Write me: rebecca@positive-parents.org

We have such a deep love for our children. Everything we do, every decision we make from the time they come into our lives, we do because we love them so very much. The question is, though, how much do they feel our love? We may say it a hundred times a day, but are we really speaking their language?

In The 5 Love Languages of Children, authors Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell outline the 5 different ways children receive love. All children receive love through each language, but for each child, there is one particular that has the loudest voice. This personal love language fills their tank the fastest. This is important because when a child’s tank is full, when they feel loved and connected, they are happier, more cooperative, and they take in what we teach much more readily.
If you aren’t sure what your child’s love language is, you can take the assessment here.
Don’t have time for the assessment? Ask yourself these three simple questions:

  1. How does my child show love to me?
  2. What do they often request?
  3. What makes their eyes light up?
When speaking your child’s love language, attitude is everything. When doing an act of service or giving a gift, for example, it must come from a genuine place of wanting to show love and never be for the purpose of bribing or manipulating a child. It’s important to communicate genuine, unconditional love to fill their tanks with.

Physical Touch – Physical affection is an easy way to show our love. Most children are receptive to this language, and for some, it speaks the loudest.

Here are 10 ways to show love to the child whose love language is physical touch.

  1. Hold hands when you walk side by side or when you tell stories.
  2. Give high fives.
  3. Offer lots of hugs and kisses.
  4. Sit close or invite them on to your lap.
  5. Give back rubs or foot massages.
  6. Touch their shoulder when talking or making a request.
  7. Ask often if they need a hug or cuddle.
  8. Offer hugs and cuddles after correction.
  9. Play Twister, roughhouse, or other physical games.
  10. Make up a special secret handshake between the two of you.
Words of Affirmation – Every child blossoms with words of encouragement and positive guidance. These kind words nurture a child’s sense of worth and feelings of security. For some children, this is how they receive love the best. Be aware that criticism and a harsh tone of voice or negative body language are particularly hard on children whose primary love language is words of affirmation.

Here are 10 ways to show love in this language.

  1. Give the child a sweet nickname.
  2. Leave notes in their lunchbox.
  3. Say “I love you” first and often.
  4. Tell them why you like them.
  5. Verbally affirm their positive actions.
  6. Tell them you’re proud of them.
  7. Offer sincere, heartfelt compliments.
  8. Verbalize your love after correction.
  9. Write notes, cards, or letters.
  10. Find something off of this list of 64 Positive Things to Say to Children to say each day.

Quality Time – Spending time with our children when we are intently focused on them, pushing aside our agendas and distractions, is a beautiful gift. Quality time says “You are important to me. I like spending time with you.”

If Quality Time is your child’s love language, here are 10 ways to fill her tank.

  1. Play with them without distractions.
  2. Read together.
  3. Go on mommy/daddy dates. Here are some ideas.
  4. Let your child choose how to spend the time together.
  5. Cook together or have dinner together regularly.
  6. Tell them stories of your childhood.
  7. Laugh and tell jokes.
  8. Practice active listening.
  9. Create traditions.
  10. Spend quality time together after correction.

Gifts – All children like gifts, but for the child whose love language is gifts, it’s not about just collecting objects. The gift is a symbol of the thought behind it. It says, “I was thinking of you.” The cost is not important.

Here are 10 meaningful ideas for speaking this language. Finish reading this article at CreativeChild.

For more of my Positive Parenting articles featured in Creative Child Magazine, click here.