I think most of us have heard of The Five Love Languages, a book written by Gary Chapman several years ago. He presented the concept that people give and receive love in five different ways, or “languages”. They are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

But did you know there’s a sister book written specifically for parents?

In my mom’s group at church, we’re studying The Five Love Languages of Children, and I can’t tell you how it has revolutionized the way I parent.

The premise of the book revolves around this quote: “You may truly love your child, but unless she feels it–unless you speak the love language that communicates to her your love–she will not feel loved.”

In the course of this study, I’ve determined that my son’s love language is quality time. He’s constantly asking me to play with him, and it seems like I can never give him enough of the time he craves.

Is anyone seeing the conflict here? As a stay-at-home writer-mom, I can’t always give him 100% attention (nor do I think it’s healthy for a child to expect 100% attention).

But one quote from the book made me realize that often I was depriving him of what he needed. “When a child’s love tank is empty and attention is the only thing that will fill it, that child will go to almost any length to get what she needs.”

Um, yeah, can we say this often comes out in the form of temper tantrums and disobedience in my house?

Reading that one chapter turned the light bulb on for me. And I learned practical ways I can fill my son’s love tank while still getting my work done. I’m a work in progress, but I’m getting there.

This is just the tip of what I’ve learned in this book. I can’t begin to say how valuable it is. There’s also a chapter about how to discover your child’s primary love language, as well as one about discipline and how it can be shaped by knowing your child’s love language.

If you haven’t checked out this book, I highly recommend it!

Have you read any of the Love Languages books? Do you know what your love language is? How about your kids’?

*Heart photo by Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Writer Mom Recommends: The Five Love Languages of Children!

35 thoughts on “Writer Mom Recommends: The Five Love Languages of Children!

  • December 7, 2011 at 5:12 am
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    Hi Sarah,just wanted to let you know I am delghted to have come across your posts…ELiza Keating

  • December 7, 2011 at 6:33 am
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    I haven’t read either book, but I’m intrigued now. Thank you for the recommendations.

    • December 7, 2011 at 7:59 pm
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      You’re welcome, Ayda! I hope you find the books as invaluable as I have.

  • December 7, 2011 at 8:02 am
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    Hi Sarah –

    Yes, I’ve read The Five Love Languages, but I could use a refresher course. Gary Chapman also has a book out called, “Love Is A Verb.” It’s one I’ve been wanting to pick up.

    Blessings,
    Susan

    • December 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm
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      I know what you mean, Susan. Reading this book is like a little refresher course on the original. I’m learning so much!

  • December 7, 2011 at 8:24 am
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    Haven’t read the parent one but I def. think this is true. I have the hardest time with my oldest, who craves mental attention while he talks. lol He wants to conversate and is really verbal, when I’m not. So…poor guy gets frustrated with me when I don’t have time to hear everything he’s saying. Thanks for the reminder here for me to pay attention!

    • December 7, 2011 at 8:05 pm
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      I’ve got a verbal little guy in my house too, Jessica, so I totally feel your pain. It’s definitely a challenge to be 100% engaged sometimes!

  • December 7, 2011 at 9:08 am
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    I didn’t know there was one for children. So cool.

    I’ve read the original, and my love language is acts of service. So when my hubby cleans up the kitchen for me unexpectedly, my love tank is filled to the brim! Quality time is a close second for me as well. šŸ™‚

    • December 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm
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      Hi Lindsay! I don’t know many women who complain about a clean kitchen. šŸ™‚ But I can see how it would communicate more for some than others. I’m not as much of an acts of service person, but my husband is. I have to remind myself that cleaning is his way to say “I love you” even when he forgets to actually say it. šŸ™‚

  • December 7, 2011 at 9:08 am
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    My man likes to say Iā€™m a high maintenance love language wife. I bounce between three. Just keeping him on his toes. Bringing spontaneity into the marriage. šŸ˜‰

    I love this idea for kids. My husband and I often try to figure out which one our girls relate to.
    ~ Wendy

    • December 7, 2011 at 8:17 pm
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      I’m a bouncer too, Wendy. Must be something to do with us creative writerly types. šŸ™‚

  • December 7, 2011 at 9:53 am
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    It’s interesting that language comes through in ways other than words. Actions and behaviors communicate just as effectively, sometimes even more so. Sounds like a great read …

    • December 7, 2011 at 8:18 pm
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      Well said, Joanne. I really like how the book pinpoints those specific ways we can communicate it.

  • December 7, 2011 at 10:13 am
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    Sounds like a good book Sarah, thanks for sharing.

    When we realized that we parented a special needs children, it caused us to try to learn more about reaching out to a kiddo who does not have the rational or communication skills of his brother and sister.

    • December 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm
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      Hi Slamdunk! Wow, sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate. But kudos to you and your wife for doing all you can to learn.

  • December 7, 2011 at 10:13 am
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    About the second year of my marriage I read the 5 Love Languages and it transformed our marriage. Honestly. I realized what my language was, and what my husband’s was. I noticed when I started giving him his love language, which is physical touch (not sex) and affirmation, guess what? I got the quality time I craved.

    My daughter’s love language is affirmation. She constantly wants to know “What do you think of this?” “How did I do?” I can tell when she’s craving this b/c of those questions.

    My son is 7, and I’m not sure exactly what his is. Maybe acts of service, since he seems happiest when I buy him a Kid’s Meal. Or maybe that’s gifts. LOL I know it’s not time and doesn’t seem to be affirmation.

    Great post!

    • December 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm
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      Hi Jessica, It sounds like your family covers all the love languages in one household! I love how universal these languages are in any relationship, whether marriage or not.

  • December 7, 2011 at 10:31 am
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    I’ve not read these books but have heard they are good. I should check them out. Thanks for the info!

  • December 7, 2011 at 11:41 am
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    I read one of the Five Love Languages books for adults years ago and found it quite helpful. I learned that Words of Affirmation is how I like to receive love (not surprising considering my love affair with words =), however I tend to show love through the Giving of Gifts. My hubby gives Gifts of Service, so I’ve learned to accept a mowed lawn or a washed truck as an “I love you” and respond accordingly. Gwynly receives love best through Quality Time, so I work activities that matter to him into my schedule, such as attending his MG car club meetings, going to classic car shows, and taking long hikes with him. Our daughter is all about Physical Touch, so even though I’m not a big hugger, I make a point to hug her, knowing my gesture says “I love you” to her.

    • December 7, 2011 at 8:22 pm
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      You are the queen of gift-giving, Keli. And the queen of words. Then again, it’s hard to picture a writer not having a little bit of Words of Affirmation in him/her.

  • December 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm
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    I own this book and love it. In fact, I’ve been thinking lately I need to go back and reread it now that my second son is five and I can better determine his love language.

    • December 7, 2011 at 8:23 pm
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      Good point, Stacy. The book talks about how you really can’t determine a child’s love language until they’re five. My son is four, so I’m going off of what he seems to need for this season of life. I’ll be curious to see if it changes as he gets older.

  • December 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm
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    Yes and yes! This is an excellent resource. Thanks for the reminder, Sarah!

  • December 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm
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    I’ve loved both of these books, but haven’t read them in a couple years. Thanks for the reminder, Sarah!

    • December 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm
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      You’re welcome, Heidi! A refresher course never hurts once in a while, right? šŸ™‚

  • December 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm
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    No, I haven’t read the FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES. I think I’ll add it to my list of books to read. I show love by gifts of service, words, and quality time. Does that make me multi-lingual?

    • December 7, 2011 at 8:25 pm
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      Multi-lingual…I love it, Cecelia! And absolutely, you can have more than one love language. šŸ™‚

  • December 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm
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    I keep meaning to buy this book because after reading “The Five Love Languages” a few years back, it proved to be necessary and “oh-so-helpful” reading for both my husband and I. It only makes sense that this would be amazing from a parenting aspect as well. Great post and thanks for the review (and reminder). šŸ™‚

    • December 7, 2011 at 8:25 pm
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      You’re welcome, Jenny! Now that I’m reading the children’s version, I want to go back and re-read the marriage version. šŸ™‚

  • December 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm
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    I haven’t read this one, but I know my middle daughter’s love language is quality time. She’s the one (besides the baby) who’s not in school yet and home with me all during the day when I DO try to get writing and cleaning and exercising done. It’s a challenge for sure. I’ll happily read any tips you have to share, Sarah šŸ™‚

    • December 7, 2011 at 8:27 pm
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      Hi Cindy! I wonder if part of it is innate to the preschool stage. Or maybe it really is our kids’ love language. I have to remind myself that he won’t always want to spend time with me. But when the dishes are overtaking the kitchen counter, it’s hard to keep perspective. šŸ™‚

  • December 8, 2011 at 8:00 am
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    I didn’t know this one existed! I’ve read the other and loved it. Sounds like a good book to send to my daughter as she is a mom of a 4 year old and he also demands a lot of her time but she works fulltime, struggles to find that needed action.

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