Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The 5 Love Languages for Children

This week I am sharing a wonderful book that doesn't seem like a school book at first, but can really help with behavior management in your classroom.

I am linking up with Deanna for her Let's Talk About Books Linky!  Thank you for hosting, Deanna!

If you aren't familiar with the 5 love languages, they are: Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, and Acts of Service.

The 5 Love Langages books by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell show practical and very effective ways to help people figure out how to best connect with each other. There are several different books.

The 5 Love Languages are always the same, but the implementation and background for each age level is a little different. The book gives ideas about how to best reach people by discovering and nurturing their individual love languages.

Busy Kids, Happy Mom shared this wonderful guide that she made which helps to explain the five love languages and how they relate to children.

Each person has one or two that are their strongest "love languages." Knowing a person's love language allows you to connect better with a person and to know what he/she responds to best.  For example- if you have a tricky child in your class- you may discover that he or she responds much better to quality time (like lunch in the room with you) than to gifts (stickers).

There is a Love Language Mystery Game in the back of the book with questions to help determine which is a child's strongest love language.  The child answers which response they would choose.  For example:

1.  Give me a hug!
     You are terrific!

2.  I've got a special birthday present for you.
     Let me help you with your project.

3.  Let's watch TV together.
     Tag! You're it!

I  had my kids do this for me, just to get an idea how accurate it was.  It was really interesting.  In fact, I had my husband take the little quiz too- and he said, "This question is crazy!  Who would rather hear 'Wow, you did it!' than 'You have a surprise under you bed?!' " So I said..."Um... your son!" Jeff is such a 'gifts' person, and my son Matt is more of a 'words of affirmation' person. (Note to self:  Get Jeff more gifts...)

It is just another way to get insight into what kids (or husbands...) respond to most.  My primary language is Acts of Service.  It is so much more of a gift to me if Jeff vacuums the house instead of getting me flowers or something. (Note to Jeff:  Vacuum the house.)  And apparently, I am also needy because I like Words of Affirmation. Our Sunday school class did a study of The 5 Love Languages for Couples, and it was one of my favorite book studies.

For some of you, it may be Words of Affirmation or Gifts...

I found this quiz  here online.

Although I realize that meeting your own child's love language is different than meeting your students' love languages, I figured that this idea could help with students in the classroom as well.

Finding out a child's special love language is another way to show how much you care.
We have all had children who always wants to hold our hand (Physical Touch), beam when admire their good work (Words of Affirmation), light up if they get to have a special lunch with you (Quality Time), would do anything for a sticker (Gifts), or calm right down and become your forever friend if you fix their broken toy or push them on the swing (Acts of Service). These are all small gestures, but so meaningful when it is a child's special love language.  Figuring out what each student responds to best can help teachers  pinpoint what motivates our students to work and behave best in the classroom.

For example, our school has a "Do Right" program.  If the students are caught doing the right thing, they get a piece of paper to fill out and take to a special box in the office.  Once a month, our principal draws a name from each grade level, and they all get their picture taken to be put on a wall. It is amazing what some children will do for that piece of paper.

Physical Touch is obviously different with school students than your own, but we all know which students just can't get close enough to us, and seem to snuggle in when we read together or can't stop giving hugs.

Words of Affirmation are something so many children don't get at home very much, and just seem to be hungry for at school.

Our Life with 9 Kids has a quick little quiz to help figure out which love language is your strongest. You could easily adapt this to use with your students at school.

I think this is so helpful for certain students who you know you may really need to work to connect with differently.  Most of my kids are easy, go-with-the-flow students who are excited to learn and happy with pretty much everything.  They don't need the extras.  But for those harder to reach students, I find that asking just a few questions can tell me a lot more about what makes them tick.

Smart Apps for Special Needs shared this picture that I loved of different ways to reach a child whose love language is Words of Affirmation.

Tim Elmore, from Growing Leaders, shared some wonderful ideas that go along with Quality Time.
He mentions that the healthiest statements that parents can say to their children when they preform are these.
Before a Competion:
1. Have fun.
 2. Play hard.
 3. I love you.

After the Competition:
            1. Did you have fun?
          2. I'm proud of you.
3. I love you.

He goes on with my favorite part of the article.  I read this a long time ago, and it has just stuck with me because it is such a wonderful tip for parents to know.

"College athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame. Their overwhelming response:  'I love to watch you play.' " 
Period. Simple.  This made so much sense to me, because as he says, those words have no judgment or pressure, just pure love.

In the beginning of the year, I love to take my class outside on the playground and just play with them for a while. I push them on the swings, watch them climb, and laugh with them.
The Common Core people may not realize this, but these moments are the best investments into my students' learning to start the year off right, because my students know I really like them and want the best for them.  They are so much more receptive to everything once they realize they are really liked. Who isn't?  I know I am.

Sometimes just simply observing, noticing, and listening to our children teach us and help us the most. 

Thank you for stopping by!  Have a great week!


  1. I love this! Learning about mine and my husband's love languages was huge and I can definitely see how much of an impact this would make in a classroom. I will definitely be thinking about this as I go into a new school year. Thanks for sharing!!

    XO, Kelly Anne

  2. What a wonderful and very valuable post, Carolyn! Acts of Service is my primary language also. I agree that playing with your little ones and laughing with them is vital. When a child knows that you really care and want what's best with them, the respond to you in a whole different way. It makes an impact on every little and big thing. Lots of love to you!

  3. Awesome post! These languages are so important to understand in any relationship! Thank you!

    Fit to be Fourth

  4. Great post, Carolyn. I know that the 5 Love Languages has been great is better understanding my family members, but I hadn't really thought about using it with kids at school. I can already see some of the languages in my students just by thinking about what works with them. I will have to pay more attention to this with my kids next year. Thanks for reminding me of the book and the concepts.

    Charlene/Diamond Mom

  5. So refreshing! Thank you for this wonderful post! I hope you don't mind me stealing your test to give to my kiddos before the year starts. :)

    The Kindergarten Bandit

  6. Thank you so much! It never occurred to me to apply this knowledge to my students. This is awesome!

    Second Grade Sweetie Pies


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