Are you looking for some ideas on how to show the 5 love languages to your kids?
Sometimes I feel like I’m in a rut of being frustrated with my child and that things are out of control in our house (anyone else with me?).
It’s in those moments that I know that I need to reconnect with my child and work on filling their love tank!
While this list isn’t exhaustive, I do hope that it helps you find new ways to show your child love!
And perhaps you aren’t sure what the 5 love languages even are!
The 5 love languages were developed by Gary Chapman and are Quality Time, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, and Acts of Service.
These posts will help you better understand what the 5 love languages are and why they are important.
Specifically, make sure to check out the 5 love languages for kids post so that you can determine the primary love language for your child.
If you don’t have time to read the other posts right now, I will try to briefly explain each of them below.
And remember, while it’s good to prioritize your child’s primary love language, children need love in ALL 5 areas.
So you will see that there is some overlap between the categories.
And some ideas will help you fill multiple love languages at one time!
Some of these may or may not be applicable depending on the age of your child, so keep in mind that you might have to adjust these ideas for the age of your child.
So let’s jump in on some practical ideas for how to show the 5 love languages to your child!
The first of the 5 love languages that we are going to cover is Quality Time.
Do you ever feel like your child isn’t constantly bothering you while you are trying to get things done or while you are trying to talk to someone else?
Your child is reaching out for quality time with you!
Quality time is exactly what is sounds like – spending QUALITY time with your child!
The less distracted you are with your phone, other siblings, or household chores, the better you can fill that quality time love tank!
Try some of these ideas to help fill your child’s 5 love languages love tank of quality time!
Ideas for the 5 Love Languages: Quality Time
- Give each child “special time” with you where you hide your phone and solely focus on them and have child directed play for 15-30 minutes
- Read books together
- Build a puzzle together
- Go on a family walk after dinner
- Surprise them by showing up to eat lunch with them at school or by volunteering for one of their classroom activities or holiday parties
- Play a game just the two of you
- Let your child help you make dinner
- Fly a kite together
- Go apple picking together and help hold them up to reach the apples
- Eat dinner together as a family
- Go to the library and read them new books (and check out their favorite ones to take home to read again!)
- Pack a picnic and go to a park together
- Go on a bike ride together
- Work together on planning an “upgrade” for their room – pick out a new paint color or go shopping for a new piece of furniture for their room
- Find a hobby that you both find enjoyable and do it together – such as biking, knitting, skateboarding, swimming, or origami
- Go camping or even go to a park and hike through the woods
- Go to a children’s museum together
- Explore the zoo together
- Go on a family vacation
- Take a technology fast and spend the whole day letting them decide the activities
The second love language I want to give you some practical tips for is Physical Touch.
Is your child constantly clinging to you or perhaps even running by and hitting you or another sibling?
Whether it is good physical touch or not, your child could be sending you the message that they need more physical touch.
Now I’m not excusing the child for hitting you, but just saying a lot of times if your child is hitting, they are sending you a message that they need connection (even if it’s not in the right way to send the message!).
The love language of physical touch is using tangible connection of body contact to be physically connected with your child.
Use these ideas to help fill your child’s physical touch love tank!
Ideas for the 5 Love Languages: Physical Touch
- Hold your child’s hand when you are out walking
- Greet your child when you get home with a hug and kiss
- Snuggle together on the couch after work and listen to your child talk about their day
- Give your child high five’s or hugs for completing tasks like homework and chores
- Snuggle together on their bed and read books together
- Give piggy back rides
- Have a tickle fight or pretend to be a tickle monster that is going to come get them and chase them around the house
- Or be the kissy monster and when you catch your child, kiss them very loudly all over
- Give your child “horsy” rides on your back
- Fly your child around like an airplane either using your feet or holding them on their belly and running them around while you make airplane noises
- Toss your child up in the air and catch them and proceed to cover them in kisses
- Every day give your child a hug and kiss before they head to school and before they go to bed
- For younger children, snuggle with them in bed and rub their back or sing them songs until they fall asleep
- Or for babies, lay next to them during their nap
- Use a baby carrier to keep baby close while they are small enough to do so
- Carry your child up on your shoulders
- Wrestling or roughhousing can be a great way to have physical touch with your child (especially boys) and also help them let off some steam and energy!
- Let your child sit on your lap while you color, work on a craft, or sing songs together
- Dance together to a favorite song
- Create a secret hand squeeze such as squeezing their hand 3 times to mean “I Love You!”, then they squeeze back 2 times to mean “how much?”, and then you proceed to squeeze their hand really hard (without hurting them of course) to mean that you love them LOTS AND LOTS!
Words of Affirmation
The third love language we are going to cover is Words of Affirmation.
Does your child gain confidence, seem more cooperative, and almost “blossom” when you give them words of encouragement or when you shower them with words of love?
Or does your child wilt when you yell at them or if you are critical of them?
If so, your child could have a big need for words of affirmation!
The definition of affirmation is emotional support or encouragement.
So words of affirmation are going to be saying things that uplift, inspire, motivate and show love to our children!
Use this list of ideas of ways to give words of affirmation to help encourage your child today!
Ideas for the 5 Love Languages: Words of Affirmation
- Tell your child “I love you” (as much as possible!!)
- Write an encouraging note and put it in their lunch bag to read at school
- Compliment your child in front of others
- Use a wet erase marker to leave them a note on their bathroom mirror that says they are beautiful or to remind them how much you love them
- Share a story about a special moment you remember about your child “Remember that time when you…”
- Brag about your child’s good behavior to your spouse at the dinner table
- Or if you are a single parent, brag to one of your child’s stuffed animals in a loud whisper about how proud you are of them or tell the stuffed animal about something your child did well
- Praise your child for something they’ve done well that day
- Write a short note on a paper airplane about how much you love them and fly it to them when they are sitting somewhere in the house (try to be sneaky so that they don’t see you throwing it at them)
- Be your child’s biggest cheerleader at sporting events, recitals, and other events by cheering loudly, clapping loudly, or even making poster signs for them (if it’s appropriate for the event)
- Write them a poem about them or about how much you love them
- Acknowledge all of your child’s hard work around the house or at school
- If you have a child or teenager with a phone, send them a text during their lunch break telling them you love them and hope they are having a good day
- Leave them a note on their pillow about how much you love them and let them sleep with it under their pillow (it might help them sleep better knowing that your “love” is with them)
- When the situation is right, use one of these phrases:
- “That was a really smart idea…”
- “You handled X really well”
- “I’m so proud of you for X”
- “You are such a great son/daughter”
- Acknowledge your child’s less desirable feelings such as “I see you are mad” or “you seem upset” and love on them in even their worst behavior moments, showing them that you love them even when they are at their worst
Our next love language we are going to cover is Gifts.
Does your child love receiving gifts?
Can they remember exactly who gave them certain gifts and even recall circumstances where they got different gifts?
This means that receiving gifts is very impactful to them!
This meaning of this love language is pretty straight forward as well – giving gifts to your child.
However, you can get creative with the execution so that you don’t feel like the only way you can fill this love tank is to buy them new toys all the time.
In fact, I would advise AGAINST just buying your child everything they want to fill this love tank.
There are many ways to give someone a gift without even spending a dime!
So what are some free, cheap, and expensive ways to fill this love tank?
Let me give you some ideas!
Ideas for the 5 Love Languages: Gifts
- Create them an origami of their favorite animal and leave it on the breakfast table where they normally sit
- Make them a beaded bracelet or even a paper bracelet with a short, sweet message such as “I love you” or “You are amazing” or “Beautiful”
- Pick flowers from your yard to make them a small bouquet
- Write clues for your child to do a scavenger hunt around the house to find their own stuffed animals and toys (or you can mix in a few new things too) or to find letters to a word or phrase they have to unscramble such as “Extraordinary” or “I love you”
- Use Popsicle sticks to make them a picture frame
- Have you ever gotten a “free photo album” coupon from Shutterfly? Use it to make a small photo book for your child of some of your favorite memories with them
- Or if you are more crafty, make a scrapbook together of your favorite memories together or of a vacation you recently took
- Have you ever gotten free stickers or a note pad sent to you in the mail? Give it to your child to play with!
- Make them a card that says how much you love them or something they did recently that you are really proud of them for
- Buy flowers or a small stuffed animal to give to your child after performance or other noteworthy event
- Buy something for a hobby they enjoy such as beads if they like making bracelet’s or Lego’s if they enjoy building
- Decorate with balloons and streamers when it’s not a birthday or holiday and declare it “Celebrate You Day” for your child or as a thank you party for how big of a helper they are
- Take them out to one of their favorite restaurants
- Let them pick something up from a gift shop on your next vacation
- Take your child shopping for new clothes or shoes
- Go to a movie
- Get tickets to a show or concert they would enjoy (think Disney on Ice, a ballet, or a music group they enjoy!)
- Take them to a sporting event that they like
- Go to an amusement park
- Surprise them with a trip to Disney
Acts of Service
The final of the 5 love languages is Acts of Service!
Does your child sometimes ask you to do things for them that you know they know how to do?
Or does your child enjoy having you show them how to do things so they can do it on their own?
Once again, the execution of this love language might be a little different than expected.
You see, our kids want to become more self-sufficient.
They want to learn to do things for themselves, so sometimes just patiently showing them how to do something for themselves is actually an act of service.
However, your child may not want to be self sufficient EVERY time.
Hence why your preschooler may ask you to help you put on their shoes when you know they know how to do it.
Or maybe your elementary aged child claims they need help cleaning up their room.
This is where we can jump in with acts of service and help them do the task to help to fill their acts of service love tank.
Again, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t hold your children to being able to do their chores on their own.
But at your discretion, you can decide how often to jump in and help do something for your child.
Let me give some acts of service ideas to help explain this further.
Ideas for the 5 Love Languages: Acts of Service
- Make them their favorite foods for dinner
- Warm their towel in the dryer for them for after their bath time on a cold winter day
- Warm a blanket for them in the dryer before you snuggle up to read a book
- Go the extra mile getting them tucked in for bed, including fluffing their pillow, singing songs, checking for monsters under their bed, and snuggling with them while you tell them a story of one of your favorite memories with them
- Fix a broken toy or replace the batteries in a toy that is no longer working
- Mend their favorite pair of pants that got a hole in it
- Help them with their homework
- Ask them if they want your help doing things for them that you know they know how to do, such as:
- Tie their shoes
- Help them get dressed
- Wash their hands
- Surprise them by doing one of their normal chores for them, such as:
- Make their bed
- Help pick up their room
- Set the table
- Unload the dishwasher
- If your teenager has a car they normally drive, wash it or fill it with gas
- Patiently teach your child how to do something new such as how to chop up cucumber or how to match up their socks. This might seem a little backwards, but actually kids enjoy becoming more autonomous and learning how to do things for themselves, so you lovingly teaching them to do something might be a good way to show them love (and a bonus for you since now they know how to do more things on their own!)
- Volunteer together somewhere!
Using the 5 Love Languages to Connect with Your Child
And there you have it!
We just went through 88 different ways you can demonstrate the 5 love languages to your child!
This will help you connect with your child and fill their love tank.
You might even be surprised to see your child’s behavior improve!
With some focused effort on your part, you can fill their love tank through the 5 love languages.
And while you may not be able to fill their love tank every day, over the course of a week, try to make sure that you are keeping their tank topped off!
This list isn’t exhaustive by any means so take a minute to think through something you can do to show your child(ren) love in each of the 5 love language areas this week!
Do you have any other ideas on what to do in one of these areas?
Leave a comment below so that I have some new ideas on how to show my kiddo some love!