It can come in the form of sticky face kisses or in a family drawing. Your child speaks their love, and they can learn this language from you.
According to Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the “Five Love Languages” series, humans have five basic ways of expressing love emotionally. Our primary love language is the way we most comfortably express love and receive it from others.
How does your child speak their love
Using the descriptions below, you may come to better understand how your child expresses and receives love to and from you as well as other important people in his or her life.
Once you’ve matched your child to a primary love language, make an effort to show her love in the way she best understands it.
Love Language: Touch
If your child’s love language is touch, he may: love to receive hugs and kisses, give high fives, and cuddle. He may ask to be carried often. He may like physical activity including racing, wrestling, and playing tag.
Speak this love language by holding hands, hugging, reading stories together, sitting close to each other, singing and playing action songs.
Love Language: Words of Affirmation
If your child’s love language is words of affirmation, she may: like for others to tell her she did a good job, and love to hear out loud that she is cared about.
Speak this love language by complimenting your child, praising her aloud around others, singing a song with her name in it, saying “I love you” often.
Love Language: Quality Time
If your child’s love language is quality time, he may: love to do things with you, especially one-on-one. He may enjoy watching movies, going out to eat, playing games, or simply running errands with you. He may want you to watch while he is playing.
Speak this love language by running errands 1:1, having “date night”, asking about his day, having a special bedtime routine, eating together as a family.
Love Language: Gifts
If your child’s love language is gifts, she may: Feel good when someone gives her something, love to be surprised with small items, see a gift as an extension of her parents’ care for her.
Speak this love language by making her favorite food, sending her on a treasure hunt, giving her a flower or a stone from outside that reminds you of her, keeping a stash of inexpensive gifts.
Love Language: Acts of Service
If your child’s love language is acts of service, he may: appreciate when people do nice things for him, such as helping with chores, assisting with school projects, or fixing a broken toy.
Speak this language by practicing a sport together, checking your child’s homework, surprising them by doing a chore for them, or volunteering together.
Not sure which is your child’s primary love language? Do you and your child have different love languages? That’s okay! (You can also take an assessment here).
You can learn your child's love language by committing to show them love in a way they understand.
This will teach your child how to receive AND give love in all love languages. Dr. Chapman notes, "Parents are encouraged to give heavy doses of the child’s primary love language, then sprinkle in the other four regularly.”
When children receive love in lots of ways, they learn to share it in lots of ways as well. Teaching your children to recognize and share love in many ways helps your child grow into an emotionally healthy adult.
You can find The 5 Love Languages of Children by Dr. Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell at Amazon.com or a local library.