Family Resource: The 5 Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages

based on the book by Dr. Gary Chapman

How do meet each other’s deep emotional need to feel loved? If we can learn that and choose to do it, then the love we share with our partners and/or children will be fulfilling and rewarding.

Love languages are basically the language we speak when giving and receiving love. For example, if I feel most loved when getting hugs and kisses, then I would tend to give hugs and kisses to others to show them I love them.

BUT…The key to love languages is figuring out what the other person’s primary language is so that you can give love the way THEY want it received (rather than assuming they receive love the same way as you). See below for detail on each love language.

The 5 Languages of Love

  • ) Physical Touch
    • Babies who are held, hugged and kissed develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact
    • Children need plenty of touches during their first few years
    • As a baby grows and becomes more active, the need for touch does not lessen: hugs, kisses, wrestling on the floor, riding piggyback, and other playful loving touches are vital to the child’s emotional development
    • Boys and girls need physical affection, yet young boys receive less than young girls.
    • All children need physical contact throughout their childhood and adolescence.
  • ) Words of Affirmation
    • Words of affection and endearment: long before children can understand the meanings of words, children receive emotional messages. The tones of voice, the gentleness of mood, the ambiance of care all communicate emotional warmth and love.
    • Words of praise: because you want words of praise to be genuinely meaningful to your child, you need to be careful about what you say.
    • Words of guidance: loving guidance always has a child’s best interests in mind. Its purpose is to help the child develop the qualities that will serve him well in the future.
  • ) Quality Time
    • Giving quality time can be difficult for parents as few of us have enough time to do everything we need and want to do; giving a child quality time may mean that we must give up something high on our list of preferences
    • Quality time is a parent`s gift of presence to a child. It conveys the message: “You are important. I like being with you.“ It makes the child feel that he is the most important person in the world to the parent. He feels truly loved because he has his parent all to himself.
    • Quality time does not require that you go somewhere special. Spend time having healthy conversation with children. Quality time should include pleasant, loving eye contact.
    • If you have several children, you need to look for times when you can be alone with each one.
  • ) Gifts
    • For this love language to be effective, the child must feel that his parents genuinely care. For this reason, the other love languages must be given along with a gift.
    • It can be tempting to shower children with gifts as substitutes for the other love languages.
    • The grace of giving has little to do with the size and cost of the gift. It has everything to do with love.
    • Gifts should be genuine expressions of love. If they are payment for services rendered, or bribery, you should not call them gifts, but should acknowledge them for what they are.
  • ) Acts of Service
    • Caution: don’t view acts of service as a way to manipulate your children
    • Do for your children what they cannot do for themselves. As they are ready, we teach them how to serve themselves and others.
    • Some parents, wanting their children to develop skill and independence, lean too far in the direction of letting their children figure things out for themselves.
    • We must be careful in our acts of service to never show conditional love. When parents give of themselves to their children only when they are pleased by their behaviour, such acts of service are conditional.

Take the online test and find out which is your primary love language!

Other book suggestions by Dr. Gary Chapaman: The five love languages of Children & The five love languages of teenagers.