You’ve probably heard about the five love languages. Maybe you’ve taken a quiz to figure out your own. But did you know your child has love languages, too?
In the book The 5 Love Languages of Children, Gary Chapman and Rose Campbell talk about how to do just that–figure out your child’s love languages. A great way to learn is by watching how your child shows their love to you; they likely are showing their love for you through their own love languages. Chapman and Campbell also advise that you give them choices. Ask your child, “Would you rather snuggle together or go get an ice cream cone?”
Physical Touch: These children love hugs and snuggles. Knowing this love language is important, because children can be really hurt if you brush them aside when they’re seeking comfort from physical touch. Even holding their hand or letting them sit on your lap can brighten their day and make them feel loved.
Words of Affirmation: These children love sincere compliments and “I love you’s.” Words of encouragement go a long way for them and can help them reach their potential. Be careful not to criticize or use hurtful words, and check out Jane’s tips for complimenting your children.
Quality Time: These children want you by their side, no matter what they’re doing. They may love going to the grocery store with you so they can be alone with you. Knowing your child loves quality time can help you be more understanding when you might just want your space! Even taking the time to read with your child for 30 minutes a day can change your child’s life.
Gifts: These children love it when you surprise them with ice cream or a new toy. Even though this might be your child’s main love language, Chapman and Campbell warn not to abuse gift-giving. Instead, use this in moderation (we suggest Bookroo to help with this ;) with their other love languages.
Acts of Service: These children love it when you help them clean up their toys or let them help watch their younger siblings. Just remember that your motive matters–your child can tell when you serve them happily or not. You may notice this child serves you often, helping you make dinner or clean the kitchen.
So… will you be snuggling up and reading with your “physical touch” child today? Or complimenting your “words of affirmation” child on how well they read their book? Reaching your children through their love languages will help them feel your unconditional love. You can also use love languages to motivate and encourage your children. While your child may have one or two main love languages, Chapman and Campbell recommend using all five languages to help your child develop in an emotionally healthy way.
What are your child’s love languages? We’d love to hear–comment below!