Love Language- Physical Touch

Croft’s love language wasn’t as obvious to me as Elle’s and Crew’s were.  Plus she is only 5 years old so I wasn’t even sure she had a love language yet.  I decided to give her a choice to help me determine her primary love language.

I said, “Croft, if mom could only do one thing a day for you what would it be?  Would you want a hug?  Would you want me to play with you? or Would you want me to write you a note each day?” She thought for awhile and decided she would want a hug.

Now Croft says, “Mom, I didn’t get my hug for the day yet!” and  she hugs me.  She fakes being asleep in the car so that her dad will carry her in, she kisses and hugs on Locke all the time, and she wants to hold hands during family prayer. Putting all this together, I concluded that Croft’s primary love language was PHYSICAL TOUCH.

The authors of The Five Love Languages of Children say that Physical Touch “is one of love’s strongest voices.”   They also say that it is the easiest love language to use unconditionally.  And I like it because it doesn’t take money or planning or a special occasion or much time for that matter.

Although Croft loves hugs, they are not the only way to show love through physical contact.  Here are some alternatives to the hug:

wrestle

sit on lap (while reading stories)

high fives

kisses

snuggles

piggy back rides

scratch back

pat on the back

hold hands

stroke hair

contact sports or games

tickle (recognize boundaries here)

rough house

It is so easy to do many of these things with Croft because she is cute, squishy, soft, happy and loveable.  But the day may come when she gets braces and pimples and she talks back and hates me, yet she will still need physical touch.  As parents it is important that we keep showing physical affection even through the awkward or distant teenage years.  Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell emphasize that this need is especially true with dads and their preteen and teenage daughters.

Chad is great at wrestling with Crew, tickling Locke, holding Elle, kissing Croft, and hugging me because Physical Touch is his love language too.  I wonder if it is easier to show love in the way that you like to receive it?

Now just like harsh words are more devastating to a child whose love language is words of affirmation, the same reasoning holds true here.  A spank (remember the wooden spoon?), a slap across the face, an arm grab, etc. is more devastating to a child that feels love through touch.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to use Physical Touch.  Kids used to get more touch from school, church, family, neighbors, etc.  But now everyone is a little on guard and we are all worried about sexual abuse so we withhold.  While we should be cautious, we still need to find a way to get our kids adequate amounts of Physical Touch.  I think we need it now more than ever.

7 thoughts on “Love Language- Physical Touch”

  1. This is SO my daughter. Sometimes she tries to snuggle so close, I think if she could physically put herself IN my body, she would! 🙂 Thanks for this series…it’s been awesome. I sure hope that she still craves that physical touch from mom even when she is a crabby teen! 🙂

    1. Colleen, I am so glad you are reading this series. It can really help in the classroom too. There is a whole chapter in the book about learning and the love languages that I don’t think I will cover in this series. And as far as your daughter goes, the authors say that kids still need the physical touch into their teens but they won’t ask for it, so you have to initiate touch more. And you might have to do it in more subtle ways. They also say to not force it though if your kids are really pulling away.

      1. Wow! You remembered that I’m a teacher! And yes, this series has had me thinking of my kids at school A LOT. The only hard thing is that figuring out the love languages of 41 kids is intimidating! But I think that people DO tend to give love the way they like to receive it best, so I’m going to tune into what they do more (like the “note-writers”, the “huggers”and the “helpers”)and try to reciprocate more! Awesome series. And I don’t miss a post you write…I have you on my blog list because I love your stuff! Thanks for all you do!

    1. Amy, I am going to link my photos to your blog. I should have thought about that earlier. And I after I tell you about all of the love languages, I am going to give you some ideas to figuring your kiddos out so keep reading. Thanks!

  2. I’m pretty sure I know what Maleah’s love language is but I’m not sure with Aubree and Kendra. I like that you gave Croft choices. I definitely think it’s easier to give love the way you like to receive it. Kent’s love language is service. He is always serving me and that’s how he shows his love even though it’s not my primary love language but it comes natural to him. I should be the one always serving him because that’s his love language but that doesn’t come as natural to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love that he serves me all the time and I know that’s how he shows his love, but I think my love language is a combo of words of affirmation and physical touch and that doesn’t come real natural to him. 🙂 This is great stuff to think about with my kids. Although I feel like I may be failing! I need to read the book.

    1. You are NOT failing. Parents only fail when they stop trying and I know you are still trying. And have you told Kent what you want directly?

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