The 5 Love Languages of Children – Post 2 (by Ashley Stevens)

After introducing the reader to the five love languages (Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Quality Time, Acts of Service) in ‘The Five Love Languages of Children,” Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell show how to discover your child’s primary love language.

By understanding the primary type of love that drives our children, we can better meet their emotional needs and love them in a way they understand, the authors argue.

In chapter seven of the book, they get into the nitty gritty of how to do that.

 How to Discover Your Kid’s Love Language

While they show the importance of learning and speaking our children’s primary language and give examples in the first six chapters, I still was unsure of what love languages my children preferred.

”Discovering your child’s love language is a process; it takes time, especially when the child is young.” As they begin to grow, though, the authors argue one begins to emerge as speaking your love more deeply and, when used negatively, leaves your child feeling very hurt.

Chapman and Campbell recommend using the following methods to discover your child’s primary love language:

  1. Observe How Your Child Expresses Love to You

If your child often says, “I love you, Mommy” or “I miss you when you go to work, Daddy,” their primary love language is likely Words of Affirmation.

 2. Observe How Your Child Expresses Love to Others

If your kid is always drawing presents to take into classmates, their primary love language may be Gifts.

 3. Listen to What Your Child Requests Most Often

If your little one wants you to watch them at practice or read a story at bedtime every night, their primary love language is likely Quality Time.

  1. Notice What Your Child Most Frequently Complains About

Most complaints are related to immediate desires, but if they fall into a pattern (“Listen to me, Stop interrupting me!!”) and more than half the complaints focus on one love language – Words, in this case – then they are highly indicative.

  1. Give Your Child a Choice Between Two Options

For example, I might say to my six-year-old, “While your oldest sister is at violin, would you rather go for a walk or pick out new summer clothes at the store?” As you give options for several weeks, notice if their choices tend to cluster around one of the five love languages.

If none of these suggestions work, the authors recommend doing a fifteen-week experiment focusing on one of the five love languages for two weeks at a time. Check out chapter seven to learn more.  They also offer a “Love Languages Mystery Game” for parents and kids in the epilogue. I would highly recommend grabbing a copy of the book to get more details on how to know with greater certainty what their primary language is.

Speaking Their Language

My six-year-old made me this list for Mother’s Day of things she loves about me.

  1. Tucks me in
  2. Keeps me safe
  3. Will always love me
  4. Watches me draw
  5. Helps me bake

Speaking Their Language

My six-year-old made me this list for Mother’s Day of things she loves about me.

  1. Tucks me in
  2. Keeps me safe
  3. Will always love me
  4. Watches me draw
  5. Helps me bake

Speaking Their Language

My six-year-old made me this list for Mother’s Day of things she loves about me.

  1. Tucks me in
  2. Keeps me safe
  3. Will always love me
  4. Watches me draw
  5. Helps me bake

Reading through her list just reaffirmed what I had learned in this book. My Quality Time-loving kid doesn’t feel loved when I enroll her in dance class or get her pretty shoes, but simply when I am with her.

I’d encourage you to find whatever your child’s primary love language is and spread it on lavishly.

Becoming Multilingual

While learning what my kid’s love languages are will help me to love them in a way they understand, the book warns not to fall into the trap of believing our children’s love languages are set in stone. Just as they try out different activities (T-ball, soccer, violin, etc.), many times children go through stages in how they prefer to love and be loved.

They also mention it’s important to remember, even after discovering their primary language, we don’t ignore the other four. By giving and receiving all the languages, we teach them to love people whose primary language is different than their own, which is an important skill set in adulthood.

Check out my final post in this book review series to see how knowing my kid’s love languages impacts how I discipline and their summer behavior.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu