Do you know what your children’s love languages are? Have you ever thought about it?
If you’re not familiar with the 5 Love Languages, basically it’s a concept that states that different people give and receive love best in one of five different ways:
- Words of Encouragement
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
- Gift Giving
While most people would be happy to receive any of the five, almost everyone has one or two they prefer over all of the others.
And if you can figure out which love languages your children prefer, it becomes way easier to love them better, in the ways that matter most to them!
For example, my children love physical touch.
When I tell them how cute or how smart they are (words of affirmation), it tends to go in one ear and out the other. And when I ask if they want to bake banana bread with me or go run errands with me (quality time), half the time they’d rather not.
But if they’re having a rough day, snuggling up on the couch with mom always makes it better. It’s how they feel most loved.
The Love Languages concept was first made popular by Gary Chapman in his book, The 5 Love Language: The Secret to Love that Lasts.
Since then, it has become so popular that Chapman later went on to write multiple other versions, including The 5 Love Languages of Children, The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace and many others.
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While the idea behind the 5 love languages hasn’t changed much since the original book first came out, the way you apply the concept can vary quite a bit depending on who you’re trying to relate to.
That’s why today I’m sharing 25 Ways to Speak Your Child’s Love Language!
Words of Encouragement
If your children have the “Words of Encouragement” love language, hearing your kind words of affirmation will brighten up their whole day! Here are 5 ways to do just that:
1. Tell your children you love them every day.
2. Compliment them regularly.
3. Congratulate them on their efforts and achievements.
4. Let them overhear your talking well of them to others.
5. Slip encouraging notes in their lunch boxes or backpacks.
Acts of Service
If your children have the “Acts of Service” love language, they’ll feel most loved when you are doing tasks for them to help them out. Here are 5 ways to do just that:
1. Help your children with their homework, school projects or extracurricular activities.
2. Do your children’s chores for them if they are having a particularly busy or chaotic week.
3. Drive your children to their friend’s houses, the mall or to extracurricular activities.
4. Mend or replace your children’s clothes when they become torn or they are missing a button.
5. Maintain a positive, joyful attitude as you serve your children instead of an annoyed, resentful attitude. Don’t treat your children as an imposition.
If your children have the “Quality Time” love language, they want your uninterrupted time and attention. Here are 5 ways to do just that:
1. Give your children your full, undivided attention when they talk to you. Stop multi-tasking.
2. Set the chores aside and play or just hang out with your children instead.
3. Take your children out shopping, to a movie, or for ice cream.
4. Talk to your children about their day while you drive together in the car.
5. Take a class or take up a hobby together.
If your children have the “Physical Touch” love language, they’ll feel most loved when you can incorporate friendly, loving touch into their day. Here are 5 ways to do just that:
1. Hug them every day.
2. Snuggle on the couch while you watch a movie or read books.
3. Get in tickle fights or wrestling matches.
4. Place a hand on their arm or shoulder.
5. Kiss them goodnight.
While all kids love getting toys and presents, for kids with the “Gifts” love language, these little gifts mean so much more. They aren’t just excited to have a new toy. They feel loved because you took the time to find a tangible way to give them a bit of love. Here are 5 ways you can do just that:
1. Bring them home presents “just because.”
2. Buy souvenirs when you travel – either together or separately.
3. Buy them the latest “thing” they’ve had their eye on.
4. Help them start a collection and add to it whenever you can (baseball cards, stamps, stickers, anything will do).
5. Make sure they have a shelf or other special spot to display all their gifts and mementos.
** Ready to learn more? Be sure to check out The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively (or The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers if your kids are older) – both by Gary Chapman – for additional tips and insights into your children’s unique love languages.
Do you know your children’s love language? What gestures make your children feel especially loved?