If your child shows love through physical touch (but you’re not a touchy-feely kind of person), here are 25 quick and easy ways to display your love for them while you’re “speaking” their language.
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the five love languages
Maybe you’ve heard of the five love languages: Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, and Acts of Service. And you might even know which ones are the primary languages you use to give love – and receive love – the most.
Did you know your kids also give and receive love in the same way? But it may be different from yours.
And that’s where things can sometimes get a little sticky.
Maybe you’re not really a hugger. I know people who cringe at the thought of getting hugs. And so they don’t really think about hugging their kids often.
In fact, people who aren’t touchy-feely may not even realize they aren’t showing physical affection to their children much. With all the putting on socks, taking off shirts, changing diapers, holding hands to cross the road, they may not even realize most of their day-to-day touching occurs doing specific tasks.
Even though these things are necessary, they don’t specifically make children feel loved – or happy.
doesn’t physical touch just mean give kids more hugs and kisses?
At some point while raising littles, you’ve probably asked your children not to get in your lap right now or not to get so close to you or to let you finish going to the bathroom before you give them – yet another – hug.
Sure, all these things are wonderful but sometimes a mama just needs a break, right? Especially if she’s not generally a physical-touch kind of mom.
And that’s why it seems confusing for physical touch to be a love language.
Isn’t it just hugging and kissing your kids?
As Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell mention in their book The 5 Love Languages of Children, all children receive love through what they call love languages (physical touch, words affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of service) but they tend to feel love the loudest through particular ones.
Do you know what makes your kids feel most loved?
You probably feel like you hug or kiss your children every day, so how do you know whether you’re doing what it takes to make your child feel loved? Aren’t hugs and kisses the ultimate display of physical affection?
Even if your little ones sleep ten hours at night (if so, good for you!), that’s still 14 hours of time you can display your love for them through physical touch.
Can’t think of anything other than hugs and kisses? Here are 25 ways you can show your kiddo how you love them even if physical touch isn’t your primary love language.
Although you may want to gauge whether they work for your kiddo. We have a couple people in our home who thrash around when tickled so that’s never on my list.
Have fun with your kids while you figure out which ones make them feel the most loved!
25 ways to display love through physical touch (even if it’s not your primary love language)
- Hugs and kisses
- High fives
- Fist bumps
- Tossing them in the air
- Carrying to bed like a sack of potatoes
- Dancing together (try a post-dinner dance party)
- Twirling while dancing
- Read them a story while they’re on your lap
- Hold hands while praying together
- Pat them on the back
- Play with their hair (like a playful tousle or braiding)
- Play hand clapping games with them (like these!)
- Snuggle during a movie
- Give piggyback rides (or horsey rides or buckin’ bronco rides)
- Hug after disciplining (especially if you’ve yelled and didn’t mean to. If that’s the case, you may also be interested in reading some simple things to do when you feel like yelling.)
- Give bear hugs
- Give a gentle tap or rub when you pass by them
- Rub (or scratch) their back
- Have group hugs as a family
- Get a touch-oriented gift (like this or even this)
- Arm wrestle (or thumb wrestle – “1, 2, 3, 4 I begin a Thumb War”)
- Have them help with cooking (hold their hand while they learn or they hold yours)
- Create a secret handshake you do with only them
Now, you’ve got a whole arsenal of things to try throughout the day!