Speaking Your Child’s Love Language

Child's Love Language

“What’s your love language?” Phil asked one day early on in our marriage. I had no idea what he was talking about. “I don’t know?” was my response. I was intrigued to say the least.

It was then that I was first introduced to the book, The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. Side note: To date, this book has sold over 11 million copies!

Chapman concluded there are five emotional love languages or five ways people speak and understand love.

And understanding yours as well as those important to you can help you connect and improve your relationships.

Fast forward several years later to having kids. I was talking to a friend who mentioned the book, The 5 Love Languages of Children, also written by Gary Chapman. I thought to myself, “This guy is on to something. Of course a child has a love language, too!”

I hadn’t connected how understanding your child’s love language was just as important as understanding your spouse’s.

Connecting with our kids in a way that speaks love to them is crucial for their emotional development.

Each child is different and unique. Therefore how they receive and understand love is also unique.

Dr. Chapman also gives us the visual of filling our child’s ‘love tank.’ If their love tank is empty, they will more easily act out or become angry. Keeping their love tank filled means everyone is happier.

Chapman helps us understand how to do this by describing the five love languages:

The 5 Primary Love Languages

  • Words of affirmation - Using words of appreciation or to build up your child such as “You are doing a great job.”
  • Quality time - Giving your child your undivided, focused attention by playing a game with no distractions or running an errand 1-on-1
  • Receiving gifts - Your child likes when you give them a special present or surprise
  • Acts of service - Doing things for your child you know they would like such as helping with a school project or making a meal
  • Physical touch – Like to receive hugs, kisses, high-fives, tickles, rough-housing

Discovering Your Child’s Love Language

I had each of our three boys take the Love Language quiz online. Yes, there is an online assessment tool to help you! Our boys are ages 11, 9 and 6. They were wondering what mom was up to!

The online assessment is actually for children 9 and older, but I read the questions to our 6-year old and he answered them as best he could. They said the results might not be accurate because children under the age of nine don’t know how to verbalize their love language.

For this age, they suggest instead to ask your child to draw or tell ways parents love their children. Or to express each of the love languages over five days and see which one your child responds to the  most.

I decided to have him draw ways he thinks mommy and daddy show love to him. What he drew didn’t exactly correspond with the results of his quiz, but it was interesting to compare the two. I’ll likely have him take the quiz again in a few years.  

I was anxious to see the results of the online assessment for each of our kiddos. In my mind, I thought I already knew each of their primary love languages. Wrong-o!

What I learned was each of them has a different love language. Which means as a mom I need to speak different languages to each my kids. Sounds kinda hard, doesn’t it?

Not if you have a cheat sheet!

Check out this awesome printable compiled by BusyKidsHappyMom to help you find ways to speak your child’s love language. The author compiled it into an easy to read one-page sheet that has some great ‘mom tips.’

For example, one of our boys scored high in physical touch.  He loves to read books cuddled up really close to us. We love this, too, but knowing this is his love language makes it all the more sweeter.

Even though your child has a primary love language that speaks most to them, it’s important to speak all five languages. For example, if your child’s primary language is words of affirmation, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hug and kiss them!

So what are you waiting for? Discover your child’s love language and speak it to them TODAY!

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