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:
sit on lap (while reading stories)
piggy back rides
pat on the back
contact sports or games
tickle (recognize boundaries here)
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.