I love to read. When I select books, I typically pick ones that I can learn from and apply to my life. One of the books that has really impacted my life is The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. The first time I read the book was in 1995 shortly after my wife and I became engaged. I tried to put into place the things Chapman and Campbell discussed. I learned my wife’s primary love language is quality time. Over the last 16 years of marriage, I have had to remind myself to give Kim the time she needs. (I have to say, this was a whole lot easier before our children arrived.)
As a children’s minister I read and studied The Five Love Languages of Children. I have even taught the class several times. When I learned Kim and I were expecting our first child, I reread the book, this time with a daddy’s eyes. As Paige and later Carrington joined our family, I began to watch for their love languages to develop. Chapman and Campbell state these usually show up around age six. I have learned Paige has the love language of quality time and Carrington has physical touch—yet again, two children with the same parents, who speak different languages!
Over the next few days we will look at the five love languages and how parents and teachers can speak each language.
Carrington is 11 years old. She would not be happy that I am sharing this with you, but she likes to snuggle. When she is doing her homework, she likes to have Kim or me sit next to her. When we play games, she tends to sit as close as possible. At night, she likes to have Kim or me hold her. Many times Kim or I fall asleep holding her. During the night, Carrington’s arm or leg, (sometimes both) are thrown around us. I’m sure some of you can relate to having a child with the primary love language of physical touch.
In my Sunday School class (4-year-olds), I make it a point to physically touch each child on his shoulder or head. Many of the children now come in and high-five or give me and the other teachers hugs. I can tell which of the children are developing the primary love language of physical touch.
All children need touch. Chapman and Campbell state that children who are held, hugged, and kissed develop a healthier emotional life than children who are left out for long periods of time (page 33). Children with this primary love language need taps, hugs, kisses, and other types of physical contact.
If your child’s primary love language is physical touch, try some of these options:
• Snuggle together as you read or watch television
• Create a special handshake
• Wrestle together on the floor
• Give high-fives and pats on the back
• Hug as often as possible
• Hold hands while walking
• Rub your fingers through your child’s hair, messing up her hair
Have some other ideas of things you can do with a physical touch child? Share them with me and our other readers.