Decoding Your Child’s Love Language

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Every child is unique and special in their own way. Just like adults, children also have their own love languages, which are the different ways they perceive and express love. Understanding your child’s love language can help you foster a strong and loving bond with them.

Decoding your child’s love language is like discovering the secret to their heart. By understanding and speaking their love language, you can create a deep and lasting connection that will have a positive impact on their emotional well-being and overall development. Embrace the uniqueness of your child and let love be the guiding force in your parenting journey!

Types of love languages

Words of affirmation

Does your child light up when you praise them? Do they thrive on encouraging words and compliments? If so, their love language might be words of affirmation. Children who resonate with this love language feel the most loved and appreciated when you use positive and loving words to express your feelings towards them. Simple phrases like “I’m proud of you” or “You did a great job” can go a long way in making them feel cherished.

Quality time

Some children crave undivided attention and meaningful moments spent together. If your child always seeks your presence—wanting to play games, talk or just be by your side—their love language may be quality time.
Engaging in activities together and giving
these children your full attention creates a deep
sense of security and love in their hearts.

Acts of service

For some children, actions speak louder than words. If your child appreciates it when you do things for them, like preparing their favorite meal or helping them with their homework, their love language might be acts of service. These gestures show them that you care and are willing to invest time and effort to make them happy.

Physical touch

Hugs, cuddles and pats on the back can mean the world to a child with a love language of physical touch. These children thrive on physical expressions of love, and such gestures make them feel safe and emotionally connected. Holding hands, giving them a high-five or tucking them in at night are simple yet powerful ways to communicate your affection.


While some might think of materialism
when they hear “gifts” as a love language, it’s essential to understand that it’s not about the value of the gift but the thought and effort behind it.
Children who appreciate gifts as a love language feel cherished when they receive a meaningful present. It could be as simple as a hand-drawn card or a small toy that holds sentimental value.

4 tips to strengthen bonds with love languages

1. Observe and listen

Pay attention to how your child reacts to different expressions of love. Their responses will give you valuable clues about their primary love language.

2. Communicate openly

As your child grows, talk to them about love languages. Explain what they mean and encourage your child to express how they feel most loved.

3. Adapt your expressions of love

Tailor your interactions to match your
child’s love language. If they respond well to physical touch, incorporate more hugs and cuddles into your daily routine. If it’s words of affirmation, make it a habit to praise and encourage their efforts.

4. Be patient and flexible

Remember that a child’s love language can change over time, especially as they grow and develop. Stay attuned to their needs and be flexible in adjusting your expressions of love accordingly.

Understanding your child’s love language is a powerful tool in building a strong and loving relationship with them. By speaking their language, you create a secure and nurturing environment that fosters emotional growth and happiness. As you navigate parenthood, remember that the most profound expressions of love often lie in the little things you do every day.

A version of this article originally appeared on, which provides interactive content for kids that blends educational subjects with modern life skills.

Dr. Suzanne Barchers is an award-winning author and curriculum developer with more than 300 books and songs in print, ranging from children’s books to college textbooks. She’s the past president of the Association of Educational Publishers, a past member of the PBS Next Generation Kids Advisory Board and current chair of the Lingokids Educational Advisory Board.