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25. Book Review -- The Five Love Languages of Children

Book Title: The Five Love Languages of Children

Author: Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell, M.D.

Year of Publication1997

PublisherNorthfield Publishing

Pages189 pages

Author’s Web-site

Full Book Available in: English, Czech

You should read this book if you…

Want to learn how to show your child unconditional love in a way that she or he understands and receives love. Since love is the most basic need of every child, we need to find out how our child uniquely receives love and then learn how to love them in that way. This will make disciplining your child and teaching them much more manageable and effective.

“In a nut shell”…

Love is the foundation for helping a child develop a healthy self-esteem so that they can learn how to handle anger, develop healthy relational skills, and develop their special gifts and talents to contribute to society.  This book describes the five basic love languages and how to find out which one is your child’s primary one and your primary one. You will learn how to respond to your child in the best way for him or her to understand in situations of discipline, learning, anger or encouragement.

Key Ideas…

The five love languages are as follows:

Physical touch –All children have a need for physical touch, but some get their emotional tanks filled this way. For young children it may mean lots of kisses and hugs and holding on your lap. For older ones, it may mean wrestling with your son on the floor or patting him on the back or hugging your daughter as she comes home from school or leaves to go out with friends.

Words of affirmation – children deeply believe what we say. If there is a lack of encouraging words or if they don’t regularly hear “I love you,” some children will not feel that you love them even if you are showing them in many other ways. These words are different than praising your child for an accomplishment, but these words are praise and appreciation for who the child is and compliments on what she does as a result. Frequent random praise with no real thought out truth behind it will sound like empty flattery to a child who feels love through words, so be careful to be truthful as you use encouraging words to guide your child and show them unconditional love.

Quality time – this is your gift of presence to your child, your undivided attention. You are showing your child that he or she is important and you like being with them. You can just play a game together or go out for lunch. This requires the parent to sacrifice a precious commodity, time, in order to spend time alone with your child. If your child’s primary love language is quality time, without a large supply of quality time and focused attention, your child will start to feel that you don’t really love him.

Gifts – everyone likes to receive gifts, but the child who feels most loved by getting gifts will keep special gifts in a special place and always tell others about them and who they got them from. These gifts are usually not expensive or big. Don’t just get them anything and everything, but be sure that your gift is a true expression of your love and show love using the other love languages as well so the gift will further convey your unconditional love.

Acts of service – parenting requires lots of ‘acts of service’ as you physically care for your children, but these aren’t always pure acts of love but duty. Children who receive love by being served feel loved when their parents help them do things they can’t do for themselves or help them get something done that would be a struggle to do alone.

Action Steps…

Discovering your child’s primary love language takes time. Young children are still experimenting with different ways of receiving and showing love. You need to speak all five love languages while specializing in their primary language.

Observe how your child expresses love to you.

Observe how your child expresses love to others.

Listen to what your child requests most often.

Notice what your child most frequently complains about.

Give your child a choice between two options (between two love languages).

We must discipline a child in love so to do this you need to know that children are constantly testing our love for them by their behavior. So ask yourself what your child needs when he is misbehaving. Your goal is not just to correct his behavior but to guide and train a child toward right behavior and good choices, forming a heart of compassion and selflessness.


“…speaking your child’s primary love language helps her feel loved. When your child feels loved, when her emotional tank is full, she will be more responsive to parental guidance in all areas of her life.” Pg 97

“When we as parent learn to speak our children’s love language, even though it differs from our own, we are showing them the way of unselfishness, the way of serving others.” Pg 98


Be sure to speak love to your child in her primary love language before and after you correct or punish them.

A warm and loving relationship between parent and child provides a foundation for a child’s desire and ability to learn because for a child to be able to learn well, he must be emotionally mature according to his age. Parents have the greatest effect on a child’s emotional growth and we can give our children a learning advantage by filling their love tanks in the way they uniquely receive love.

Anger and love are strongly related. We must learn what anger is and how to handle it appropriately in order to teach our children to do the same. Anger is the primary lifetime threat to your child, and if your child doesn’t learn to handle anger well, it will damage or destroy him.

How this has changed my parenting…

Instead of just punishing my children when they misbehave, I first make sure I am doing all I can to make them feel loved by speaking their unique love languages. Then I ask myself what they need when they misbehave.

For my oldest daughter, she receives love through quality time and sometimes gifts. If I am not spending enough time just with her, she tends to not receive my parental guidance as well and fights against my correction and discipline.

My youngest receives love through words and sometimes physical touch as she is still only 4 years old. Whenever I must correct her wrong behavior, I make sure to hug her before and after the correction and to always tell her I love her and to thank her for how she listens and tries to make good choices.

© 2011 The Family Project

Related Topics: Christian Home, Mothers, Fathers, Parenting, Book Review, Parent Resources

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