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As I have previously shared, I am a huge believer in the five love languages and using them to show my love to the most important in my life. Some may say that such is voodoo and psychobabble, but there is actual science behind the concept.
According to Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, love languages are how we show and feel our love, with each individual’s language different from the last. I show my love to others through gift-giving and acts of service and feel most loved through words of affirmation and acts of service. My husband feels most loved through physical touch and words of affirmation and shows his love through acts of service. While we are similar, I make it a point to offer him physical contact throughout the day via back rubs, random hugs, and shoulder squeezes.
Our grandchildren show and feel love in different ways, too, and I have found that speaking their language has grown our bond even more. What are these magical languages, and how can you tap into your grandchilds? Believe me: It isn’t nearly as daunting as it sounds!
What are the five love languages?
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
By tapping into our loved ones – including our grandkids’ – unique love language, we can enrich and nurture our relationships even more by discovering how each of us feels most loved and appreciated. This groundbreaking idea has positively impacted many families and provided a gentle yet powerful framework for building strong, lasting connections that help our grandchildren flourish and grow confidently.
To discover your grandchild’s love language, take this free quiz (while you’re there, you should take one for yourself, too!). After you finish, circle back here to discover how you can most effectively show your love via your grandchild’s love language.
Words of Affirmation
Words of Affirmation is all about using uplifting, positive language to help children feel loved, confident, and valued. It’s about nurturing their self-esteem and sense of worth through heartfelt praise, encouragement, and acknowledgment of their efforts. Examples of Words of Affirmation include:
- Complimenting their artwork or school projects
- Praising their good behavior or choices
- Expressing love and appreciation regularly
- Celebrating their achievements, big or small
- Offering encouragement when they face challenges
- Pointing out their unique talents or qualities
- Validating their feelings and emotions
- Listening actively and responding thoughtfully
- Sharing positive affirmations or quotes with them
- Recognizing their progress and personal growth
Acts of Service
Acts of Service is the love language that focuses on showing love to our grandchildren through thoughtful actions and support. It’s about being there for them when they need help, providing guidance, and demonstrating that their happiness and well-being matter to you. You can show this to your grandchild by:
- Helping with their homework or school projects
- Preparing their favorite meal or snack
- Taking care of them when they’re not feeling well
- Offering assistance with chores or organizing their belongings
- Driving them to extracurricular activities or playdates
- Volunteering at their school or attending events
- Assisting them with personal care or hygiene routines
- Supporting their hobbies or interests
- Teaching them new skills or life lessons
- Providing a safe and nurturing environment
Receiving Gifts is a love language that emphasizes the joy of giving and receiving meaningful gifts for children. It’s not about spoiling them with material things, but rather the thought, effort, and love that go into selecting a gift that will bring them happiness and show you care. Here are a few easy ways to do just that:
- Surprising them with a small, thoughtful gift
- Giving them a special toy or book they’ve been wanting
- Making or choosing a gift that reflects their interests
- Celebrating milestones with meaningful presents
- Creating a homemade craft or keepsake for them
- Giving them a memorable experience as a gift
- Finding a special item that connects to shared interests
- Presenting them with a token of love during difficult times
- Gifting them something that represents their growth
- Choosing meaningful holiday or birthday gifts
Quality Time is the love language that fosters closeness and connection with your grandchildren through focused, meaningful moments spent together. It’s about creating cherished memories, sharing experiences, and demonstrating that they are an important part of your life. Here are a few easy and natural ways to do just that:
- Planning fun outings or family adventures
- Engaging in their favorite games or activities together
- Reading bedtime stories or sharing a meal as a family
- Setting aside regular one-on-one time for each child
- Watching movies or TV shows together
- Participating in shared hobbies or interests
- Teaching them a new skill or craft
- Attending their sports games, recitals, or performances
- Exploring nature or going on walks together
- Creating family traditions or rituals
Physical Touch is a love language that conveys love, safety, and affection to children through physical closeness and comforting touch. It’s about offering the warmth, security, and connection that come from a hug, a snuggle, or a gentle touch:
- Giving hugs, kisses, or cuddles regularly
- Holding their hand or putting an arm around their shoulder
- Offering a comforting touch when they’re upset or scared
- Playfully engaging in tickling, wrestling, or other touch-oriented games
- Tucking them in with a goodnight hug or kiss
- Stroking their hair or rubbing their back gently
- Snuggling while watching a movie or reading a book
- Giving high-fives or fist bumps to celebrate achievements
- Holding them close during thunderstorms or moments of fear
- Offering a gentle squeeze or playful nudge to show affection and connection
I hope learning your grandchildren’s love languages nurtures and grows your relationships as much as it has for my grandchildren and me! It is fantastic to see the difference it makes when you speak to your grandchild the right way (and how it feels when someone returns the favor and speaks to you and your love language).
If you want to learn more and get deeper into the five love languages, I cannot recommend Dr. Gary Chapman’s books enough, especially The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.