Love languages for children is one of my favorite subjects to talk about, next to the birth order of children. Both are fascinating insightful ways ways to give love, show understanding, and speak to children. As this is a brief review of the book The 5 Love Languages for Children co-authored by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell, I will only be sharing a touch of the pearls of wisdom that are in the book and adding in experiences of my own.
The 5 Love Languages for Children not only helps parents, grandparents, and teachers, but it helps children understand themselves, their siblings, and YES…you, MOM! When my husband and I first discovered the languages of love in a Marriage and Parenting class over 25 years ago, we were so excited. It is a concept that is profound but easy to use and share with others, especially little children as ALL they want is to be loved and to give love. It is on my heart to share this with you, MOM, as it will change the dynamics in your family.
I also highly recommend this book, as well as Gary Chapman’s book for couples The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. This book can make an incredible impact on your marriage, creating more insight to that man you married and about how you give and receive love. It’s a game changer, trust me. I know not only for myself but for many other marriages. I am going to mix up the chapters a bit only because of the space of time that I have to share with you, MOM. You are busy and have only a few spare drops of time, however, I encourage you to discover what Love Languages for Children has to say about strengthening your family’s connections every day.
The 5 love languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Gift Giving & Receiving, and Physical Touch & Closeness.
Today, I am going to jump ahead in the book and and give you, MOM, a little insight on what to watch for to help you discover what your child or children’s primary love language is and what order they may fall in. This may take some thoughtful observant time as they are young and growing, but there are some definite signs to look out for to help discover how they give and receive love.
But first, WHY it is so important to teach your children and learn your child’s love language:
- “When your child feels loved, her emotional love tank is full, she will be more responsive to parental guidance in all areas of her life. She will listen without resentment. But there is an equally grand reason to learn your child’s love language and to speak the other four languages as well. As we speak in the five languages, all the while specializing in her language of love, we show her how to love others and her own need to speak others love languages.”
The ability to give love and nurture all of the languages will make your children more balanced persons who can function well in society (p. 109-110). Thus, RAISING OUR CHILDREN TO BE A PLEASURE TO SOCIETY!
Yes, MOM, this should be a priority in your parent skill set! After all, if you are teaching your children to be a pleasure to society then they will always be a pleasure to you and your family. All children are inherently selfish. And why not, we are at their beck and call, providing for their every need and desire for the first year of their life and as we should. However, it is up to us as parents to later mold that part of their character into quality character traits like sharing, giving, being kind, being thoughtful, and looking to others needs, not just their own.
Yes, MOM, this can start before toddlerhood in many subtle ways. By instilling the wisdom and knowledge of the love languages, this can be accomplished in so many ways that it will never leave your child’s character.
Here are some keys from Chapter 7: “How to Discover Your Child’s Primary Love Language”. The authors have some great suggestions for children of all ages, but I am focusing on you, MOM, and your toddlers…
- Observe how your child expresses love to you.
Are they cuddly and always want to be held even when you have a baby in your arms or several bags of groceries about to fall to the ground? My Kasey always wanted to be carried, and she often would say “pet me”. So as a mother of three little girls, I couldn’t always do that even when she frequently asked. But I figured this was one of her love languages so I made sure to hold her and cuddle her as much as I could in all of that spare time I had LOL. She is now an adult and Physical Touch & Closeness is still #1 on her list.
- Observe how your child expresses love to others.
Is your child constantly giving you a flower, a rock, or a bug that they discovered outdoors? Or colored pages of their favorite things? This would indicate a strong gift giving love language. My third born little girl Makenna was always putting little packages together for me with a menagerie of items she found or had in her toy basket. I received artwork and love notes all the time.
My other daughters did things like this too however, it was really strong in Makenna. Now, as an adult she still expects that her stocking at Christmas will be as full as it was when she was little. She still scopes out all the presents under the tree wondering which ones are hers. And she enjoys giving as much as receiving. When she travels she always comes home with a gift for me.
- Listen to what your child requests most often.
My first born Taylor was the opposite of my physical touch Kasey. When I tried to rock her, she would squirm off of my lap and want to play or run around. I remember first feeling like a horrible mother as my little toddler didn’t want to cuddle with me. Then I discovered that quality time was a stronger love language. SO, every night we would sit in my bed and we would read or she would color and talk to me. We would have dates together or watch Disney movies sitting side by side. As an adult she is always spending time with her husband and connects with her sisters and friends
- Notice what your child frequently complains about.
Every child complains about …well…a lot of things. Pay close attention to their reactions throughout the day. Are they getting mad, distant, or disobedient while you are on the phone, talking too long to a neighbor, or spending time with his crying baby sister? This may or may not be the need for quality time but keep a close watch on it. If it does become a Quality Time issue, then be sure to set apart one-on-one time with him.
Pre-planning/pre-warning is key. When you know you need to take care of the baby, pre-warn your child and give them something to do like playing or coloring. This pre-planning should include an after activity. For example, when you are done then you and him can do his favorite activity, go to the playground, take a walk, or play a game.
Yes, your chores that never cease will be always waiting. If you set a timer for 15 minutes spending time in the activity, “pre-warn” him when the alarm (make it a fun sound) goes off, do a little dance together, then carry one with your next task after
guiding him into an activity of his own. Or you can ask him to help you with a chore which helps to build the acts of service love language.
There is so much more to share. I will be sharing this and more over the next few weeks. If you find value in anything you have read or heard please like and share. Thanks for checking in. Have a GREAT DAY, MOM!