student will love the quality time they get to spend with their friend.
- Plan a game night or movie night with your student. This can be virtual or in-person! You can watch in “together” mode on Netflix party, Disney+ and many other platforms. Many games now offer virtual versions such as Codenames and Scattegories. You can also download the app Houseparty to play fun games!
Physical Touch: Your student feels loved with an appropriate touch or affection.
- When you are able, give your student that extra hug or high-five when you see them in person.
- When your student first gets home or is getting ready to go back to school, embrace them with a hug or physical affection they prefer.
- Is your student feeling stressed? Send them a gift card to get a massage! There are many local spas and massage options in the area.
We hope this article helped give you some new ideas for ways to show love and support to your Patriot! If you have additional questions or need support, contact New Student and Family Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 993-2475.
Originally written for the University of Colorado Boulder
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