We had been sitting like any other afternoon in our family room. I was reading and he sat beside me drawing in his notebook. Slightly touching but not enough to bother him drawing. He turned to me after a few minutes and said, "Mom what do you think of my picture?" I turned looked at it and praised him on it.
But suddenly I noticed a difference, when I praised him- his eyes lit up, his lopsided smile was big and goofy and suddenly I truly saw my five year old's love language. I didn't honestly ever think to begin watching for his love language or which one would be the most prominent.
Since Josh and I were both compatible with our top two gifts I automatically thought our boys would have the same top two. How silly of me.
So how can you tell what your child's love language is?
Have them take the test if they are old enough.
Observing them and how they love others for a few days or a week. Take notes and sit down with your husband and discuss what you both notice. Are they always bringing your little "presents"? They might be Gifts. Are they always asking for a hug or to hold your hand? They might be Physical Touch. Does their face light up when you praise them and let them know how great they are or how awesome they did on a certain project? They might be Words of Affirmation.
Filling their love tank each day and sometimes hourly is so beneficial for both of you. Children are honestly little sponges and they need hourly and daily pouring into to keep full. They soak up beliefs, ideas and more everywhere they go. You fill them daily with teaching them how to share, how to show kindness, how to love Jesus and knows he cares for you. You can also begin filling them with how they most express love.
Here are a few ideas for each love language for your child:
Words of Affirmation. Using words like Terrific, You did it!, Great job, etc. Your words can focus on personality, accomplishments, high fives or anything else that affirms.
Acts of Service. Teach them how to serve others. Teach him how to throw the ball or teach her to paint her nails. Work together on a project like making dinner or building something outside.
Gifts. Give them a flower or rock you found outside. Shop with them for a special little gift. They don't have to be expensive and they don't need to be every day but just noticing and giving them a little trinket rather than a hug fills them up is what you can realize.
Physical Touch. Holding hands, hugging often, tickling or wrestling, reading stories while they sit on your lap. All of these are how to show love that will connect you both and fill his/her love tank.
Quality Time. Run errands together, Make eye contact, read together, a consistent bedtime routine that involves time together, watching a movie while sitting next to each other or playing a board game and having a family game night once a week.
Your little one will respond to all expressions of love but there is one or even two that they will respond to most. They might change a bit as they get older and that's okay.
Another idea is trying all five and seeing which one sticks the most or which two stick the most. Finding and learning to speak your child's primary love language will go a long way in letting them know how much you love them and make them a priority in your life.