The way we give love and receive love is called our love language. The concept of love languages was developed by Dr. Gary Chapman with his 1992 book The Five Love Languages that has sold over 12 million copies. In 1997 he got together with Dr. Ross Campbell and authored the book The 5 Love Languages of Children. The ideas in this book are really powerful in that every child is different. If you don’t speak your child’s love language, they may not feel loved.
In this episode, we are going to go over the 5 love languages for children so you can identify your child’s primary love language so you can build a stronger relationship with them. With a 5 star rating on amazon and over 1100 reviews, this book and it’s concepts have proven why it is so popular. The 5 Love Languages of Children helps us discover how to best show our children that we love them. Of course it’s good to show them love in multiple ways and most children are receptive to all of them, but usually, a child (just like adults) has a primary love language.
Let’s go over these 5 love languages for children:
#1. Words of Affirmation – A child whose primary love language is words of affirmation feels loved when we use encouraging words and phrases to them. They enjoy compliments like “you did that so well” or “thank you for helping me with cleaning.” Both written and verbal expressions are powerful so you can say “I love you” or write a note for them expressing how special they are. It’s the words that make them feel loved.
#2 Gifts – Children with this love language like tangible tokens of love. Often these gifts can become symbols of love.
Some examples of gifts may be getting them a book that you can read together or putting a favorite photo in a frame so they can put it in their room. It feels like all kids like gifts but for these children, the gifts are often seen as an extension of your love.
#3. Acts of Service – Maybe your child really feels loved when you fix their favorite toy or you make their favorite meal for them. When children are younger, acts of service are often doing things for them that they may not be able to do themselves. As they get older, the acts of service are activities that cause them to feel loved and appreciated. You may sit down and do their homework with them. Figure out what acts of service you can do for them that they would really appreciate.
#4 Quality Time – Quality time is doing something together and your child receiving focused attention. If you have multiple children, be sure to spend one-on-one time with your quality time child. This could be coloring or reading with them…or sitting down and playing a game. Spending time together makes them feel loved. It’s not necessarily the activity but the time spent together.
#5 Physical Touch – A child that is always snuggling up to you, or wants to constantly sit on your lap, this is a child who’s primary love language is probably physical touch. They get fulfilled by your hugs and kisses, your backrubs or running your fingers through their hair. Physical touch is so important to them and it’s how they feel close and loved. With any of these love languages, there can be some pitfalls. Think of the child that you have to always buy presents for in order for them to feel loved or the child requires a lot of your extra time to get their love cup filled.
As with anything, you want to mindful that balance is important. If you are constantly doing everything for your child because their love language is acts of service, this can negative. In that case, your act of service can be teaching them to be able to do things for themselves.
All of these love languages for children are about us as dads being able to create a strong bond with our child. When you understand your child’s love language, your efforts are much more effective.