Dr. Gary Chapman developed The 5 Love Languages® as an assessment tool to discover how you give and receive love in a romantic relationship, a parent-child relationship, and in friendship. His book, The Five Love Languages, originally written in the 1990s, continues to be a bestseller today.
The 5 Love Languages® are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
If you don’t know your love language, I highly encourage you to take the five love languages quiz here: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/
While Dr. Chapman originally wrote The Five Love Languages about couples, this assessment tool easily translates into friendships and the parent-child relationship.
I have found that when a parent knows his or her child’s love language, it can be a game-changer for their relationship.
Do you know your child’s love language?
Words of Affirmation: If words of affirmation is your child’s love language, words of encouragement will make him feel loved. Words are very meaningful to him. He will feel most loved when you look him in the eye and give him a specific compliment such as, “I really admire how courageous you were during your soccer game today.”
Words of affirmation are important to most children, whether it is their primary love language or not. The words we say can make or break our kids.
Acts of Service: If your child’s love language is acts of service, she feels loved and expresses love through serving others. This may show up by her asking you to do things for her, such as tying her shoes, fixing her toy, or getting her jacket for her. This is her attempt to connect with you, not make you her servant. As Dr. Chapman says, you don’t have to jump at every request. Teaching your child self-reliance is also a way to communicate love to your acts of service-loving child.
Quality Time: If your child’s love language is quality time, he feels most loved when you are interacting with him in an undistracted way, talking to him about his day, quizzing him for an upcoming test, or going on an outing together, just the two of you.
When it comes to quality time, remember, it is just that–quality over quantity. You probably already spend a lot of time with your child, but how much of that is quality time? Your quality-time child needs your attention. He needs to know you are present with him and are willing to sit at the foot of his bed listening to his thoughts, cares and concerns.
Physical Touch: If your child’s love language is physical touch, you may feel like your child is in your space a lot, holding onto your leg, playing with your hair, or tugging at your arm. Your physical touch child probably loves to be hugged and demands to be chased more often. This is because she feels loved when you hug her, hold her, put a hand on her arm or offer any kind of meaningful touch.
A child who’s love language is physical touch needs to be touched in a caring way often. And, as this article points out, any touches that are not loving or caring—like a spanking—will be extra emotionally painful for a child who experiences love through touch.
Gifts: If your child’s love language is gifts, he feels loved when you give him things—big or small. Gifts are meaningful to him. At his birthday party, you might notice that he takes extra care with his gifts, noticing who gave him what, and storing his gifts in a special place. As this article says, he will probably even notice and appreciate how his gifts are wrapped.
As the parent of a child who loves gifts, remember, gifts don’t have to cost money. Your child feels loved no matter the size or cost of the gift, from a stick of Chapstick to a new puppy, she will feel noticed and cared for when you intentionally give her things.
So, what do you think your child’s love language is? How could knowing this change the way you interact with her and show her love?
I had so much fun sharing The 5 Love Languages® with you over on my newsletter. If you’re not already signed up to receive my newsletter, sign up here. I share extra content, parenting tips, stories and advice you won’t want to miss!