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In the book, "The Five Love Languages For Children"
Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, the authors
describe five ways to show love. Apparently, each
of us has a preference for receiving love in a
particular way. Discovering your child’s preferences
gives you a big advantage and deeper way to
enhance your connection.

In terms of love languages, we’re all different. Some
like gifts. Other like physical touch or words of
affirmation. Imagine a kitty just purring away in your
lap when you pet her just the way she likes it best.
Knowing and using your child’s love language
works like this. It helps enhance your relationship,
builds your child’s self-esteem, and even improves

Here is a brief description of each love language:

  • Acts of Service - helping someone to do errands or chores
  • Quality Time - One on one, undivided attention
  • Words of Affirmation - speaking appreciation and acknowledgement
  • Physical Touch - Hugging, holding hands, massage
  • Receiving Gifts - receiving objects that show caring and knowledge

Discovering Your Child's Love Language

Everyone enjoys all of these to one degree or
another, but there will be one or two that truly
resonate. How do you find out which one is the right
one for your child? Here are three possibilities:

o Ask them
o Observe the love language they use most with you
o Experiment and see the reaction

Ask Them

I know this is TOO obvious! The tricky thing is that
while some children will know right away, others may
not really have a clear idea or may have a false idea.
That whole gift thing sounds good after all, but it
may not really be the number one choice.


Often the love language that a person gives to
others is the one that they themselves most
resonate with. This makes sense given that we
often think everyone else thinks and feels the way
we do. Notice how your child expresses love to you.
Does he often bring you flowers from the yard? His
love language may be Receiving Gifts. Does she give
your shoulders a rub after a hard day? She might
like Physical Touch. Notice how your child gives love
to other members of the family. This is a big clue! ;)


Once you have an idea about which love languages
your child seems to gravitate towards--give them a
try! If he melts when you give him a big squeeze,
then that Physical touch language is working great!
If she blushes with pleasure when you compliment
her on her report card, then Words of Affirmation
seem to be doing the trick. If you notice your child is
purring like that kitty I mentioned, then ask your
child what she is noticing and maybe ask what would
make it even better.


Once you have a list of the top 2 or 3 love languages
for your child, you can use these along with your
other efforts. For example, when giving your child
specific praise, you can tailor your praise statements
to fit the love language. For a Words of Affirmation
love language, use lots and lots of specific praise
statements. For a Physical Touch love language,
punctuate your statement with a hug or a shoulder

When designing an incentive system for your child
use the love languages to come up with new and
interesting ideas. A coupon for doing a chore for
them or for a trip to the Mall would motivate a child
who likes Acts of Service. A prize box with lots of
small gifts would be motivating for a child who enjoys
Receiving Gifts. A sticker chart system that builds up
to spending quality time at an amusement park alone
with you would definitely motivate a child who
craves quality time.

Through using the love languages, you can help your
child to truly feel the love you want to express and
build his self-esteem and improve his behavior at the
same time. You can make this fun for yourself by
pretending you are a love language detective.

Remember this works great with friends and spouses too!

Do you know what your family’s (and your own) love
language is?

Great! Now, you can go spread the love around!

Calm the Chaos Parent Coaching

Are you struggling with Chaos at Home?

Now that Summer is upon us, it might be a great time to work on some of those challenges that you put off during the stresses of the school year. Calm the Chaos Parent Coaching provides you with the support you need to make lasting changes. Check out the details here.

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Calm the Chaos Newsletter

This Newsletter is copyright (c)2007 Karen DeBolt, all rights reserved. You may freely reprint in any newsletter, website, or print journal. Please send me a copy and include the following attribution:

"Calm the Chaos Newsletter article (c)2007 Karen DeBolt, MA.
All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission. Helping families
Struggling with Chaos at home to have happy, successful children. Sign up for the newsletter at and receive a copy of the free report, ‘Conquering Bad Behavior Without Stress.’"

I send out an extra email now and then detailing programs and offers.

Karen DeBolt, MA. Parent Coach and Family Therapist
Struggling with Chaos at home and want happy successful children? Download our free report, “How to conquer bad behavior without stress.”
5234 NE Farmcrest St., Hillsboro, OR. 97124



Copyright 2010 Karen DeBolt, MA All Rights Reserved
5234 NE Farmcrest St., Hillsboro, OR 97124 * 503-459-2073 * Email

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